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‘Hubie Halloween’ and the Sandler Cinematic Universe

How Sandler’s latest comedy connects back to classics like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore.

Adam Sandler Julie Bowen Hubie Halloween
Adam Sandler and Julie Bowen in Hubie Halloween

“Hubie Halloween,” Adam Sandler’s latest film as part of his gigantic Netflix deal, is now out, and it marks an interesting moment in Sandler’s career. His last film before this was 2019’s “Uncut Gems,” an incredibly intense crime thriller from the Safdie brothers, which was a huge departure for Sandler. So, while “Hubie” was met with mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, it’s really a return to normalcy for Sandler, in more ways than one. In a world where cinematic universes reign supreme, Sandler and crew might have carved out their own little one over the years.

First off, most audience members will be able to guess the plot of the film before they even hit play on Netflix. Calling the movie “Adam Sandler but this time during Halloween” is totally fair statement. Many of the jokes in “Hubie” are familiar, as are the characters. Adam Sandler even employs an eccentric accent, like he’s known to do in movies like “The Waterboy.”

Under the surface, however, there are deeper connections between Sandler’s other films. To start, Ben Stiller appears in the film as Hal L., reprising his role as a sadistic orderly in a mental institution from “Happy Gilmore.” In addition, one of the children of Salem seen bullying Sandler throughout the movie is named O’Doyle, and it’s implied that he is related to the O’Doyle in “Billy Madison.”

“Hubie Halloween” is chock full of more references to past Sandler movies. Julie Bowen plays the love interest, Violet Valentine, who is incredibly similar in name and personality to her character Virginia Venit in “Happy Gilmore.” As per usual, the movie is packed with Sandler’s friends playing essentially the same characters they do in every Sandler film, including Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Maya Rudolph, and David Spade.

So it seems pretty clear that Sandler and his team definitely want these movies connected, both through the story and the behind-the-scenes. This isn’t a bad thing, either. Even though these movies are relatively predictable, these connections give audiences a good idea of what to expect – a lot of silly, physical humor that’ll get a few chuckles out of the family. Additionally, hardcore fans of these comedians absolutely have fun with the little details connecting the broad web that is Adam Sandler’s career.

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