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Grown Ups

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In 1978, five childhood friends won their junior high basketball championship. During the celebration, their coach “Buzzer” (Blake Clark) encourages them to live their lives in a similar way to how they played the game. Thirty years later, the five friends have since separated. Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is a high powered Hollywood talent agent who is married to Roxanne (Salma Hayek), a fashion designer. Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) is now a co-owner of a lawn furniture company who is married to Sally (Maria Bello). Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a stay at home father who is married to Deanne (Maya Rudolph), the primary breadwinner of the family. All of them harass Kurt for not being more useful. Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) is a thrice divorced pacifist vegan married to Gloria (Joyce Van Patten, real life wife of Dennis Dugan), who is 30 years older than him. Marcus Higgins (David Spade) is a lazy womanizer.

When they learn that their coach has died, they all return to New England with their families for the private funeral. Lenny rents the lake house for the 4th of July weekend for his friends to stay at, but Lenny can’t stay for the whole weekend because Roxanne has a fashion show in Milan. While at the lake house, Lenny is annoyed that their kids would rather play video games than spend time outdoors, so he and the others force their kids to spend more time outside while at the house, and when they let Eric try the rope swing he’s too afraid to jump off and injures a bird in the process. At a local restaurant, Lenny runs into his old nemesis Dickie Bailey (Colin Quinn). Dickie is still upset at Lenny because he allegedly had his foot out of bounds when he made the long-ago game winning shot and challenges him and his friends to a rematch, but Lenny declines, declaring it a waste of time. During dinner, the group discusses spreading the coach’s ashes in the morning, but Lenny says he can’t be there because of Roxanne’s fashion show. Roxanne angrily storms off because Lenny painted her negatively. She allows him to spread the ashes, but demands they leave early the following morning.

The next morning, the five guys row out to an island to spread Buzzer’s ashes. Rob breaks down and tells the guys that he screwed up his previous marriages and that he’s nervous about meeting his daughters who are coming. They finally meet Rob’s daughters, Jasmine and Amber, who seem too gorgeous to be Rob’s, and Bridget, who very closely resembles him. That evening, when Roxanne is packing, Becky’s tooth falls out, but Roxanne is too busy to notice and she tells her that she’ll put a dollar under her pillow later. When Becky asks why she would do it instead of the Tooth Fairy, Roxanne tells Lenny that she’s worried that she ruined Becky’s childhood. When Lenny hears his kids supposedly talking on their cellphones, he comes into their bedroom to find them actually talking on “cup phones” with the other kids. Happy that the kids are starting to have the same kind of fun he did at their age, he asks everyone to install cup phones around the house. Roxanne then tells Becky through the cup phone the truth about the Tooth Fairy.

In the morning while packing the car, Roxanne sees all the kids having fun down by the lake and decides that they can’t leave the lake house. Happy with his wife’s new attitude, Lenny decides they should head to a waterpark for a day. Back out the house, Deanne becomes suspicious of Kurt when she sees him spending time with Rita, Lenny’s nanny. That evening, the adults spend time together drinking and dancing, while reminiscing about their pasts. Roxanne then confronts Lenny about the fact that he canceled their Milan plane reservations before the funeral behind her back. Lenny claims that he felt their time at the lake house was necessary because their kids were becoming too spoiled. Deanne confronts Kurt about supposedly flirting with Rita. Kurt assures her that he wasn’t flirting with her, but he enjoyed having an actual conversation with her because he doesn’t feel like he gets that with Deanne. Deanne offers to take him out on more dates. Eric then admits to the group that he isn’t co-owner of a lawn furniture company and that he was laid off two months ago. He just didn’t want everyone to think of him as a failure. Lenny resolves to offer Eric an investment opportunity. Gloria then tells everyone that despite their recent hostility, she senses love between everyone.

In the film’s climax, the group then head off to a 4th of July barbecue, where they are once again challenged by Dickie and his friends to a rematch of the basketball game. Rob suggests that their coach would want them to take the challenge and despite everyone’s being out of shape and Rob’s injury, they agree to a game. The game is close, but most of the players get too tired to continue, leaving only Lenny and Dickie on the court. They bring out their sons to continue playing. When Lenny has the chance to make the game winning shot, he deliberately misses and allows Dickie to win, giving him a sense of victory. Lenny and the others take the loss in stride. The movie ends with Marcus drunk and purposely starts a game with arrow roulette and everyone runs in fear

REVIEW:

 In the early 90s, Saturday Night Live was still funny. A big part of that was cast members Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider. These guys have all gone on to movie careers, Sandler the most successful. So, someone decided to put these guys back together and that is how we have Grown Ups.

The thing that is the most impressive about this film is that is seems like the cast is actually having fun. It was like they just showed up and just improved it. With such talented comedians as these, that was no big deal. It was quite refreshing to see that.

With a cast like this, do you honestly think this would be anything other than hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing.

This was not a perfect film, though. A couple of things got under my skin. I don’t necessarily know if it was the film or just a sign of the times, but the way that Adam Sandler’s kids just seemed to be so spoiled. So much so, that they had a cow when the saw a TV that wasn’t a flat screen, there was a scene at the beginning where they threw their hot chocolate back because it didn’t contain Godiva, and don’t get me started on how they wouldn’t drink water that wasn’t Voss or didn’t know what to do outside. Ugh!

I’ve mentioned this cast is a bunch of SNL alumni. However, though it seems like these guys are just out there having fun, I do have to wonder about Kevin James, though. The guy was great here, but you can’t tell me he was anything more than a stand-in/replacement for the late Chris Farley.

The supporting actresses (wives) in the film are not only great in their roles, but they are ungodly hot! One has to sit there and question how these guys can end up with Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, and Maya Rudolph. WTF?!?

Adding to the hotness are Rob Schneider’s daughters. Leggy blonde Madison Riley, uber hottie Jamie Chung, and Schneider look-a-like Ashley Loren don’t really have much to do other than look pretty (Riley and Chung…not Loren) and be teases for the perverted old guys.

Critics seemed to hate this film, and I’m not really sure why. How often is it that we see a film where the cast actually looks like they’re having fun and not there just to collect a paycheck. On top of that, this is a comedy that has one serious moment, but doesn’t do like many comedies these days do, and that is drift into drama and never come back. Grown Ups is just a great film that everyone who had a close group of friends when they were growing up should see.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars