Grown Ups

(PG) Adam Sandler, John Schneider, Chris Rock, Kevin James

The problem with Adam Sandler movies is the humour is generally a little uncouth for the under 13 crowd. Here, Sandler has now managed to sell his questionable bodily function jokes to a PG rating. Problem is, I wouldn’t let my children near this film.

Grown Ups spins a somewhat clichéd story around a reunion of pals and their families following the death of their high school coach.

Mismatched buddy comedies are Sandler’s forte and one of the film’s strengths is the ensemble of actors. John Schneider, Chris Rock, Kevin James and Sandler have either been in other Happy Madison productions (Sandler’s producing company) or been in films with Sandler. All are alumni from the American comedy show Saturday Night Live.

It is the wives of these characters that don’t quite gel.

Both Salma Hayek (as Sandler’s wife) and Maria Bello (as James’) are slumming it in this movie — Bello more so than Hayek — with a somewhat distasteful running joke that is so cringe worthy it won’t be mentioned here.

There are also enough unsavoury jokes about octogenarians to fill a couple of gross-out comedies.

Sandler’s character Lenny is a Hollywood agent who just wants his kids to stop playing video games and texting the maid long enough to enjoy the lakeside retreat he has rented for the four families to get together and reminisce about their lives.

Sentimentality is laid on with a trowel (particularly in the film’s third act) and one wonders how this film got through censorship with some of the lewd humour on display.

There is a message here if you can find it about reaching your potential and enjoying what you have but maybe these are lessons better learned from the good book.

Adrian Drayton

 

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