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Growns Up Growing Up
Nice enough story, watchable film
Some of the humour a bit annoying and too slapstick
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How does it compare to others by the same director?Good
Value for MoneyGood
What format are you reviewing?Film only
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Grown Ups is a Hollywood 2010 released comedy starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider and David Spade in the roles of 5 old school buddies reunited when their high school basketball coach died.
Lenny, Kurt, Eric, Rob and Marcus are reunited 30 years after winning a basketball game in school. Although they were close until they left full time education they seem to have gone their separate ways after that. Lenny is a successful film talent agent married to a gorgeous fashion designer and has 3 children, his older 2 seemingly quite spoilt. Kurt is a stay at home dad whose wife is expecting their third child and has his mother in law living with him belittling him at every opportunity she gets. Rob is on his 4th marriage, his latest wife being 30 years his senior and a hippie. Eric part owns a furniture company, seems to be doing well financially but is not happy about his 4 year old son still being breast-fed by his overly maternal wife. Marcus still hasnít settled down and is quite a womaniser. For the weekend of their high school coachís funeral Lenny has rented a large lake house for them all to stay at where they hung out in their childhood days and itís time for some bonding but things donít exactly go as they planned, not least because the assorted kids just want to hang around indoors playing computer games and texting on their phones.
I had not planned on watching
this film as even though I might have read some reviews about it, the cast didnít really appeal to me. Iíve not been impressed with Adam Sandler particularly in the past and generally find Chris Rock quite annoying. So it was with low expectations I sat down to watch this film.
So imagine my surprise when I found this to actually be quite an enjoyable buddy movie. I didnít find the humour that funny but it didnít detract from the overall plot for me. I thought the character of Lenny, played by Adam Sandler, was the best in the film. Heís a successful guy but hasnít forgotten his roots. He hates that his sons are obsessed with violent computer games and finds it really hard when theyíre at this beautiful lake house with its surrounding open spaces and lake that his boys donít want to play outdoors. He has a conversation with Kurt (played by Chris Rock) saying when they were kids they had to be dragged back inside as they just loved playing outside at all hours of the day. In one scene Lennyís sons ask what the box thing is on the back of the TV and he tells them itís the TV (a CRT) as theyíve only ever seen flat screen TVs. Lennyís embarrassed when his kids ask for designer mineral water at a local diner when they go out as a group for burgers and chips. Salma Hayek plays Lennyís wife Roxanne and her character changes from the start of the film when sheís all about her designer clothes, high heels and acting rather snobbish to being devastated when she accidentally tells her daughter something about the tooth fairy which really upset the little girl. Hayek did well in the role.
I quite liked Rockís character of Kurt too. I felt a bit sorry for him being a house husband and putting up with his overly-critical mother-in-law. He tries really hard to be creative and make different meals for the family to enjoy together by watching TV shows on cooking yet his wife manages to make the kids happier by bringing home pizza. Itís a role reversal thing and I didnít feel sympathy because he was a guy supposedly doing a ďwomanís jobĒ but because he just didnít seem to be treated very fairly by his wife or mother-in-law.
Thereís lot of ribbing of each other by the 5 friends all weekend mostly in good humour but Rob (played by Rob Schneider) seems to get the brunt of it being married to a hippie 30 years older than him. He seems the most chilled out of the group but when they push him too far he breaks down and tells them how disappointed he is with life with 3 failed marriages behind him. During the film his grown up daughters from previous marriages turn up much to the delight of the guys and the male children.
Of the 5 buddies I felt Kevin Jamesí character Eric made the least impact although his character was very amicable. His wife Sally (played by Maria Bellow) really makes an impact on all the guys when she popped out her boob to breast feed her 4 year old son in public. Everyone is quite stunned by this and it embarrasses Kevin no end especially when the child points at Lennyís wifeís boobs and asks if he can have milk from there. The look on Roxanneís face is priceless.
Marcus is played by David Spade and he was just there to make the others look like good husbands I think. Spade seemed to be playing exactly the same characters as he plays in the hit TV show Rules of Engagement.
Overall there are some really funny scenes in the film as well as some annoying funny scenes (which I didnít appreciate but others might love) but mostly the idea of old friends getting together after so many years and having issues, airing them and trying to get the kids interested in the outdoors was quite appealing and I just found it to be a very watchable film.
Grown Ups was quite a box office success although critics were not impressed by it. I understand there was a sequel to this film Grown Ups 2 released some 3 years later which was heavily panned by the critics and was a real flop.
I enjoyed the film and Iím happy to give Grown Ups a decent rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Growns up was directed by Dennis Dugan and produced by Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo. Sandler was also a co-writer of the story along with Fred Wolf. The cinematography was by Theo van de Sande and music by Rupert Gregson-Williams. The duration of the film is 105 minutes and it is certified 12 which seemed appropriate.