Entertainment Weekly - 04/21/2006
"The three losers play a series of Little League teams, snatching victory from the jaws of slapstick humiliation." -- Grade: B-
Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions--in cahoots with director Dennis Dugan (HAPPY GILMORE), stars Rob Schneider (DEUCE BIGELOW: MALE GIGOLO), Jon Heder (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE), and David Spade (TOMMY BOY)--seeks to level the eternal struggle between jocks and nerds in the raucous comedy THE BENCHWARMERS. Schneider plays Gus, a landscaper, who, along with his newspaper deliveryman pal Clarke (Heder), comes upon a hapless group of kids being picked on by a bully baseball squad on the sandlot. When one member of the squad delivers a non-culinary "beef stew" to one of weaklings, the two adults intervene. As he waxes nostalgic on the baseball diamond, Gus challenges the tough Little Leaguers to a scrimmage, and Clarke and his other uber-nerdy and decidedly nonathletic friend, video store clerk Richie (Spade), are recruited--and the eponymous Benchwarmers are formed. Soon, news of the three sissy men versus the nine jocks-in-training spreads and comes to the attention of billionaire geek, Mel (Jon Lovitz). With Mel's help, a state-wide tournament is created allowing any youth baseball team the chance to knock off the Benchwarmers. As the frenzy grows, all jocks and wimps, young and old, come out to support their side with the final verdict in this never-ending war for supremacy. While the movie features cameos from real-life sports personalities Reggie Jackson, Sean Salisbury, and Bill Romanowski, its highlights are the antics and comedic chemistry of its leads. If flatulence, juvenile sex jokes, feces, agoraphobia, robotic butlers, and baseball are your recipe for riotous belly-laughs, than BENCHWARMERS is nothing short of a grand slam.