It was released on June 15, 2012 by Columbia Pictures and was a critical and financial failure, grossing $57 million against a $70 million budget.
In 1984, Donny Berger's teacher, Mary McGarricle (Eva Amurri Martino), begins a sexual relationship with him. When this relationship is discovered, she is sentenced to a maximum penalty prison term, where she is revealed pregnant. The unborn child is given custody to Donny's abusive father until Donny turns 18 to assume full custody.
In 2012, Donny (Adam Sandler) is a broke, alcoholic slacker who spends his time with his friends, bartender Brie (Ciara) and her stripper mother Champale (Luenell). Donny is now estranged from his son (Andy Samberg) who, embarrassed by Donny's immaturity, has changed his name to Todd Peterson. Todd, a successful businessman, has recently arrived at the Cape Cod house of his boss, where he is to marry his fiancée, Jamie Martin (Leighton Meester).
Donny learns from his lawyer, Jim Nance (Rex Ryan), that he owes $43,000 to the IRS in back-taxes and will be imprisoned for three years if he doesn't repay the money by the end of the weekend. However, Nance has him place a $20 bet on an 8000:1 contestant named Tubby Tuke in the following Monday's Boston Marathon. In spite of this, Donny realizes that he may need a back-up plan should Tubby Tuke lose. He visits TV producer Randall Morgan (Dan Patrick), who had produced shows for Donny during his brief period of celebrity, and Morgan offers him $50,000 if he can organize a reunion with Todd and Mary McGarricle (Susan Sarandon) at the women's prison.
Donny arrives at Cape Cod to try to convince Todd to participate. Todd had previously told people his parents were dead, so he introduced Donny as an old friend. Donny quickly becomes well-liked by the others, at the expense of Todd's popularity. Donny tries to convince Todd to see his mother at the women's prison, without revealing that it is for a TV show, but he refuses. Todd fights constantly with Donny about his father's immaturity. Donny admits his mistake by revealing he was young and didn't know how to be a father since his own never taught him how. Todd eventually imitates his father's behavior, including engaging in a fight with Father McNally, cancelling the church rehearsal. Before Jamie's family could blame Todd, Donny saves him by convincing his future in-laws to have the wedding rehearsal away from churches because Todd is still going through a tragedy from one that killed his parents.
Donny joins Todd and his friends at Todd's bachelor party, a relaxing day at a spa. However, Donny convinces the guys to attend a strip club where over the course of the night, Todd eventually agrees to meet his mother at the women's prison. Donny, knowing a TV crew will be there tries to stop the meeting, but Todd goes anyway. Mary, Donny and Todd are ambushed by TV crew, forcing a disgusted Todd to leave without signing a release form, leaving Donny without any money.
Donny overhears Jamie on the phone with Todd's boss, Steve Spirou, having a conversation that implies they've been sleeping together behind Todd's back. He tries to warn Todd, but Jamie comes up with a convincing cover story that fools Todd. Later, Donny discovers Jamie having sex with her brother Chad (Milo Ventimiglia) at a hotel room. Realizing that she could lose Todd if Donny tells him about her sexual affair with both Chad and Steve, she gives him a $50,000 check in order to keep him quiet.
Despite Jamie's hush money, Donny has to stop the wedding. With help from his friend from his celebrity days (Vanilla Ice), they make it to the wedding in time. Donny reveals to be Todd's father, rips up Jamie's check and forces her to admit her actions behind Todd's back. Todd, disgusted breaks up with Jamie and accepts Donny as his father and takes back his birth name of Han Solo Berger.
At the strip club the following day, Han reveals to be dating Brie and offers Donny the money to pay for his unpaid taxes. However, Donny refuses, stating it's time for him to take responsibility for his actions. He prepares to go to prison to rekindle his relationship with Mary after his term is over, but the bet he placed on Tubby Tuke wins him $160,000, keeping him out of prison.
The film was originally titled I Hate You, Dad, and then changed to Donny's Boy before the producers finally settled on That's My Boy. Filming began on May 2, 2011 and ended on July 15, 2011.
The film was rated R for "crude sexual content throughout, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use". It was Sandler's seventh movie to be given that rating with the other six being Going Overboard (his film debut), Shakes the Clown, Bulletproof, Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, and Funny People. The MPAA originally assigned the film with an NC-17 rating due to its explicit sexual content, making the film Sandler's only attempt at an NC-17 rated film.
The film opened on June 15, 2012, grossing $13,453,714 in its opening weekend, ranking #4 behind the second weekends of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus, and the opening of Rock of Ages.
The film grossed $36,931,089 domestically and $57,719,093 worldwide and failing to recoup its $70 million budget, making it a financial failure. This was Sandler's fourth box office failure, with the other three being Little Nicky, Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me.
The film has an aggregate score of 20% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 113 reviews with an average rating of 3.4 out of 10. The critical consensus states: "While it does represent a new foray into raunch for the normally PG-13 Sandler, That's My Boy finds him repeating himself to diminishing effect – and dragging Andy Samberg down with him." The film also has a score of 31 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 27 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Justin Chang of Variety called it "a shameless celebration of degenerate behavior, a work of relentless vulgarity and staggering moral idiocy." Alonso Duralde gave the film a scathing review, calling it "vulgar, trite, sexist, misogynist, hacky, tacky, gross, sentimental and stupid, with occasional flourishes of racism and veiled homophobia thrown in to boot." Online review show Half in the Bag called the film "pathetic" and "painful", and went on to criticize Sandler as a comic, including his inability to create real humor that isn't based on childish jokes.
The film was criticized for making light of statutory rape, incest and child neglect.
The film was released to DVD and Blu-ray on October 16, 2012 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.