After Adam Sandler’s last film Funny People failed to do much at the box office, some wondered if Grown Ups could help Sandler reach gold again. Grown Ups debuted at #2 last weekend, raking in over $50 million, which would’ve been enough to be #1 if only it didn’t open a week after Toy Story 3 debuted.
The film itself reunites Sandler with his Saturday Night Live co-stars Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider, as well as his I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry co-star Kevin James. The film is also a reunion on its own, as the gang reunites after 30 years when their beloved basketball coach passes away.
The first thirty minutes of the film is a bit slow, showing the gang when they won the championship and how their lives have changed since they’ve gotten older. Then they all reunite at the funeral and take some cracks at each other. Then everyone reunites at the cabin at the lake where they had celebrated after winning the championship. The real humor starts when the kids start interacting with each other and the adults finally start to relax.
If you go into this film thinking it’ll be a lot like Happy Gilmore or Big Daddy or any of the earlier Sandler films, you are gravely mistaken. The film is more like his recent hit Click, a film that was continuously funny, but still possessed a lot of heart. Many of the adult characters in the film learn throughout watching their kids that family is important, and to enjoy what you have in life and not take things too seriously. This is very evident in the climax of the film when everyone goes to the water park, and the wives (played by Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, and Maria Bello) flirt with a muscular lifeguard who turns out to be less than they expected.
While this film is quite funny, there are indeed some flaws. Most of the humor lies in the middle and the end of this film. This might not be the end of the world to some, but I was indeed starting to get bored at the beginning. The set up to the main plot took way too long in my opinion, while the cabin scenes could’ve been expanded. Also, as much as I love David Spade, I think he is often too much typecast in the ‘drunk’ and ‘woman hungry’ character he has played lately. While his character is hilarious, I think he should try to find a different role in his next film.
Grown Ups may not become a classic by any means, but the film is one I intend to watch over and over again when it comes out for home release. The flaws in the beginning of the movie become overshadowed as the film progresses, and with cameos and small appearances by Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, and Steve Buscemi, this comedy is a film for many to enjoy.
Final Grade: 8.5/10