REVIEW: Grown Ups

19 07 2010

In “Grown Ups,” Adam Sandler and friends have three stages: childish, adolescently juvenile, and grown up.

When they are childish, the movie is old and trite.  We’ve seen all the bathroom humor, boob humor, fat humor, hot girl humor, and racial humor Sandler can throw at us.  It was funny in the ’90s whenever movies like “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” were rocking the comedy scene.  But Sandler hasn’t changed his game much since then, and it’s time to move on from the silly and stupid just to get a quick laugh.  In fact, I usually just groan now.

When they are adolescently juvenile, the movie takes flight.  I assume that a lot of this is outside the lines, improvisational stuff.  I felt like I was watching them brainstorming one-liners for SNL in the writer’s room.  It’s like they are reaching out and including us in these creative sessions as they just rattle off joke after joke.  They have some clever wordplay and witty situations when they are at this level, and it’s where they should dwell more often.

When they are grown up, the movie is corny and laughable.  There’s that obligatory “oh, we’ve been joking the whole time, let’s grow up quickly and have a lesson” scene towards the end that derails all the comedic momentum the movie built up.  And this one is so bad and so out of place I can only hope Sandler and pals meant it to play off as a giant joke.

All comics are not created equal, as the movie shows us.  Sandler writes the best for himself, making he and his wife, played by the gorgeous and incredibly out of place Salma Hayek, the only normal ones.  Compared to him, the successful Hollywood agent, we are supposed to assume that everyone else is a loser in comparison to him.  There’s the Mr. Mom played by Chris Rock, the obese therefore butt of jokes played by Kevin James, the creepy bachelor played by David Spade, and the just plain creeper played by Rob Schneider.  Spade’s bits are stale, Rock is fair, Chris Farley’s doppleganger James is good enough not to make us yearn for the late star, and Schneider is as good as he’s ever been – which is to say that he wasn’t funny then and he’s not funny now.

So in the end, it’s that creative spark that comes from just reeling off one-liners and playing off each other that saves the movie from being a total disaster.  It’s that more refined immaturity that we don’t get nearly enough of that keeps us coming back to Sandler’s movies.  Because we don’t want Adam Sandler to grow up so much as just move on.  C /

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9 responses

19 07 2010
Encore Entertainment

Ugh, this looks so…blah. That said, Schneider was funny in The Hot Chick, no?

20 07 2010
Marshall

I’ve watched fragments of it on Starz and couldn’t even bear to watch those. And I always thought Schneider was a kind of ugly duckling on “SNL,” rarely funny.

19 07 2010
ianthecool

I actually thought that the playing off each other was just as annoying as the rest of the movie. It was as though they were just goofing around together and we paid 10+ dollars to watch them do so. And the immaturity was a huge turn off for me. I would rather that Sandler would grow up, like he showed in Funny People.

20 07 2010
mill1924

I agree. It is time for Sandler to play a real grown up and start taking roles more fit for his age and ability. Funny People, even though it wasn’t that great of a movie, was a perfect fit.

21 07 2010
Jennifer

I agree that “Funny People” was a better fit for Sandler rather than this. I also thought it was a little narcissistic that Sandler wrote him and his wife as the rich couple with somewhat petty problems, the other characters were losing their jobs and had failed marriages. I had a really really had time even trying to “care” for any of the characters or their problems in this movie because they were so unbelievable.

21 07 2010
Marshall

I can agree with everyone – “Funny People” was definitely a step in the right direction for Sandler. Unfortunately, it was a step in the wrong direction for Apatow, and the movie has to be there for him to revolutionize his career.

Besides, there’s safety in releasing the same movie every two years. “Grown Ups” is guaranteed money in the bank for Sandler and Co. Why make anything else when you can earn as much money as “Funny People” collected in its whole run in 5 DAYS!

24 07 2010
CMrok93

If these guys hang out like this in real life, then that would just suck, and destroy all my fantasy’s….no homo. Check out my review here: http://dtmmr.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/grown-ups-2010/

13 08 2010
CinemaObsessed.com

I thought it was cute. A silly summer movie not meant to be taken too seriously. Schneider’s hippie character was quite funny, but yes – the plot was almost painfully simple. But hey – sometimes a braindead movie is just what you need 🙂

14 08 2010
ianthecool

I don’t know if anyone planned to take this seriously. But if its a comedy, it should be able to make me laugh. Braindead is one thing, but repulsive is another.

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