Grown Ups

Movie Information

The Story: Five childhood friends reunite in their hometown after the death of their former basketball coach. The Lowdown: The exact kind of awful you'd expect from a movie starring Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and David Spade.
Score:

Genre: Comedy
Director: Dennis Dugan (You Don't Mess With the Zohan)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade
Rated: PG-13

Dennis Dugan’s Grown Ups is one of those awful movies that’s so egregiously stupid that I should be up in arms over how its mere existence has made our society dumber. But I can’t be, because there’s no effort in the wholesale atrociousness of Grown Ups. Offend me, appall me, disgust me—do something—just don’t bore me to the point of eye-rolling malaise.

There was never an inkling of a question as to whether or not Grown Ups would be this bad of a movie—it is, after all, an Adam Sandler vehicle, and the worst kind at that, because it includes all the usual Sandlerian hangers-on. Let’s run down the list, shall we? Behind the camera is Dennis Dugan. The closest he has come to making a good movie was—and let this sink in for a minute—I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007). On top of this, we get the singular acting talents of not only Rob Schneider, but David Spade as well. That it’s written by Fred Wolf—the scribe somehow mediocre enough to be behind not one, not two, but three David Spade films—is just overkill.

The real question is whether the other players were blackmailed or browbeat into being in this thing. OK, so maybe it’s wishful thinking to believe that Chris Rock is above this kind of schlock, but what about Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph and Maria Bello? (And not just Maria Bello, but an often lactating, occasionally breast-milk-spewing Maria Bello?)

But what all this really proves is how much a waste this movie is: a waste of talent and a waste of time. The plot is basically for people who felt The Big Chill (1983) lacked a requisite amount of fart jokes and the sight of David Spade’s bare ass. After their elementary-school basketball coach (Sandler usual Blake Clark) passes away, five old buddies—Sandler, Rock, Spade, Schneider and Kevin James—return to their hometown for a weekend at a lake house. Each finds himself stuck in the ennui of adult problems, all of which are gradually burned away through friendship and a noisy, unrelenting onslaught of hoary slapstick, multiple gags revolving around a gaseous grandmother and Rob Schneider in a toupee. And that’s just the classy stuff.

There’s a surprising lack of gay jokes in a movie involving five guys palling around, but this slight amount of maturity is a small victory. It’s the same tactless movie Sandler has been making ad nauseum for years now—the only difference is it’s just yawn-inducing old hat at this point. Rated PG-13 for crude material, including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity.

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13 thoughts on “Grown Ups

  1. Dionysis

    Wow, some of the most irritating non-talents I could imagine in this waste of celluloid (with Rob Schneider and David Spade at the top of the heap, followed closely by Adam Sandler…were Pauly Shore and Steven Baldwin unavailable?). And with the spector of Maria Bello (what was her excuse, I wonder?) “breast milk spewing” and I’d be hard-pressed to identify a movie I’d rather skip. In fact, my condolences to anyone who was forced to watch this.

  2. Ken Hanke

    I can’t seem to view the video on this link. I’m getting a message that says: “This is a private video. If you have been given this video, please make sure you accept the senders friend request.”

    I get the same. Obviously they are unaware that I’ve been friends with Jeremy since he was like 14. In any case, the last time I saw this particular Baldwin was in a gooey family-friendly thing called The Flyboys that was an entry in the (I think) 2008 Asheville Film Festival. It did not win.

  3. I get the same. Obviously they are unaware that I’ve been friends with Jeremy since he was like 14. In any case, the last time I saw this particular Baldwin was in a gooey family-friendly thing called The Flyboys that was an entry in the (I think) 2008 Asheville Film Festival. It did not win.

    And people wonder why the film festival is dead.

  4. Ken Hanke

    And people wonder why the film festival is dead.

    Are you kidding? That’s the kind of crap that wins Audience Awards at film festivals — and it might well have, come to think of it. The only year I can think of where the Audience Award wasn’t embarassing was the one with Year of the Fish.

  5. Are you kidding? That’s the kind of crap that wins Audience Awards at film festivals—and it might well have, come to think of it. The only year I can think of where the Audience Award wasn’t embarassing was the one with Year of the Fish.

    And people wonder why the film festival is dead.

  6. Ken Hanke

    And people wonder why the film festival is dead.

    On that basis, Sundance would be dead, too.

  7. Ken Hanke

    I’m not gonna win this, am I?

    Seriously, Marc, the AFF is dead because it was murdered.

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