Review: Grown Ups (2010) starring Adam Sandler gets 2.5 stars

20 Feb

“Grown Ups” is an okay 2010 comedy that could’ve been great.  Not “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” great, but maybe “Knocked Up” great.  Those 2 films had something going for them that “Grown Ups” doesn’t – their producers were smart enough to make those movies with R-rated scripts!  “Grown Ups” is stuck in a PG-13 world that plagues the film throughout…jokes they can’t land, words they can’t say, & racy moments the audience never sees.

Not particularly strong in terms of 1-liners nor full of memorable crashes/falls/disasters, “Grown Ups” lacks an identity and starts to drag about an hour into the film.  It reminded me a lot of an arguably better comedy, 2009’s “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” starring Entourage’s Jeremy Piven.

“The Goods” dies off after about 40 minutes, but had so many great one liners you don’t even care!  The opening 5 minutes of “The Goods” are so laugh out loud funny you feel like no matter what happens the rest of the way, what you just saw was worth the price of admission.  “Grown Ups” never has a stretch like that but still has enough silliness to maintain your attention for the most part.

Sandler’s interaction with his wife (played by Salma Hayek for reasons unknown) & kids is hilarious at times, & Kevin James’ path of destruction involving pools, trees & water skiing is fun to watch.  My favorite part of the film involves the eccentricities of Rob Schneider’s character annoying everyone else at a cabin.  He gets carried away with a food dehydrator – pretty creative writing to think of something as obscure as that (I’d say more, but I don’t want be a spoiler…no food dehydrator pun intended).

I’m sure Hollywood will be churning out more of these PG-13 letdowns, as “Grown Ups” grossed $271 MIL on an $80 MIL budget.  While the aforementioned “The Goods” only grossed $15 MIL on a $10 MIL budget, “Knocked Up” grossed a whopping $219 MIL on a $33 MIL budget and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” grossed $177 MIL on a mere $26 MIL budget.  Moral of the story to studio execs: Make a good R-rated comedy that adults want to see, & you can make an even greater % return on your money with less risk (smaller budget).

If you’re a fan of slapstick falls & some raunchy humor, then “Grown Ups” is disappointing but still worth a rental.  If you’ve never liked Sandler & Spade /SNL-type comedy, then nudge other video store customers out of the way for a better comedy on the shelf.

Verdict: 2.5 stars

Here’s a brief recap of how The Floor Seats’ 0-4 star rating system breaks down:

0-1 stars: This is an atrocious movie; an insult to film & a waste of your time

1-2 stars: Bad but not awful – avoid unless you’re dying to see it for a particular genre/subject matter/actor’s performance

2.5 stars: Only worth a rental if you really like that genre/subject matter/actor’s performance

3 stars: Definitely worth a rental unless you hate that type of genre/subject matter/actor’s performance

3.5 stars: Very good but not great – this is a film you should definitely rent & even consider buying if you like that genre/subject matter/actor’s performance

4 stars: Outstanding & unforgettable – almost certainly 1 of the top 100 greatest films you’ve ever seen.  Buy with confidence!


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