Grown Ups
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -2

Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Selma Hayek, Maria Bello. Comedy (dah!). Written by Adam Sandler, Fred Wolf. Directed by Dennis Dugan.

FILM SYNOPSIS & REVIEW: Boyhood chums reunite for a 4th of July weekend after the death of their beloved grade school basketball coach. It’s The Big Chill, only populated with adolescent men and lots of buffoonery and slapstick pratfalls. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a Saturday Night Live alumni meeting. They’re all seasoned pros, and they demonstrate their comic and dramatic skills with ease. But far too much of the humor relies on crudity. One pees off the side of a boat, so we get several pee jokes. Then one pees in the pool, which causes a circle of dark blue to form around him. The filmmakers thought that would be so funny they did it twice. The David Spade character has married a woman twice his age, so we get old-age jokes and lots and lots of remarks about sex with an elderly person, meant to cause us to laugh and go “ick” at the same time. There’s other humor that also borders on cruelty.

It’s a sort of bastardization of The Big Chill and Four Seasons. Both of those films had R-rated language and sexuality, so neither should be considered a recommendation by me. Still those two films outshine this venture with style and performance.

This could have been a good family film, considering how many kids are in it, but the comic crudity and excessive amount of humor derived from sexuality should make it off limits for youngsters.

I laughed a lot (not at the crude stuff, which is a turn-off, but these are funny men with great timing, and though they don’t seem to be competing with one another, their comic game seems to be heightened merely by being around one another). The screening audience enjoyed the film, but please read the content before you decide on attending.

The following DVD Alternatives are old pictures. Believe me, I tried to find recent examples of this genre I could suggest, but as with The Big Chill, they each contained R-rated material. If you have no prejudice towards movies made in the ‘60s (they’re both in color), these are two very funny films.

Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation. James Stewart takes the family to the beach for two weeks. Made in 1963, today’s teens may have difficulty relating to their counterparts, but Stewart is hysterical.

The Party. Peter Sellers stars as a good-hearted bumbler who accidentally destroys a movie set, and then manages to do the same to a fancy party given by the film’s producer. There are a few risqué moments, but it is pretty tame by today’s standards. Extremely funny and good-natured. Sellers is terrific.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Sony Pictures

Summary
Crude Language: Many crude jokes mined from old age, sex and bodily functions.
Obscene Language: Several crude phrases and expletives, some referring to body parts.
Profanity: I caught no profane use of God’s name – or Christ’s.
Violence: Several slapstick pratfalls, including two guys getting shot in the foot with an arrow.
Sexual Intercourse: There are several sexual discussions and comic routines built around sexuality. And there are two young women dressed provocatively, with the camera roaming over their bodies and every male in the film, including two adolescent boys lustfully staring at them. This is played for laughs, but it happens several times.
Nudity: Male backside nudity in two scenes, played for laughs.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Some social drinking and one character has a drinking problem.
Other: None
Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and above

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