A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this Adam Sandler/David Spade/Chris Rock comedy about old friends reuniting after a tragedy has lots of heart, that doesn't make up for the crude and repetitive jokes. And while the trailer might have you thinking the humor is all about kids and families, there's a lot of racy "guy" stuff here: Male buttocks are shown, and there are plenty of sexual innuendoes/references and instances of men ogling women. One character is depicted as a booze-loving lush, and though the main characters are ostensibly good friends, they're not particularly kind to one another (their kids also behave rudely, expecting to be waited on hand and foot and maligning anything that's not fancy or technologically advanced). Language includes "s--t" and "ass."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When he gets word that his former basketball coach has heard the "final buzzer" and passed away, Lenny (Adam Sandler) -- once the fearless leader of the coach's only championship team -- decides it's time to round up the troops: former teammates Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock), Marcus (David Spade), and Rob (Rob Schneider). While in their hometown for the funeral, the guys bunk at an old lodge that brings back fond memories, even as their wives (played by Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, and Joyce Van Patten) and kids attempt to hit it off. Will the coach's death force the men to re-evaluate their game plan before their own final buzzer?
Is it any good?
GROWN UPS is one of those movies that looks great in trailers but ultimately disappoints. With a cast like this, it really ought to be a slam dunk. But it's hobbled by a lackluster script that has little at stake for the characters. And the jokes: Despite the fact that it stars five successful comedians, the same jokes are recycled throughout. How many bits do we really need about a nanny camouflaged as an exchange student, a grandmother's bunioned toe, a retiree's marriage to a much younger man, a man's voracious appetite, and a still-nursing 4-year-old?
The five leads share some chemistry, but not enough to make a lifelong friendship believable. They're so cruel to each other that you have to wonder how they stayed friendly. And the women are nothing more than weak supporting acts and fodder for chauvinistic jokes. The film does have a few nice moments -- the paper-cup extravaganza, the flashbacks -- and makes a good point about not giving up the best moments of childhood to gadgetry and gimmicks. But on the whole, Grown Ups is a stunted comedy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about who Grown Ups is targeted at. Is it intended to appeal to families?
The movie's sexual humor includes plenty of jokes about older women dating younger men. Does the film reinforce or undermine stereotypes on that topic? What about on other subjects?
What is the movie saying about kids' love of tech toys?
- In theaters: June 25, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: November 9, 2010
- Cast: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James, Rob Schneider
- Director: Dennis Dugan
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude material including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity