December 4, 2010

#108: Grown Ups (4/10)

I was the perfect age to latch onto Adam Sandler in his heyday.  Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore were two of my favorite movies through my teen years.  I want to like everything he does, but I have to acknowledge that lately he has not impressed. I am probably outgrowing his style of comedy. Nonetheless I still love those "classics" and wonder why he hasn't been able to offer the same level of enjoyment he once did.  Going in my expectations were extremely low for Grown Ups. It seems like my expecatations are set low by default for any comedy that comes out these days.  Grown Ups was able to make me laugh more than I expected. Seeing how the point of a comedy is to make the audience laugh, I would have to say it was a slight success even though it was a horrible movie.  A few chuckles won't keep this mess from getting more than a 4 out of 10 on my totally arbitrary movie rating scale.

The appeal of Grown Ups is supposed to be the fact that it brings a bunch of "funny" guys together into one project. It was like the dream team of stupid comedy. How can you resist that?  However, the very thing that was intended to draw you to the theater turns out to be its greatest weakness.  It felt like they brought them all together with no plot in mind.  The intention was always just to start the cameras rolling and wait for the funny to happen.  It felt less like a hollywood movie, and more like a vacation video shot by a bunch of dip shits.  They probably sat down for 20 minutes and thought of some funny situations and concepts, then recorded themselves acting these disconnected scenes out over a weekend. I would have preferred if it were just Sandler with a "normal" cast for the other guys.

There is nothing memorable or inspiring about Grown Ups.  The forced sentimentality is extremely lame.  There is monologue at the end by Rob Schneider's old-lady wife that made me feel embarassed for the director that it actually made it into the final cut of the film.  The entire thing is shoddily made from beginning to end, but it will probably still make you smile a few times.

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