An Open Letter to my Neighbors in Swampscott about Adam Sandler & Grown Ups 2

Dearest Friends, Neighbors, Old Man Jogger,

For far too long I have sat idly by and watched as this town has torn itself asunder over the controversial issue of Adam Sandler filming Grown Ups 2 in Swampscott. Brother has taken up arms against brother, fighting over whether the Hollywoodization of our little beach town is the worst thing to happen since the White Hen turned into a 7-11.

Well, I have one little thing to say to the naysayers.

Godfather 2.

Who in 1974 could have foreseen that a little film about gangsters would turn into a smash hit, loved by audiences worldwide and winner of 6 academy awards?

Am I suggesting that Grown Ups 2 might be as critically-acclaimed and successful as Godfather 2?

Yes. Yes I am.

And then where will you naysayers be?

I’ll tell you where you’ll be: on the wrong side of history.


What did Adam Sandler ever do to deserve your scorn? He’s a nice Jewish boy that’s spent his entire life making people happy. And all he asks for in return is fortune and fame. Sounds like a fair deal to me.

Remember in The Wedding Singer when that grandma started rapping? Everyone loved that. And do you think the Betty White-aissance would have ever happened without rapping granny? I doubt it.

Remember how much people loved Billy Madison & Happy Gilmore? Admittedly, I’ve never seen either of those movies, but people seem to think fondly of them.

And who couldn’t relate to that scene in the Grown Ups trailer when the guys got busted for peeing in the pool? Now I’m not saying that I pee in pools, but is that blue pee-revealing ink real or is it a joke? (Seriously, is it real?)

And I really loved those Jack & Jill posters from last year. Again, I never watched the movie but those posters made me happy every single time I saw them. I’m happy now just thinking about those posters. Who could hate a man that can spread joy through mere posters?


Think of all of the excitement that Adam Sandler and his merry band of thespians have brought to our town. One day my son came home from school, bursting with joy, because he saw “Adam Stantler” at the middle school.

A friend saw Adam and his wife talking a stroll on Marblehead Neck, just like us regular folks. Imagine that! Adam Sandler strolling like a regular person! Oh what I wouldn’t give to see that.

And did you hear? David Spade was at the train station. I’d sure like to ask him how he’s so successful with the ladies.

Maya Rudolph was at the Whole Foods! A star buying the same over-priced organic produce that I don’t buy because I like regular produce from Stop & Shop. But if I was buying that delicious Whole Foods guacamole I could have seen Maya Rudolph!

And Shaq was at the police station. I like him.

I haven’t heard any news about Kevin James but I sure hope I run into him. My kids and I love all of the Kevin James movies. Say what you will, but that dude is funny.

And Salma Hayek. Swoon. ‘Nuff said.


I understand that some of you might not be as comfortable with celebrities as I am. I come from a long line of celebrity boosters/stalkers. One time my Mom stalked Walter Mathau so expertly that she and my Dad ended up hanging in his trailer (with him) all day.

And where is Walter now? He’s dead. But that is most likely unrelated to my parents.

Personally, I was once punked by the great James Earl Jones. And believe you me, you haven’t lived until you’ve been practical joked by Darth Vader.

Think of it this way: Swampscott has a long history as a resort town that caters to celebrities. Calvin Coolidge used to rip it up here back in the day. The town was full of hotels and the well-heeled cooling their heels in our cold, stinky ocean.

Filming movies and hosting celebrities isn’t a new thing for Swampscott, it’s actually an embrace of our history. And what do we lose? A little parking at the second-best beach in town. Big whoop.

Please join with me in letting Adam and the gang know that we’re happy – nay, honored – to have them with us this summer.

Thank you.

(p.s. I know that I’ve railed against the concept of “open letters” in the past but this time, for the sake of our town’s future, I felt like I needed to make an exception.)

BY THE WAY: If you got here by googling “swampscott + breaking bad” then you’ll probably want to read my essay: Stop Breaking Down: What the Cars on “Breaking Bad” Tell Us About the True Nature of the Characters

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