Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Salma Hayek
Director: Dennis Dugan
Running Time: 102 mins
Grown Ups is an American film about a five adult friends who reunite for a weekend by the lake, and get into all sorts of trouble and mayhem.
Well, it’s a tired cliché now. Adam Sandler stars in a movie with a few of his buddies, and it’s just not funny. Although this isn’t the most atrocious film we’ve ever see Sandler do, it’s a lazily-written, dull and often hugely irritating movie.
I would say that the major issue with this film is that it’s actually really boring. Sure, it may not be as ear-piercingly painful as some of the worst Adam Sandler movies, but a dull, uneventful movie isn’t much better. For starters, the film takes about twenty minutes to even get going, which, in a comedy movie, really shouldn’t be the case.
In that opening period, we’re greeted with one scene that quickly sets up the main characters and their history together, and then we get a really weird funeral scene (where the tone is painfully confused between jokey and calm) where they set that up again and again and again and again, but with progressively worse and more boring jokes.
By the way, I have to mention that the actors actually laugh on screen after each joke. It’s one of the most annoying and pathetic things I’ve ever seen, and is effectively the equivalent of a sitcom putting canned laughter in. Grrr.
Then, moving into the bulk of the movie, it’s all just really underwhelming. The biggest problem throughout is that the comedy is just so lazy. There are moments of fun in this film, and a few scenes that do actually work as they’re written to, but every single time this movie does something right, it completely ruins it with somebody getting hit in the privates with something or other, falling in poo, or anything else that we normally find in the Sandler comedy locker.
Now, normally, the major issue with Adam Sandler movies is that they’re irritatingly juvenile. That is true to some extent with Grown Ups, but not as much as you would expect, because it’s mainly just dull.
The leads, Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek and Kevin James, aren’t all that bad. They’re pretty dull to watch, and not very funny, but at least they’re not being that annoying. Meanwhile, you can watch this movie without even thinking about Rob Schneider’s presence, and it makes no difference, and Chris Rock is barely in it.
The most irritating person in the film by a country mile is David Spade. He’s not only immature, but he’s just so unfunny with the type of jokes he pulls. I realise that’s in part down to the writing, but Spade’s acting is still pretty atrocious, and it was a really frustrating thorn in the middle of an otherwise just dull movie that would have been less painful without him.
Finally, I have to give this movie a little bit of credit for one thing that it did do okay. There is one five-minute or so segment, where they’re all at a water park, and it’s actually quite fun. All the characters are having a good time together, their friendship is at its highest, and some of the jokes are even quite funny.
Of course, it all goes back down the toilet after that, but I can’t say this film is a total wreck, because there are moments, particularly that one, that work.
Overall, however, Grown Ups really isn’t a good film. It’s poorly-written, unfunny, occasionally really annoying, and that’s why I’ll give it a 5.0.