This is like a whole new school of child raising I'm doing...you give the kid options instead of orders.
-Sonny to friends, Tommy and Phil
Sonny Koufax is the main character in the film Big Daddy. Sonny's life is going nowhere until five-year-old Julian turns up on his doorstep, seeking a loving guardian. Sonny grows to love Julian and proves he will do anything to care for him. Sonny is played by Adam Sandler.
Sonny Koufax is the son of Lenny Koufax and an unnamed mother .
Sonny is first shown talking on the phone with his father, who doesn't seem pleased with his attitude to life. His girlfriend Vanessa wakes up and rushes away to brunch with a business client, possibly her soon-to-be boyfriend Sid.
Sonny travels from his job at a toll-booth to his apartment, where his roommate Kevin's girlfriend, Corrine, is throwing a surprise farewell party for him. Sonny manages to ruin the surprise by entering moments before Kevin and diverting focus towards himself, then goes on to ruin Kevin's surprise proposal by blirting it out. Kevin leaves the room to talk to him about what is going on. Sonny informs Kevin about his life and how he feels that it is falling apart, with his suspicions about Vanessa planning to break up with him actually being true.
Sonny wakes up the next morning to find Kevin has already left for China and Corrine is still at the apartment cleaning up after the party goers. They two spend quite some time insulting each other. Shortly afterwards, a teenager arrives at the door with a young girl, saying, A lady paid him five dollars to bring him over. The kid has a note with him, explaining that he is Kevin's son. Sonny calls Kevin up and explains the situation. Sonny manages to talk Kevin out of coming home to deal with it, saying he can handle it himself. The boy, Julian, is initially reluctant to even talk to Sonny. So Sonny decides to take him to Central Park to watch the roller bladers fall down. At the park, Sonny deliberately trips one of the bladers, which causes Julian to come out of his shell. They then return home and have dinner with the delivery guy, Nazo. Sonny asks Julian about his doll named Scuba Steve and decides to take him out to watch the football. Sonny and Julian continue to bond. When Sonny returns Julian back home and into his new bed, Julian ask Sonny if he is his father, to which he replies that he isn't.
The next morning, Sonny takes Julian to the park and decides that he will take full-time care of Julian to impress his girlfriend Vanessa. Later that same morning, Julian accidentally wets his bed and informs Sonny. He helps clean up the mess, by placing sheets of newspaper on the bed and attempting to get Julian to go back to sleep. The plan is unsuccessful and the two end up heading out to get a MacDonald's breakfast meal. Julian reveals that he has to go to the bathroom and, after being denied entry to a bathroom at a restaurant, Sonny shows Julian how to pee up a building, something he is later characterised for doing. Whilst inside McDonald's, Sonny then accidentally upsets Julian by cursing loudly at the lady working when he realises he missed the breakfast period. He then calms Julian down by throwing himself in front of a moving vehicle.
Sonny and Julian return home, where Sonny plans to watch the hockey game. However his plans are thwarted when Julian, presumably on a sugar rush, bounces up and down on a space hopper, in front of the television set. He tells Sonny that he is too hungry to take a nap, so Sonny fills him full of masses of junk food. He passes out on the kitchen table. Julian then wakes up and informs Sonny that he always watches the Kangaroo Song after his naps. However, his out-of-control dancing causes him to accidentally vomit on the floor. Sonny, stressed out by Julian's mannerisms, decides to take him to his girlfriend Vanessa. When Julian tells Sonny that he is worried that Vanessa will not be nice, Sonny gives Julian a pair of 'magic' sunglasses that he convinces will makes him invisible, Julian is convinced and continues on to Vanessa's apartment. Sonny finds out that Vanessa has dumped him and is dating Sid, an old man. Sonny flips out, verbally attacking both Sid and Vanessa. Sonny decides he has no more options and takes Julian to the Social Services Bureau, in which he plans to give him to foster parents. However Arthur Brooks informs him that Julian would have to stay in an orphanage for a while. Julian runs over to Sonny and shows him that he has learnt how to tie his shoes. Sonny is proud of Julian and decides to take temporary custody over him until a foster family can be found. Sonny then calls up his father and is reprimanded for taking custody over Julian. He then informs Julian that people's dads are the source of their problems. He then asks Julian if he likes his own name, to which he replies, I guess..., Sonny then gets Julian to rename himself 'Frankenstein'.
- Sonny then decides to let Julian do what he wants and live a life of freedom, the activities he lets him do are;
- Letting play in a puddle
- Teaching him how to play baseball
- Allowing him to dress in a random manner
- Helping him eat a large piece of pizza
- Teaching him how to perform the sleeper hold like Chief Jay Strongbow and, inadvertently, knocking Nazo unconscious
- Giving Julian a slingshot, with which he kills many pigeons with and taking Julian trick-or-treating where he becomes angry at one man who won't give Julian candy.
