Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

August 13, 2010

Men behaving badly

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 9:10 pm

August 13, 2010

Cast: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph

Director: Dennis Dugan

The new Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups is an unlikely cocktail of gross frat-boy humor and sweet sentimentality, and surprisingly it works.

Five guys in their early 40s reunite after many years at a lakeside cabin for the funeral of their beloved basketball coach, who led them to victory when they were 12. Sandler stars as a Hollywood agent with a snotty fashion-designer wife (played by Salma Hayek) and three bratty kids. Kevin James is an out-of-work loser whose wife still breast-feeds their 4-year-old son. Chris Rock is a stay-at-home dad whose pregnant wife and her overbearing mother make his life a living hell. Rob Schneider is a New Age sensitive man, married to a woman old enough to be his mom. And David Spade is a horny, alcoholic singleton leading a life of sweet excess.

Grown Ups doesn’t venture too far from Sandler’s standard formula: the film is filled with pee, poop and puke jokes. There’s also running gag about an old black grandma who farts but pretends she doesn’t know who did it, and another one about the 4-year-old kid addicted to breast milk.

To be fair, the movie isn’t ashamed of its sappy side either, and puts it all out there bravely. So whether it’s Sandler throwing away an important basketball match so the other side can emerge heroes for their kids, or Sandler’s diva wife sacrificing an important previous commitment because she realizes her family needs to stay back…this film has heart, and it’s not afraid to show it.

Comedies ought to be tighter, but Grown Ups seems to go on and on and on. What keeps you laughing till the end is the genuine camaraderie between the men, and the tone of their interactions and ribbing which sounds like buddies hanging out, not actors in a movie. Watch how they work out a strategy that allows them to enjoy staring at a sexy new houseguest without ever getting caught, or their child-like enthusiasm at hitting the water park with their kids.

Grown Ups isn’t a particularly smart movie, but it’s the hardest I’ve laughed in a cinema in a long, long time. I’m going with three out of five for Grown Ups. If you’re not turned off by dirty jokes, this film is pretty good fun.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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