This level of commentary is not usually associated with Adam Sandler movies but this is an interesting question: “Have you noticed how Adam Sandler characters always live in giant mansions?”
Ostentatious displays of wealth are a tricky thing onscreen: Movies are meant to be aspirational, but if the main characters live in over-the-top splendor, not many audience members will be able to relate. No one has passed this note to Adam Sandler though; his characters, more than those of any other modern movie star, tend to live in gigantic, multi-million-dollar megamansions. How does Sandler so often manage to luxuriate in his own wealth without alienating his less fortunate fan base? It probably helps that as his characters’ homes grow ever grander, Sandler’s clothes remain eternally grubby. (Hey, you don’t have much money left over for new duds when the mortgages are this high!) Join us now on a tour of Sandler’s biggest screen houses, accompanied by a look at his wardrobe in each corresponding film. Get ready for some sticker shock!
I have seen two of these seven movies but I have a few ideas about why these characters might live in such homes.
First, the big home represents the pinnacle of success but ends up contrasting with characters who find they need more than money to enjoy life. Big homes are shown as lonely places – there is a lot of room for fun activities but it might take you a while to find other people or have regular interactions with others in the house. Thus, we see the big homes early in the movies as supposed success but we are meant to leave with the idea that one can be house rich and love poor. This is a theme of a lot of movies, not just Adam Sandler films.
Second, big homes (and other garish displays of wealth) are associated with bad people. In other words, movie-goers are intended to see the unnecessarily large home and quickly make the association that the characters living in it are not nice people. The big home is then a shorthand image intended to reveal more about the character of those living there.
This requires more analysis for a definitive answer but these big homes are certainly plot devices. Given the relatively short amount of time in a movie (particularly compared to longer novels or multiple seasons of a television show), these large homes are likely the product of careful decisions.