A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Grown Ups 2 is the lackluster sequel to the 2010 comedy starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Kevin James as a group of middle-aged best friends. This time around, surly college frat boys are the quartet's nemeses. Just like the first outing, this comedy relies on generous helpings of crass humor (some of it pretty sexist), slapstick violence, strong language (including "ass" and "d-ck"), and some partial nudity (mostly male backsides, though there are references to penises, as well as masturbation references and other innuendo). You can also expect a fair bit of drinking/drunkenness during raucous parties. The foursome have a strong friendship, but the movie's attempts at positive messages are mostly lost beneath the crude comedy.
What's the story?
Having made a name for himself in Hollywood, Lenny (Adam Sandler) is back in his hometown with his wife (Salma Hayek) and kids, eager to spend time with his best friends: Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock), and Marcus (David Spade) -- and their families. Coming home is loads of fun, but there seems to be a new posse in town in the form of frat boys who've taken over the guys' old roost. Plus, the bully who once terrorized Lenny is around, as are old frenemies.
Is it any good?
A few bits might make audiences guffaw -- one involving a naked man landing on top of another after diving into a lake, for example -- but otherwise, this movie just doesn't feel grown-up enough. The humor is immature, dated, corny, and tired. (Are we really still supposed to laugh at poop and fart jokes and Chia Pet references? Paging 1989!) Plus, it's downright sexist at times (not to mention unoriginal, as in the case of the harried mom of a toddler who has to look down his diaper to see how "bad" his #2 is).
It's such a waste, considering the rapport of the stars. Sandler and his buddies really do have great chemistry, which means Grown Ups 2 isn't a total waste of time. (The other bright spot? Seeing Taylor Lautner overplay as the villain.) But it's too bad they aren't working with better material.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Grown Ups 2's core foursome -- what keeps them together through the years? Does their friendship seem enviable, immature, or a little of both?
What roles do women play in the film? Do they conform to stereotypes? How about the men?
Is nudity and scatological humor a requirement in films like this one? Who is that type of humor intended to appeal to? How can you tell?
- In theaters: July 12, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: November 5, 2013
- Cast: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James
- Director: Dennis Dugan
- Studio: Columbia Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 101 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and suggestive content, language and some male rear nudity
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.