Watching Grown Ups was an odd experience. My alarm didn't go off in time to make Pee-Wee's Big Adventure downtown, so I was stuck with the second most childish movie option on the menu (and although the navigation to the left says I'm seeing Grown Ups on Monday...we'll just switch that to Restrepo once everyone's back at the office).
So back to Grown Ups, the latest Adam Sandler comedy to rankle the critics and ring ka-ching at the cash counters. The plot - a cross between Big Daddy hijinx and low-rent Big Chill - features an all-star comedian line-up in Sandler, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, David Spade and Chris Rock.
These guys - with their spouses, kids and an in-law in tow - are brought together for 4th of July weekend after the coach who took them to the little league championship passes away. Of course, that's just set-up to throw these guys together, let the camera roll and have them riff and roast each other. The story is hackneyed and formulaic, and typical of a Sandler "production" (i.e. - those cobbled together with his pals), the comedy never aims too high and includes lots of the usual bathroom humor.
For, I'd say, the first 40 minutes, the lazy pacing and self-congratulatory tone sort of rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, it's home movies of these guys on vacation...with moviegoers paying admission. But around the 50 minute mark, as the audience kept lapping it up, I for some reason decided to just take it for it what it is...vapid, yet harmless fluff. I probably shifted sides at the moment REO Speedwagon popped up on the score...or maybe it was the classic "Sentimental Lady"...I know I smiled at the inclusion of The Kinks' super awesome "Better Things."
I can't say this is good. At all. But I love a great '80s soundtrack...and the scenes at the water park made me want to visit one.
There's no possible way to argue this is a quality movie. Or is there? Feel free to try in the comments below. Whether the mainstream critics have it right or not, I have a feeling this will cash in big this summer...