sandler adam 200x300 Adam Sandler Cant Be Taken Serious(ly)“Funny People” may be the last time anyone will take Adam Sandler serious(ly).

The Judd Apatow-directed non-comedy took in a paltry $23.4 million this weekend, and got terrible reviews to boot.

It follows a trend for Sandler, who audiences apparently just don’t buy as anything but an overgrown child on screen. His other “serious” flops include “Punch Drunk Love,” “Spanglish,” and “Reign Over Me.”

The former “Saturday Night Live” star was always hilarious doing Opera Man or the Chanukah Song. In films, he had his moment entertaining a generation with “Wedding Singer” and “Happy Gilmore.”

In 2007-2008, Sandler proved that being an idiot on screen was profitable. He had three $100 million plus films–”I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” and “Bedtime Stories.” Each was a successful capturing of the lowest common denominator, which is nothing to be sneezed at these days. But there weren’t even Golden Globes coming for those, forget about real golden statues.

“Funny People” is no laughing matter. Kudos to Universal for trying it, but this should spell the end of Sandler as anything more than a congenial buffoon.

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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