Brow Beat

Paul Thomas Anderson Apparently Filmed Part of Adam Sandler’s New Stand Up Special

Adam Sandler on stage with a flash light and a microphone.
Sandler in 100% Fresh. Netflix

It’s probably not the best sign that the trailer released on Tuesday for Adam Sandler’s forthcoming Netflix special 100% Fresh cuts between eclectic props, goofy dance moves, and the SNL alum’s admittedly iconic giggle in place of a single actual joke, but the special’s saving grace might lie behind the camera. 100% Fresh will be directed by Sandler’s longtime collaborator Steven Brill, but based on reports that originated when a bystander noticed Paul Thomas Anderson filming outside a club, the Magnolia director filmed Sandler’s Los Angeles standup set on April 10th as part of the special. IndieWire later confirmed that Anderson did indeed film the comedian’s standup set, according to a source close to the production.

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Anderson and Sandler’s only other collaboration occurred in 2002, when they made Punch Drunk Love, in which audiences received a less seen side of Sandler: one that was shy, sincere, and squirming, with a romantic loneliness and a constant social claustrophobia that made his performance in this thumping, primary-colored drama sharply emotional. Punch Drunk Love is also one of Sandler’s highest rated productions on Rotten Tomatoes, where he has a track record that includes two 0% ratings, a 1% , and a 2%, plus nine more productions in the single digits. This helps explain the joking 100% Fresh aspiration that constitutes his new special’s self-referential title.

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But perhaps Sandler is being a bit hard on himself with this characterization, given that his recent Netflix collaboration The Meyerowitz Stories granted him some of the best reviews of his career. Sandler has also produced several other films with Netflix, most recently The Ridiculous Six and The Week Of. 100% Fresh will be available to stream starting Oct. 23.

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