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Grown Ups (2010)

A movie directed by Dennis Dugan starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Chris Rock

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I'm a Big Kid Now

  • Jun 25, 2010
Rating:
+2
Somewhere within "Grown Ups" is a film that can be taken seriously. There are good themes at work: Friendship, family, generation gaps, the ups and downs of marriage, whether or not aging is the same as maturing. The problem is, none of it shines through the murk of its incessant low grade comedy; rather than make us laugh with genuinely funny material, writers Adam Sandler and Fred Wolf rely on juvenile jokes that put all emphasis on unrealistic personality quirks. It's all character and no development. They also go for unpleasant sight gags, including bodily harm, unwanted brief nudity, urinating in the pool, and worst of all, several awkward and disgusting references to breast milk. Forget about the characters - the filmmakers are the ones that need to grow up.

The premise centers on five friends, who as kids back in 1978 were part of their school's Basketball team. Thirty years later, we find each of them living completely different lives. Lenny Feder (Sandler) is a successful Hollywood agent. Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) claims he's the head of a lawn furniture company. Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a stay-at-home dad. Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) is a holistic typecast who seemingly always preferred older women. The only one of the group to have escaped marriage and family is Marcus Higgins (David Spade), an overage sexaholic party animal. Upon the death of the coach who led them to victory, they return to their New England hometown with their families and spend the Fourth of July holiday at a lakeside summer house; here, the five friends will reminisce, fight, rediscover, reveal, and, according to the film's title, grow.

For Lenny, it's a personal mission to get his family to see what real life is like. His wife, Roxanne (Salma Hayek Pinault), is a workaholic fashion designer with an impending show in Milan. His two adolescent sons are spoiled, addicted to texting and violent video games, always waited on hand and foot, preferring imported bottled water, accustomed to five-star accommodations at hotels, and apparently unaware that television sets existed before the days of flat screens. They bring along their nanny, a tiresome Asian stereotype (Di Quon), although Lenny desperately tries to convince his friends that she a foreign exchange student and not hired help. Something could have been made of this had it not been overshadowed by shallow, obvious humor; his kids are ridiculous Hollywood caricatures with no traces of believability, and his wife is stylistically out of place, not at all helped by the fact that Salma Hayek was wrong for the role.

Other bizarre personalities emerge. Eric's wife, Sally (Maria Bello), still breastfeeds their four-year-old son, and as it so happens, the kid constantly craves milk. Kurt's pregnant wife, Deanne (Maya Rudolph), always takes him for granted and can never say anything nice about his cooking; the same goes for her mother (Ebony Jo-Ann), who's always butting in and has terrible bunions. Rob's wife, Gloria (Joyce Van Patten), is in her mid seventies, while his three daughters - two of them smoking hot bimbos, one a dorky misfit - spend as much time as they can being the source of many appearance-related jokes. Rob is the film's worst character, fleshed out solely by exaggerated holistic traits and general social and physical oddness; one wonders how he could ever be friends with the other four, or rather, how they could ever be friends with him.

The film's climax involves a Basketball rematch between the five friends and their former rivals, led by Colin Quinn, who always believed the game from thirty years ago was unfairly won. While there is a moral to this scene, it doesn't resonate, and that's because it's masked by the film's immature tone. It's also delivered far too late in the story, at which point we no longer care about the characters or their circumstances. I'm well aware that humor can often times be found in very serious situations, but that's not what's going on here; it's a sophomoric and silly buddy film through and through. The more reserved and mature themes near the end seem like afterthoughts, as if Sandler and Wolf decided at the last minute to decided to tack them on. That way, their screenplay could actually be about something.

To me, this isn't a question of whether or not you're an Adam Sandler fan. I say this because every review I've read seems to think this somehow matters: "If you're an Adam Sandler fan, you're going to like this movie." How about if you're a fan of comedy? I think that's the real criteria, here. I very much consider myself a fan. The thing is, even comedies should have standards, and in the case of "Grown Ups," they're in short supply. It has no ambition other than to be goofy and gross. It generates laughs not by respecting the intelligence of the audience, but simply by appealing to the lowest common denominator. On a more positive note, I will give David Spade credit for being the only actor I know of to successfully say "grody," a word that hasn't been popular for quite some time.

