GROWN-UPS is an alleged warm-hearted comedy that utterly fails to entertain on any level.
The conceit is that four school-friends, now grown-up, come together at the funeral of their beloved school sports coach, and spend the weekend together in a vacation home. Their lives have taken them in different directions. Adam Sandler's character has turned into a big name Hollywood name, and is married to a glamorous fashion designer (Salma Hayek). Meanwhile Kevin James' character has ended up a small-time employee, much to his own shame. The movie is meant to be about how these friends rediscover their friendship and what really matters in life. It's meant to be about how our kids have become spoiled by Tivo and video games and need to just run around in the mud sometimes. All laudable aims.
But in terms of execution, the fact that this flick was directed by Dennis Dugan (YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN, BIG DADDY, HAPPY GILMORE) and co-written with Fred Wolf (THE HOUSE BUNNY, LITTLE NICKY) tells you all you need to know about the crass humour and crude narrative arcs that the characters are sent on. I didn't invest in any of the characters, and so didn't care about their enlightenment. I didn't buy into the fashion designer ditching her Milan show - her heart melting with surprising ease. Even worse, I hated the so-called attempts at comedy. What happened to Maria Bello's career that she takes a part where her only job is to provide a "gag" about her toddler still drinking breast milk? Am I really meant to laugh at a grown man falling into mud? And what dirt do SNL has-beens David Spade and Rob Schneider have on Adam Sandler that he keep casting them in his films?
Still, it's far more watchable than COUPLE'S RETREAT.
GROWN UPS was released in summer 2010 and is available to rent and own.