08 October 2010

Grown Ups

Grown Ups

Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Maria Bellow, Maya Rudolph, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi. Written by Adam Sandler & Fred Wolf, directed by Dennis Dugan. Release: 25 June 2010, Columbia Pictures, 102 mins., Rated R

Plot: A death reunites old high school friends (and family) to a cabin in the woods, providing them a reason to have some fun and rekindling their 'ol immature selves.

Entering a movie with the lowest of expectations can often be a good thing, as is the case of GROWN UPS. Here's a comedy that I was absolutely dreading, firmly believing that not a ounce of funny was going to come out of it. And here there I was at the nearby movie theater, laughing surprisingly often. Of course I'm not going to write down that GROWN UPS is a must-see comedy and the a true great of the 2010 summer season, but with not much else to see or do this year, you could definitely do a lot worse than this.

That above list with all those 'starring' actors? Well, I'm not too grand of a fan of plenty of them. Chris Rock is a hit 'n miss type actor, where he makes some really good productions and chums out plenty of awful ones. Luckily, this is one of his good roles. Sad part: his character isn't given the appropriate time to really be anything other than another actor on the payroll. Sandler is a cool guy, but he desperately needs to think over his movie choices much more carefully. His character in GROWN UPS is possibly the one with the most problems, being rather bland, not having a arsenal of moderately funny jokes, and boasting the lamest subplot involving his 'nanny'. David Spade has been funny in only two instances: as the voice of the emperor in THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE and starring in that TV sitcom JUST SHOOT ME. Otherwise, deadly obnoxious. Turns out Spade ain't bad here, either. Kevin James, I don't have anything against the guy other than PAUL BLART, but that's just because it was a annoying movie no matter which way you shake the dice. Rob Schneider, though - not often I have a strong dislike for a actor, but he most definitely fits the bill. The humorous part is that it's Schneider's messed up character that elicits the most laughs.

Actually, scratch the last. The best actor in GROWN UPS by far - with the exception of the two bikini girls who just happen to be Schneider's 'daughters' - Steve Buscemi. I would recommend GROWN UPS for the sole purpose of one being able to experience the hilarity that is Buscemi in this role, especially on the basketball court near the films end. Frakkin' hilarious.

In review: Schenider and Buscemi conjure the best laughs. I wager there would be more, but despite the 102 minute running time, there feels like a lot of scenes were left on the cutting room floor. Things move to quick, conflicts are introduced in a rather forced manner, but are nicely resolved in the end. The weird thing is, either I wasn't paying too much attention, but when the whole 'moment of growth' speech happened, I was taken aback because I didn't even know that was a problem in the film. The whole tagging on grown up problems for our characters wasn't really necessary, the movie would have worked just fine if the set-up was just a bunch of guys enjoying a relaxing weekend off after the death of a high school role model. Simple, effective, and plenty of room for laughs.

Not the best comedy of the year, but more likely than not it satisfies ones movie desire.

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