Grown Ups (2010)

Grown Ups

Director: Dennis Dugan

Writers: Adam Sandler, Fred Wolf

Cast: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Tim Meadows, Steve Buscemi, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Joyce Van Patten, Ebony Jo-Ann, Di Quon, Colin Quinn, Madison Riley

Synopsis: After their high school basketball coach passes away, five good friends and former teammates reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude material including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity.

The Expendables of Comedy are here.

Like Stallone's "Expendable" franchise, "Grown Ups" also features an all star cast of actors. However, this isn't an all star cast of action heroes. No, this is an all star comedic cast. Granted, this wouldn't the first time that we've seen an all comedic roster like this for a film, but it's one of the funnier ones in recent years.

Before I get started with this review, I should warn readers that if you've never been a huge fan of any Adam Sandler film, then chances are nothing about "Grown Ups" is going to change your mind about it. It's just a silly comedic movie starring Sandler, with cheap jokes and laughs along the way. Therefore, if you're expecting a well written comedy full of depth and surprises, then you won't find it here.

However, if you're already a huge fan of his comedies, then you'll probably end up liking this film as well. Besides, any true Sandler fan knows that you don't see most of his comedies for their great epic stories, or Oscar worthy performances. No, most people see his movies just to laugh, and have a good time. Sure, there's a few exceptions like "Punch Drunk Love" and etc, but most of his films are just straight up camp material designed purely to entertain audiences. Nothing more or less. To expect anything more than that is just silly.

Therefore, if you're just looking for a cheesy comedy to get a few cheap laughs here and there, then look no further than "Grown Ups", as it definitely punches that ticket well.

As I mentioned before, the film features an all star cast consisting of Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Kevin James, Penelope Cruz and others. The story focuses on a group of childhood friends that reunite years later upon finding out their old high school basketball coach died.

Each reminisce about their former glory days in school, and each one tells a little white lie to impress the other. Oh boy, we have another liar revealed plot device on our hands here folks. Be very afraid. For those wondering what the whole "liar revealed" plot device is, it's a common subplot that some movies and tv shows use way too often. It often involves the main character(s) telling little white lies here and there out of some sort of convenience for themselves. Eventually, it starts to catch up to them, to where they finally reveal the truth. Once that happens, there's a lot of drama and tension, but everything always works out in the end. Well, lets just say the exact same thing happens here in this film.

Everyone tells white lies about themselves to impress their friends. However, s*** hits the fan that forces them all to deal with the truth, and everyone is happy as hell by the end. Classic "liar revealed" arc 101. However, as I mentioned before if you're watching a Sandler comedy for it's cleverly written story, then you've come to the wrong place.

From the trailers, it sells itself as a stupid comedy, and that's exactly what you get with "Grown Ups." Does that make it a bad movie by any means? Not exactly. If anything, it's still a fairly entertaining movie for what it is. It's funny, and I'd be lying to all my readers if I said I didn't have fun watching this.

Would I dare say it's a great memorable comedy that'll probably be remembered up there with such greats like "Trading Places" and etc? Certainly not, as that would be an insult to other great films. However, for what "Grown Ups" happens to be, it's really not a bad movie at all. Granted, it's unbelievably flawed, but it's still very funny.

The comedy aspects of the film range from childish to sometimes borderline juvenile. Again, you can't expect sophisticated style humor from a Sandler film, as most of his comedies rely on low brow comedy aspects. Not to mention the plot (if you can call it that) serves really no other purpose than just to serve as some sort of elaborate excuse to see some of our favorite comedians together.

In fact, most of the scenes in this film there's not a lot going on, and most of them don't even go anywhere. No, as I mentioned earlier, the plot is nothing more than an elaborate excuse to see our favorite comedians hang out.

However, that's not to say that there isn't anything redeeming about the story. In spite of the plot's shortcomings, it still manages to convey a strong message about friendship, and how sometimes there's more important things in life than glory and success. And in the end, isn't that a great lesson worth learning?

Overall, it's hard to really hate on a film that was never meant to be taken seriously, but on the other hand, I can't overlook all it's flaws either. Therefore, I'd have to give "Grown Ups" a three out of four. It's not a great comedy by any means, but if you're just looking for something to pass the time, then I'd highly recommend it.


© 2013 Steven Escareno

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