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Grown Ups is a cliche filled storyless fiasco a lot of people will love

I could use the Adam Sandler template to do this week’s review of Grown Ups without a lot of difficulty. No one’s going to get a brain cramp trying to follow the plot line.
Our story so far.
Five kids were on a basketball team that won the championship when they were knee high to a rabbit hound. This was the watershed moment for their coach, who challenged them to live each moment like that game, and leave nothing on the court of life when that final buzzer rings. I Just threw up in my mouth writing that. OK not really, but please, can we get any hoakier?
So now it’s years later and the coach dies so the friends reunite for his funeral.
As luck and the thinly-scripted screenplay would have it, the summer house is available and so is the team they defeated on this particular weekend.
How lucky are we.
I admire Sandler’s complete and total disregard for form. It really is about a bunch of dudes sitting around and talking about stuff. These are very funny people. The cast is stellar. David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, and of course, Mr. Sandler. There’s also Selma Hayek and Maria Bello for good measure. There are all these plot points that just hang around and do nothing. Character development that goes nowhere and there’s almost this arrogance about it. Rock, in his standup, does a bit about people from his neighbourhood being proud of not knowing. It’s that kind of thing.
I swear Sandler calls up some guys and says let’s make a movie about a basketball team and everyone shows up, grabs a beer and a chair and then they go to the cast party.
There are some funny moments. The guys all peeing in the pool. The reaction shot from the daughter as she realizes the guys have all peed in the pool.
The guy falling in dog doody. Twice. The reaction shot from the people watching him fall in dog doody.
There is one laugh-out-loud moment when Kevin James’ 4-year-old son nurses off his mom. It’s so wrong it’s funny and then James’ reaction to it is worth the tax on the price of admission.
There are all these Grade 11 story points. Sandler is a good dad and a good husband and a good friend and a good human being and his wife is hot and a fashion designer and they may have to leave to go to Milan for her lines debut but wait she’s going to realize that hillbilly culture is much more important than a bunch of starving heroin chic models wearing her clothes. And of course the billions of dollars in orders. No she forgot how to skip a rock so let’s go old school on the weekend.
Here’s the thing.
People love this movie.
I know because I asked.
I even framed the shot. I asked with that sort of negative Ya so how’s the movie and I rolled my eyes. “Loved it” was the usual answer.
I sought out people who seemed to not have dated a relative in their recent history. They loved it too.
I even found this one guy who looked like he should be wearing an “I’d rather be playing robot chess” T-shirt and he said it was great.
So fine. It was great.
Disturbing at times. There’s a scene where Rob Schneider nearly mounts his 75-year-old movie wife, played with geriatric deft by Joyce Van Patten. Ya, that Joyce Van Patten. I guess Shelley Winters wasn’t available. I mean nothing personal but even Dick Van Patten isn’t going Last Tango with Joyce these days. Still she was pretty hot in The Philco Goodyear Television Playhouse when she starred in it, back in 1948. My guess is Schneider did something to really tick Sandler off.
I don’t get it but oh well I guess I don’t have to. There’s too many people and not enough story and nobody cares but me.
Grown Ups is a cliche filled storyless fiasco that a lot of people will see and love and should make for a great rental when it comes out in three weeks on DVD.
I own a drive in.
I own a DVD store.
I Love this movie.
My soul is for sale on ebay and believe me it’s cheap.
Grown Ups. At least it isn’t too long.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Paul Peterson

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  1. Sheila Pringle says:

    I love Adam Sandler and I love stupid movies. But, this one was just waaaaay too cliche for me. Saw it at the Drive In Friday night. Should have watched Karate Kid on screen 2. Saskatchatoon… really? The kids loved it. I thought it was lame. Sandler has let me down.

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