"Grown Ups" Movie Review (2010)

6/26/2010 Posted by Admin

"Grown Ups" Movie Review (2010)

Directed by Dennis Dugan, Written by Adam Sandler and Fred Wolf, 102 Minutes, Rated PG-13

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti


Adam Sandler and his crew of various comedians and SNL alum have been storming the box office for just about two decades now, always proving a laugh riot for the audiences and a nuisance to critics. "Grown Ups," a film that brings almost all of these actors together for the first time in one film (in starring roles, at least), isn't likely to change that trend, but for a film with so many of these actors known for immaturity, it's surprisingly toned down and, despite the purposefully ironic title, more grown up than their typical fare.

The film doesn't have much of a plot. Five childhood friends, Lenny (Adam Sandler), Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock), Marcus (David Spade), and Rob (Rob Schneider) learn of the death of their former basketball coach and get together at the lake house they used to frequent.  They come for his funeral and because they used to visit here on Independence Day weekends. The five actors (and numerous other Sandler regulars, including Colin Quinn, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows and Norm MacDonald) use this bare-bones plot to pretty much sit around and have fun for two hours, with most of the film consisting of friendly chatter, basketball games, fishing and drinking. Basically, Sandler and his friends (including director Dennis Dugan and writer Fred Wolf) got together and took an $80 million vacation.

There's little conflict, not much of a theme, and I have a feeling most of the dialogue is improvised, as it comes off pretty natural and seems like stuff these guys would talk about.

As such, the performances really aren't too bad, with Sandler managing to keep his childish babbling at bay and even David Spade and Rob Schneider acting less like wacky characters and more like people. Chris Rock and Kevin James also give rather likable performances.

So, outside of the novelty of seeing these actors goofing around and chatting together, "Grown Ups" really doesn't have much to offer. The novelty wears thin really fast, and the attempts at humor outside of the dialogue (which is actually rather funny) really fall flat. It's hard to take slapstick and gross-out stuff seriously coming from a bunch of 40-year-olds.

It's an odd thought, but Sandler and his group have really been made irrelevant in this day and age. It seems as if Judd Apatow and his crew of self-consciously improvisational slackers have taken the country by storm, and they've stolen the thunder away from the manchildren. Sandler has toned himself down to the PG-13 audience and become lazy as he's aged, and with his laziness, the quality of his former work (if you believe there is any--personally, I'm a fan) has almost completely disappeared.

"Grown Ups" is far from totally bad. This group works very well together and though you'd expect all of them in leading roles would be overkill, it somehow works here and there. But it's just not enough to sustain a feature-length film that's little more than the crew having fun for the sake of it. It's an improvement over some of their other work this past decade, but it's nothing compared to any of their work in their prime.

Grade: C-

View the trailer for "Grown Ups" here. What did you think of the movie?


  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes

2 comments:

  1. Hrushi said...

    Are they really grown ups? :P

  2. Anonymous said...

    why not:)