Directed by Dennis Dugan
Written by Adam Sandler & Fred Wolf
Grown Ups is a film that I only watched because I was with my family at Thanksgiving and we were going to watch it as a family. The previews made it look like a slapstick comedy with the cast of Saturday Night Live from the 80s that wouldn’t work. I figured it out all from the preview. The cast includes such funnymen as Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, Chris Rock and Rob Schneider. They all play the stereotyped characters you would expect them to play. The plot is so simple and dumbed down, it is like something you have seen a million times. As kids, they won a basketball championship with the leadership of an inspirational coach. They grow old, and they grow apart. They have different jobs, live in different states, and have varying interests and socio-economic statuses.
So when the famous Coach Buzzer dies, they reconvene for a weekend of remembrance and bonding. What ensues is not inspirational, insightful, or even funny. There are some funny jokes, some funny moments, but they are few and far between. What this film seems like is a long, casual conversation between these actors; not even their characters, but the actors that actually portray them. They each have families that have little to do with the proceedings and in the end the filmmakers try to throw heart at the film based on this, but it doesn’t stick.
I don’t know why these guys can’t do something funny. Adam Sandler is a talented actor when he wants to be (Punch Drunk Love, Click, Funny People) and Kevin James was extremely funny on The King of Queens. With a collection of actors like this, you would have thought that they would have been attracted to better material. And sadly, none of their talents can overcome the material. I have not lost hope for these funnymen, but my confidence in them is waning. Exhibit A: Grown Ups.