Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grown Ups: The Place Washed Up Comedians Go To Die

You know that feeling when you run into old friends you haven't seen in ages, and suddenly remember why you haven't seen them in ages? The whole reunion quickly descends into awkward laughter at unfunny jokes. Grown Ups has managed to capture this feeling, but unfortunately not between the characters, but between the audience and the washed up comedy actors.

Rub-a-dub-dub 5 unfunny men in a drub.

The gang's all here from those movies that you once thought were funny but find disappointing with repeat viewing: Adam Sandler, David Spade, Kevin James, Chris Rock and Rob Schneider. Actually Kevin James was never funny. Each of them is retreading familiar territory as indicated in brief character introductions that only serve to let us know that they're going to be playing the exact same characters they've forged a career on. David Spade is being sexist and cheeky, Rob Schneider is being spacey and inappropriate, Chris Rock is being kooky and demasculated, Kevin James makes it to three seconds of screen time before the first fat joke is cracked, and Adam Sandler is the disgruntled slacker whose first line is literally him shouting, "I'm the biggest agent in Hollywood!" down a phone to subtly establish that he's... the biggest agent in Hollywood. The movie is almost a "best of" tribute to these actors' careers except they're all reduced to thinly drawn and watered down stereotypes.

Yup. That's Kevin James with a KFC bucket on his head. Nuff Said.

The five are old school friends reuniting at the funeral for their former basketball coach, held in their home town. You have to feel sorry for the coach as we are supposed to believe that no one, literally no one apart from five losers he used to coach in basketball, are there to scatter his ashes or read a eulogy. If all he had in life were these guys that he hadn't even seen in years, I wouldn't be surprised if the cause of death was suicide.

The friends miss no opportunity to rip into each other. Poor old coach is mostly forgotten in favour of making non-stop jokes at the expense of one another.

Writing about this film is easy, as there is no chance of accidentally giving away plot details or spoilers, because there are none. It's just joke after joke after unfunny joke, none of which add anything to the non-existent plot. The screenplay, if there even was one, is as aimless as the careers of its stars if this is what they are reduced to.

The poor wives of these unlikeable bastards end up being more interesting, but are mostly pushed aside until they give dramatic monologues at the end of the film to wrap up relationship conflicts that you didn't even know existed until they're over. Chris Rock was flirting with the nanny? Adam Sandler is a liar? Are there deleted scenes where this happened? Surely a few of the multiple fart jokes could have been cut in favour of an actual plot or conflict of some kind. With Oscar-nominated Salma Hayek and should-have-been Oscar nominated for A History Of Violence Maria Bello playing the wives, it's puzzling what they're doing in this film playing second fiddle to lesser talents.

Whilst the women watched on in dismay, Salma took her chance and went to hide in the cupboard until the movie is over.

This all being said, I chuckled once. Maybe even twice but it could have been a cough. You're better off hiring something from the actors' backlog because Happy Gilmore's golf ball being too good for its home is still better than anything Grown Ups has to offer.

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