|Despite itself, Grown Ups works as a star studded, silly comedy of the Adam Sandler variety.
While the Happy Madison production moniker may not inspire anticipated viewing, it is a case of third time’s the charm for the actor/director tandem of Adam Sandler and Dennis Dugan.
Granted that is not much of a compliment considering their past collaborations (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), yet the easy going chemistry between its varied leads does make for fun, albeit immature, entertainment.
Grown Ups revolves around the reunion of a championship winning basketball team 30 years after the life changing event. The death of their beloved coach is the catalyst for their get together, which blossoms into a weekend long vacation at a summer cabin during the 4th of July celebrations.
Several of Hollywood’s more popular comedic actors exhibit their usual screen character traits. Adam Sandler is all funny faces as a top Hollywood agent ashamed of his wealth; Kevin James delivers his happy big man physical comedy shtick as a furniture salesman; Rob Schneider does his weird gross out thing, and David Spade is, of course, a horny bachelor.
Only Chris Rock plays slightly against type as a frustrated house husband, mostly due the restrictions of its PG classification.
The film attempts to explore the complexities of modern day relationships, while mourning the loss of innocence in today’s technology obsessed youth. Yet try as it might, Grown Ups doesn’t have near as much depth as it would believe it has, and too much faux sentimentality akin to an episode of Full House.
What is does have are funny people delivering consistently funny puns. Unlike the star studded cliques found in Couple’s Retreat and Oceans Twelve, the combo of Sandler / James / Rock / Spade and Schneider deliver on the lowbrow promise of their assembly.
Yes, there is an over abundance on gross out comedy. And yes, the casual sexism found in many of Sandler’s films does appear from time to time, with a high cleavage to laughs ratio.
But with everyone contributing in their own unique way, Grown Ups delivers as the time killing immature comedy it promoted itself to be.