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More Grown Ups (2010 movie) reviews
review by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Life Is Not about Winning or Losing but How You Play the Game.
I am a recent "convert" of Adam Sandler and Kevin James' humor. Originally, I couldn't stand their slapstick comedic takes, many of which I felt were stupid or insulting to women. After watching a few seasons of King of Queens, I warmed up to Kevin James. Adam Sandler was a little more difficult to like because many of his films were practically the same plot structures, which becomes boring and predictable. The movie that first caught my attention was 50 First Dates. To this …
review by . January 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Inappropriate humor ? Yes did you expect anything less?
Grown Ups I remember the first time I saw the trailer for this movie; it had me on the floor hyperventilating, why? Well because this film has bunch of the funniest comedy actors all together that’s why. David Spade, Kevin James, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock andRob Schneider, Hell as a kid I basically grew up on these guys movies. (Yes and Disney’s to) So this movie was defiantly a first day watch for me.       Grown ups is about five friends who after thirty years …
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
KEVIN JAMES, STEVE BUSCEMI, DAVID SPADE, CHRIS ROCK, ROB SCHNEIDER, ADAM SANDLER, AND ONE OF THE HOT
      GROWN UPS   I am a huge Kevin James fan and have not missed one of his films at the theaters, so of course I had to go see this film. Add in that I am a huge David Spade, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, and Rob Schneider fan and I just can’t have a bad time at this movie. Now I will say from the get go this film is not for everybody and I have noticed that some people just don’t get this film. This film is basically what the title says, growing up, and well …
review by . October 29, 2010
isn't half bad as far as these movies go, and I like its emphasis on family. However, the humor in Grown Ups is just really odd and random at times. Not infrequently, there will be something that's supposed to be funny, but just isn't (like an old black grandmother farting). The biggest problem with the movie though is that it seems rushed. It was heading towards an interesting confrontation, but all of the tension is resolved within a few minutes and a group conversation. It's almost like the director …
Quick Tip by . September 18, 2010
It takes a little time for the film to find its footing, but by the end I was giggling so hard I had tears pouring down my cheeks. The overall message of the film was good as well -- family and friends are what brings joy in life, while money and things are fleeting.
review by . June 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There's all sorts of comedies out there. There's the high-brow satirical ones, the low, bawdy comedies (a friend of mine once asked, "Are pornographic BBS's baudy?" None of you under 20 will get that), the surreal comedies, the slapstick and the romantic. A good comedy film (or book, or TV show), can be any of these categories. Some of the best cross through many of them. But all these comedies have one thing in common: they must be funny. A good comedy can offend. It can shock. It can rock your …
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Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #5
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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Wiki

Adam Sandler and his frequent costars (Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider) grope blindly for maturity in the genial comedyGrown Ups. Five childhood pals are drawn back together after the death of their former basketball coach; over the course of a Fourth of July weekend, they--along with their wildly attractive wives (played by Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph) and precocious children--loosen up, try to introduce their kids to the simple pleasures of nature, air some dirty laundry, and rediscover their friendship. In other words, it's a fairly formulaic comedy that veers awkwardly from gags (ranging from slapstick to mean-spiritedness) to sentiment (ranging from sappy to not entirely sappy). Its appeal will depend entirely on your feelings about Sandler and the rest of the gang--if you like this bunch of lugs (in all their prolonged adolescent glory), then you'll like this movie. If you don't, you won't. Everyone's in relaxed but good form; affable is more the comic goal than razor sharp. Expect gags about being fat, being old, prolonged breast-feeding, ogling hot chicks, flatulence, etc. There's some role reversal: it's the women, particularly Hayek as a type-A fashion designer, who need to learn the eternal cinematic lesson that family is more important than work. Featuring guest appearances from Tim Meadows, Colin Quinn, and Steve Buscemi.--Bret Fetzer

Poster art for "Grown Ups."
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Tags

Movies, Comedy Movies, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, David Spade

Details

Director: Dennis Dugan
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 25 June 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Adam Sandler
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
Runtime: 102 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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"I'm a Big Kid Now"
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