Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grown Ups

I have decided to write reviews for the press screenings I see even if I'm not writing them for another website. So there will be more unique reviews just for this blog. (Speaking of my book reviews will dramatically resume in a few weeks) For now enjoy the hyperbole of this one...

I have struggled to think of a movie I hate more than Grown Ups. I am not one who seeks out bad movies for some sort of masochist pleasure. I like to think I am a civil human being but mankind does tend to reaction when provoked. This is my reaction.

FRAK YOU MOVIE. This is a disgrace to the entire genre of comedy. It used to be that comedy was used as a game of wits. How can we devise a situation to make the audience laugh? Every single line of dialog from this “movie” feels like a placeholder joke. “We’ll think of a better one later.” SPOILER: They don’t.

So 30 years ago these five idiots were on a basketball team in school. Remarkably there were only five members to this team. Hope they didn’t have to sub out. They won the championship, which I find to be remarkable considering during the brief flashback two of them are checking out girls in the stands and one doesn’t know how to dribble. Also one of them seems to only know how to make a basket from one spot. Blah blah blah. They somehow win and declare this moment as one of the best times of their entire life. (Again, two were not interested in paying attention to the game during the final minute.)

In present day their coach dies. So these five (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider) all decide to attend the funeral. Why was that coach so important? Because they kept saying he was over and over and over again. They ultimately pay him a load of respect by joking around during the funeral. What likable characters!

These nimwads then decide to spend the weekend at the lake with their families. At the lake they fall down a lot, make fun of a dog with cut vocal cords, over-sexualize Schneider’s daughters, and decide to be incredibly unfunny. There is truly not one “wisecrack” that worked on me.

How do these wisecracks work you ask? Well let’s take Rob Schneider’s wife. She’s old. So the other four take turns saying one-liners that even Jay Leno would pass on. Everything feels painfully scripted and—worst of all—NOT FUNNY. There is a way to make these extended riff sessions work. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has done it for several seasons now. That group actually knows how to think of clever insults and create an atmosphere that makes it fun to be around these people.

Oh then the movie actually tries to pretend to have a point. I think they did that to further infuriate me. The horrible fathers want their children to realize the value of playing outside and making their own sorts of fun. I mean why wouldn’t you want to crash into a wall after not understand a rope swing, get hit with rocks, and launch an arrow into the air only to painfully hurt someone? Laughing yet? I kid you not: there is supposed to be a dramatic scene on a dock where they all come clean about STUPID and unearned moments.

Every single aspect of this film is insanely lazy and what makes it worse is that this cost around 70 million dollars to make. What was that spent on? Clearly not the CGI budget because that looked horrendous when we see Steve Buscemi fly down a zipline. (Don’t worry; he gets hurt at the end.)

To say this movie panders to the lowest common denominator is misleading because that implies this movie has enough worth to even make up a metaphorical fraction. As you ponder what could be less than a fraction, take pleasure in knowing that you are putting more thought towards this movie than every single person involved.

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