The crew is back together
Grown Ups offers up an SNL reunion without the wacky humor
Grown Ups is an odd film in that it simultaneously feels like a real-life SNL reunion and a bad, comic remake of The Big Chill.
It’s fun to see some comedy favorites back together again. The chemistry between Adam Sandler and buddies Rob Schneider, David Spade and even Chris Rock (who all, incidentally, joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1990) is undeniable. Add to the mix relative newcomers Kevin James, who starred alongside Sandler in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Maya Rudolph (SNL: The next generation) plus stunner Salma Hayek and it’s hard to really go wrong. Unfortunately, that’s about all Grown Ups does well.
Sandler and company get together for the funeral of their fifth-grade basketball coach, a man who apparently had such a profound impact on their lives that their 30-year-old inside jokes at the standing-room-only ceremony make everyone laugh. After the funeral, it’s off to the boathouse where as kids they spent a weekend after their big championship. This time, they have kids of their own.
Sandler plays Lenny, a Hollywood exec with big money who’s married to the hottie (Hayek); Schneider is a new-age hippy with a wife old enough to be his mother; Spade plays the aging bachelor; Rock is a stay-at-home dad; and James is the fat guy. By their descriptions, you can probably anticipate the rich-guy, old-lady, you’re-a-man-but-you’re-like-a-woman and KFC jokes. The laughs are all predictable, and while they’re still funny they make you wish for more from this group of “grown up” comedians.
Nothing much happens, other than a day trip to a water park and an afternoon learning to skip rocks. Hayek, Rudolph and Maria Bello complement their male counterparts, and the children add variety (and jokes about texting the nanny) but little else.
All in all, Grown Ups is a passable summer comedy that doesn’t quite live up to its name.