Julian then goes out to a hot-dog stand with Sonny and his two, gay best friends, Tommy and Phil. Sonny asks Julian what he wants to order, to which he replies, thirty packets of ketchup, which appears to be his favorite food. Sonny then uses Julian as a pawn in gaining a date with a pretty girl at the park, unbeknownst to him at the time, but the girl is Layla Maloney, the sister of Kevin's fiancée Corrine. He gets Julian to run over to her and claims that she is lost and doesn't know where she lives, at which point Sonny arrives. When Layla declines Sonny's offer for a date, he calls Julian over, who performs an act saying that, if she didn't come over he would develop a stutter. This is also the first time Julian pees on something for the first time alone, which Sonny is really proud of.
Sonny connects really well with Layla during his date, they even find similarities, such as their love of the band Styx. During Sonny's date, Julian calls him into his bedroom to ask for a goodnight. Just as Sonny and Layla are getting very close Julian interrupts the date by turning the music off. Layla and Sonny return to Julian's bedroom and tell him a story about a rabbit and a squirrel. The story helps Julian fall asleep and eventually becomes a way to transcribe Sonny and Layla's feelings. Sonny, in the guise of the rabbit, asks Layla for kiss, but she tells him she is too busy with her career. As a compromise, she kisses Scuba Steve instead. The next day, Sonny takes Julian to school. She is scared and says that he doesn't like the other kids. Sonny gives him the magic sunglasses and Julian enters the classroom, where he instantly makes a friend. During the day, Arthur Brooks calls Sonny's apartment and tells him that he has found a foster family for Julian and that he would like him to call him back. Sonny decides not to as he feels everything is going very well. Instead, Sonny calls Layla's work and decides to do his laundry with her during her lunch break. Layla and Sonny continue to become closer, until Layla makes a joke about Julian falling in with the wrong crowd at school
Sonny hangs out with Julian and his friends at school and informs them to stay away from drugs, worried by Layla's earlier joke. He then takes Julian to the grocery store, where he teaches him to throw can onto the floor, as dented cans are half prices. Julian informs Sonny that she has eczema. Corrine is also shopping and helps Julian with his eczema, by putting a bag of frozen peas on the rash and cooling the itching. Corrine questions Sonny about 'doing laundry' with her sister, to which he replies with a joke. At some point off screen, Sonny took Julian to Coney Island, where they took pictures in a photo booth.
- Sonny takes Layla out to a restaurant in Little Italy, where they are seen mostly talking about Julian, who is at home with Sonny's friends Tommy, Phil, and Mike. On the way home from the date, Sonny begs Layla for a kiss. The moment is perfect until Corrine interrupts and Layla runs away laughing nervously. Sonny is called by Julian's teacher Ms. Foote. She requests a special meeting with him, as she is concerned about several issues regarding Julian. It is said that he ended up tripping a student who wore roller blades, spilling a tube of glue on the floor and covering it with newspaper, as opposed to telling someone. Sonny sees a child with a broken arm, who confirms his fears about Julian tripping him. Julian then urinates on a potted plant in the classroom. Ms. Foote then informs Sonny that Julian is by far the smelliest child she has ever taught. Sonny then decides to change Julian's life around.
Sonny tries to convince Julian to study by reading a book about George Washington with Nazo, however it proves unsuccessful when Julian insults Nazo and begins dancing around to the Kangaroo song. Sonny returns dressed as Scuba Sam, Scuba Steve's fathern convincing Julian that he must study hard if he wants to be in the Scuba Squad. Julian gets a bath as Sonny tells him that they will be changing his life. Julian then studies harder, dresses differently and eats right. Sonny guides Julian's life through several different activities such as taking him to Barneys and the two dress identically in white suits, working at the tollbooth, peeing in urinals, dressing up as the founding fathers, investigating Benjamin Franklin's discovery of electricity and putting milk into a hand wash bottle and together the pair have fun pumping it onto cereal.
- Sonny then devises a spelling test for Julian, in which all the words are related to Benjamin Franklin. Julian correctly identifies all the words and head out to Central Park, where they make amends for their previous mistakes, by holding signs telling the rollerbladers to slow down at the bend where Sonny had previously tripped them up. They once again encounter the homeless man, riding in a trolley cart filled with plastic bags.
- Sonny and Layla watch Julian's school play. Julian shines through as the star of the play, remembering all his lines and delivering them with humour. Julian stands put, while the other child rush to sign the declaration of independence. Sonny and Layla both sit out in the audience waving to Julian and commenting on how good he is.
