By Jack Rico
In the 1980’s, successful comedies seemed like a dime a dozen. Now a days, we have to settle for ‘Grown Ups,’ where the laughs are few, but the apathy is plentiful.
After their high school basketball coach (Blake Clark) passes away, five good friends (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider) and former teammates reunite with their families for a Fourth of July holiday weekend.
There are a couple of problems that set ‘Grown Ups’ up as a disappointment for me. One of the issues I had with it was the marketing. The reputation some of the actors have are that of R rated comedians. The mere sight of Chris Rock is worth a hard R from a mile away (“tired of this sh*t, tired, tired, tired of this sh•t,” as his foul mouthed stand up routine goes). It’s easy to be misled as to why this movie looks like ‘Old School’ with Will Ferrell. Just look at the trailers, TV spots, and posters. Whenever the public is misguided to thinking they’re going to see one thing and it doesn’t deliver, there is an automatic sense of rejection. That happened to me here. I got duped.
Secondly, I had issues with the tame dialogue of the script. The stars, mostly known for their profanities and uncouth behavior in films, seemed out of their element. They show a benign side to them that is unfamiliar to me. Aside from Sandler’s ‘Bedtime Stories,’ amongst other family movies he’s starred in, the film is really a let down. I was expecting so much more from it. Such a talented cast, but no creativity in the script.
The female cast composed of Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph complemented the male leads very well. Salma didn’t necessarily showcase her Oscar nominee skills, but her ‘accented’ charm is more than ‘voluptiously’ appealing.
Overall, I thought ‘Grown Ups’ would possess grown up R humor, but instead it delivers a family movie for adults with infantile jocularity. Not what I was expecting.
Rated: PG-13 for crude material including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity.
Release Date: 2010-06-25
Screenplay: Adam Sandler, Fred Wolf
Director(s): Dennis Dugan
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Film Genre: Comedia