Saturday, June 26, 2010

Movie Review: Grown Ups

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It was another tough decision at the theater this week, Adam Sandler or Tom Cruise. I thought heavily of checking out the art cinema but timing didn't work out. So I choose Adam Sandler in Grown Ups and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, it had it's problems but it was better than I thought. BUT before I could get to the comedy gold (tongue planted firmly in cheek) of Sandler, I had to get through the previews. I'm really starting to loathe them. First there were five shown before the movie. I can deal with that, not a big deal. Two of the movies are "coming in 3D and in 2D at select theaters." Argh! That's starting to get annoying! Then there was this trailer, I won't plug the movie, but it stars Will Farrell. Why must I be tortured with Will Farrell? It was more of a Talladega Nights:

The Ballad of Ricky Bobby than Stranger than Fiction type of movie. By the looks of the preview, I think that he'll be up for a Razzie.

Will Farrell aside, Grown Ups was your standard Adam Sandler movie with some of the language and potty humor. Rob Schnieder showed up in this movie as usual but instead of the cameo type appearances he was one of the leads in this film along with Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade who play five life long friends. They've gathered back in New England after 30 years to attend the funeral of their beloved basketball coach, Coach Buzzer (Blake Clark) who lead the team to a championship when the boys were 12. As a reward they had a party at a gorgeous lake front house.

As the town gathers at the church for Coach's funeral the five are reunited Lenny, Rob, Eric, Marcus and Rob (Sandler, Schneider, James, Spade and Rock) along with their families. As they see each other the insults and one upmanships start flowing. Even during the service they take bets as to what one of the guys would do. It's like the five of them never separated and continued their friendship right where they left off many years ago. Lenny, a successful Hollywood agent, decides to rent the lake front property and have all the families, all 17 people: wives, children, pets, nannies and mother-in-laws stay under one roof for the Fourth of July weekend.

Each family has their own issues. Lenny has his successful clothes designer wife Roxanne (Selma Hayek Pinault) who needs to get to Milan for a fashion show and two very spoiled children. Eric has unique family issues with his wife Sally (Maria Bello) who can't seem to break their four year old son from breast feeding. Kurt is a stay at home dad with a successful bread winning pregnant wife (Maya Rudolph). Rob is a new age type of guy on his fourth marriage with kids from previous marriages and a new, rather unconventional wife. Pulling up the rear is Marcus, the single guy on the prowl for anything that moves, kinda like the same character he played on Rules of Engagement.

There are some funny scenes, there are some gross out scenes, there are some things that should NEVER be tried at home. They apparently tried, like the Wadsworth poem "I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I know not where." and make a game out of it. Kids, if you see this movie don't EVER try what they do with a bow and arrow. Something really BAD could happen. Actually, I shouldn't limit that just to kids....adults, this applies to you too! The movie has a PG-13 rating due to crude material including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity, you know typical stuff for a Sandler movie.

Some of the editing was choppy. With some great comedic people together I'm sure they did some improvisation that the director Dennis Dugan (Don't mess with the Zohan and The Benchwarmers) had to try to stitch together in the editing bay. Some of the incidents and conclusions were just too contrived and easily resolved, but ultimately the story was about friendship and family and that part of the movie was enjoyable in the 102 minute running time.

The Movie Monkey

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