The next morning Sonny and Julian are seen playing Julian's game 'I win'. Arthur Brooks arrives to take Julian away, having discovered Sonny is not Kevin Gerrity. Sonny is left to briefly explain to Julian that he screwed up and that Julian has to go away. Julian is taken away by Arthur Brooks and Sonny is left heartbroken and crying in the apartment.
Sonny is shown doing everything in his power to help get Julian back. He visits Layla at her work, where he informs her the trial has been fast-tracked to Tuesday. Layla's trial to dismiss her case, however, is on the same day and Sonny is left wondering whether she will be there for him.
- At the trial Sonny is backed up by his counsel consisting of Tommy, Phil and Layla. Sonny asks Layla if this means she loves him, to which she replies "Something like that. Sonny calls several witnesses, all of which back him up, including Mr. Herlihy, the Homeless Man, Nazo, and Julian. Kevin arrives shortly after all of these witnesses have made their statements are a further part of Sonny's counsel. The next witness called is Corrine, someone who doesn't like Sonny, but who, too, defends Sonny's parenting skills. His final witness is himself and he is chosen to be examined by his father.
- After a large telling off from his father, Sonny tells his Dad that he loves him and that he loves Julian, to which Lenny replies that Sonny does deserve custody of Julian. However, the judge is dissuaded by the evidence and orders the bailiff to take Sonny away pending further punishment. Kevin steps up, realizing he really is Julian's father, and drops the charges against Sonny, but custody is still handed over to Kevin. Julian rushes over, crushed by the final decision. Sonny promises him that they will always be friends.
- An unspecified amount of time later and Sonny, Nazo, Julian, and Kevin are shown in the park. Sonny is giving tips to Kevin on what Julian likes; however, he decides it's best left up to Kevin to make the decisions. He walks away sorrowfully from his life as Julian's parent.
1 year, 3 months and 6 days laterEdit
- Sonny is shown to be working as a lawyer now in a workplace he enjoys. It is his birthday and everyone has thrown him a surprise party. Sonny is revealed to be married to Layla and they have a child together. He is still close friends with Julian and meets Vanessa, who is now working as a Hooters girl along with Sid on the grill. The last scene is over Sonny and everyone else getting something to eat, next to his birthday cake.
- Sonny first meets Layla in the park. He must have spotted her from a distance and thought she was pretty. Sonny used Julian as a strategy for getting a date with Layla, who already knew him, being Corrine's sister. Layla had her first date with Sonny and the two realised they had more in common than they knew.
- Sonny calls up Layla when he's bored and fabricates dirty laundry so he can see her again.
- They go out for their second date to a restaurant in Little Italy. They continue to grow closer, with the two sharing their first kiss at the end of the date.
- Sonny invites Layla to Julian's class play.
- Due to a clash between the trial to dismiss Layla's case and Sonny's trial for custody of Julian, Sonny is left wondering whether their relationship is over and whether he will ever see Layla again. However, Layla arrives at Julian's case. When Sonny asks her if it means she loves him, she replies with, ' something like that '.
- At the very end of the film, Layla and Sonny are revealed to be married and have a child of their own.
- Sonny and Vanessa's relationship began a few years before the start of the film.
- It is mentioned that they were in a steady relationship, but when Sonny's life started to fall apart, Vanessa began to branch away from him.
- Vanessa ultimately left Sonny for a much older man, Sid, someone she felt she could have a good relationship with.
- At the end of the film, Vanessa is revealed to now be a Hooters girl and Sid is working the grill. When Sonny embarrasses her, Vanessa runs off.
- Sonny met Corrine when she started dating Kevin, his room mate. From the moment they met, they both hated each other. Sonny holds a grudge over Corrine as she was a Hooters girl whilst studying at medical school.
- At the start of the film, Sonny ruins Kevin's surprise party and Corrine runs off crying. After some comfort from her sister Layla, Corrine re-emerges into the party.
- The morning after Corrine is still staying in Kevin's apartment to clean up after the party goers. The two insult each other, until Julian arrives.
- Corrine then re-meets Julian and Sonny at the grocery store where she questions Sonny about the relationship between him and her sister. She also helps Julian with his eczema using a frozen food bag.
- Corrine stands as a witness at Julian's court case, claiming that Sonny seemed like a loving and attentive father and that she has disliked him from the moment they met.
- At the end of the film, Corrine and Sonny's relationship seems to have relaxed to be nice to each other. When Sonny makes a joke about Corrine working at Hooters, she shrugs it off easily and happily.
- Sonny was Julian's primary care giver from the moment he met him. Despite attempting to give Julian back to Social Services several times, Sonny proved to be a capable father. He gave Julian lots of advice over the course of the film, some of it completely practical, such as spelling and tying his shoes. Even after custody of Julian has been handed over to his actual father Kevin, Julian and Sonny are still very close friends and still play basketball on a regular basis.