Perhaps the most ironic thing about having a comedy film called Grown Ups is that the humour is ridiculously childish. At best, the gags are passable, but for the most part failed to rise even the slightest of smiles.
Adam Sandler seems to be relying on a style of humour that has long passed its sell-by date. The gags that worked in ˜Water Boy’ and ˜Happy Madison’ don’t work anymore. Mainly because Sandler was younger and the lowbrow jokes worked based on his age. In 2011 when ˜Grown Ups’ was released, Sandler was forty-three, and like your Dad drunkenly dancing at a family wedding, it just feels a bit embarrassing now.
Just to give a taste, here’s what is in store for you: Old people having sex sure is funny, right? Well, here’s Rod Schneider getting off with a woman old enough to be his Mum. If that’s not enough, why not watch Chris Rock get pussy-whipped by his Wife? OH, and he argues with his Mother-in-law, that’s new.
Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is a ˜big-time Hollywood Agent’, who is set to go to the funeral of his high school Basketball coach along with his childhood friends, Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James), Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock), Marcus ˜Higgy’ Higgins (David Spade) and Rob Hillard (Rob Schneider). After the funeral, the friends and their respective families stay at a lake house rented by Lenny, and the hilarity ensues.
One of the biggest crimes here was that the talent of all five Actors in this film was wasted. No one can argue that in their own right, each of the film’s five main cast members are great comedy Actors. So to see them all blundering their way through a half-inspired script with zero originality is painful. To the film’s credit, what does work is the culture-clash between the adults and the children. Lenny’s kids in this film are the stereotypical spoilt brats; X-Box playing, Decaf-Mocha drinking, technology craving, designer clothing-clad gits “ with a poor Nanny in tow to serve their every need. This is a stark contrast to Lenny’s humble childhood. This aspect of the story was pieced together nicely, showing the confusion both adults and children feel when trying to understand each other’s generational values.
The film’s climax is a rushed affair which sees a rematch of a championship Basket Ball game from their youth. Upon his return, Lenny meets a member of the rival team in that fateful Basketball game, Dickey Bailey (Colin Quinn) who can’t let go of the fact that his team lost. He challenges Lenny and his friends to a rematch which Lenny refuses. This subplot is then left alone for another hour and pops up in the final twenty minutes and is tied into the ending of the main narrative. It’s hard to care about this rematch of the original Basketball game itself as it was focused on so little. Each of the five main characters did not seem too invested in the rematch and were simply going through the motions. Maybe this was just a way of tying everything in the film up nicely, albeit through more lazy writing.
Despite all of its flaws, ˜Grown Ups’ grossed a huge amount of money “ two-hundred and seventy-one million dollars, so the sequel “ out now, is not surprising. However, if you want to see a bunch of A-List Actors have more fun making a film than you will watching it, then go right ahead. Knock yourself out.