Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Movie Night: Grown Ups (2010)

Grown Ups was one those movies I didn't understand how it got a second movie to follow it. After watching it I understand even less. It definitely isn't any of these guys funnier movies. It does provide some laughs, but somewhere about halfway in the movie seems to lose it's step a bit. It is a nice story reflecting generational differences and adult friendships though. Dennis Dugan also directed Happy Gilmore, but it seems that Grown Ups didn't quite achieve the fame it did.

Summary: After beloved basketball coach, Buzzer, dies, it reunites five friends who have grown up and went on very different paths in life. Lenny is rich and has spoiled kids and a wife. Eric has more of the everyday family except for the wife is still breastfeeding their four-year old. Kurt is a stay at home dad. Marcus still is a lady man who has yet to be in a committed relationship, and Rob is in a marriage with a lady a few decades older than him, and he's trying to reconnect with his daughters from previous marriages. Lenny rents a cabin for them all to stay in, and if there is anything to be learned from the weekend they are staying together it's still that they have some growing up to do.

Acting: It seems like all the actors came together to make a movie that they would find fun. At times it feels like just a group of friends got together and wanted to try to turn it into a movie. This also makes their interaction feel very natural though. Adam Sandler is Lenny, and honestly somehow Sandler makes whoever he is work for him. He has played everything from a goofy golfer, a playboy, a waterboy, to a father who is quite successful. The thing is he always feels believable. Kevin James has had the most well received of movies, but there is something that keeps James' style of comedy more rooted in everyday things that people are aware of. He doesn't veer into anything that is too out there. Chris Rock is probably a bit weaker in this movie than he usually is as Kurt, but does have some of the funniest moments of the movie. David Spade plays a guy we would associate him with in any role he does as Marcus. Rob Schneider though is funny as Rob, and his strangeness that he conveys with every role just adds something to liven the movie up.

Filming: This is very different than the other comedy I'm familiar with that Sandler and Dugan have done together. Happy Gilmore was a bit cruder, and included a lot more of the slapstick elements. This movie has some of those slapstick moments, but it cuts out a lot of the crude to try to incorporate more of the family vibe the movie puts off for adults. It's to get adults to think about their own families. The colors are warm, and moments that are intensely more comedic are shot well to heighten the sense of humor.

Plot: Again this is a story that seems to have a vague enough plot to have people asking where the plot was. The plot I believe is five different guys with different families learns certain valuable assets from one another that is conducive to a family. They haven't all really grown up at all in different ways. I guess this seems most obvious in Marcus' character, but not as well emphasized in the rest of them. Regardless, the movie leaves room for funny moments, but it feels like it showed all those in a trailer. So instead the movie has moments it's ready to lull.

Grown Ups isn't going to be a classic comedy and it's not one that is the funniest these guys have made. The expectations were probably high considering they were all in one movie though. Instead the movie seems to provide some laughs, stay safe, and appear to be a get together for the cast instead. It's fun, but nothing I would have imagined a second movie for.

Rating 7 of 10.

Grown Ups (2010) on IMDb

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