A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dirty Grandpa is exactly what its title suggests: raunchy and crass. This Zac Efron/Robert De Niro comedy has messages about love and honesty beneath all the crude humor, but it's buried pretty far down, and most of the laughter is the kind that makes people cringe. Expect lots of Spring Break partying, including drinking and drug use (mostly weed, though Ecstasy and crack also make appearances); there's also plenty of dirty talk, plus some nudity (mostly partial, though a photo of a woman's pubic region is briefly shown) and an implied scene of masturbation is implied. Language is strong, with frequent use of words including "f--k" and "s--t," and there's some minor violence (fist fight, car chase, someone firing a gun).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It's a week before Jason's (Zac Efron) wedding, and unfortunately his grandmother has passed away -- prompting his grandfather, Dick (Robert DeNiro), to fixate on a strange odyssey: He wants to drive to Florida (from Atlanta), ostensibly see a friend. But really he just wants to find someone to sleep with after years of celibacy. And Dick has another motive too: He can't help but notice that his once-adventurous grandson has become a corporate drone in need of finding his true self.
Is it any good?
DIRTY GRANDPA is bold and in-your-face lascivious, which is almost admirable, but it tries too hard to find laughter in mostly offensive material that's also dated and predictable. Have we time-traveled back to the 1980s, when movies like Porky's reigned supreme? Were it not for the chemistry between DeNiro and Efron -- and Efron's general likability -- this movie would be a total no. It's a very thin line between irreverent and offensive, and Dirty Grandpa leans more toward the latter. (That said, it is refreshing it is to see DeNiro play another retiree who has some actual fire.)
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Dirty Grandpa's brand of humor. It relies on crass, sexually tinged humor for its laughs; do you think it crosses the line? Who decides where that line falls?
What do you think of the way the movie depicts Spring Break? How does it compare to other takes on this "rite of passage"? How accurate do you think it is?
Is the relationship between Dick and Jason believable? Are either of them intended to be role models?
- In theaters: January 22, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: May 17, 2016
- Cast: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Julianne Hough
- Director: Dan Mazer
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude sexual content throughout, graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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