PG-13 for crude material including suggestive references, language and some male rear nudity.
June 25, 2010
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph
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By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Programming Director
CBN.com A movie like Grown Ups, opening nationwide in theaters today, always presents a good opportunity to use the “watch test”. In other words, how many times did I check my watch during the course of a movie to see how long it will be before it is over. Zero glances at the old timepiece means the movie is of high quality. One glance suggests it is good but with limited flaws. Two time checks means it is quite average. Three or more, well, you get the picture.
Grown Ups, starring an ensemble cast that includes Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider, receives a robust three watches. In other words, don’t waste your time on this sophomoric romp at an idyllic New England lake retreat.
Sandler has been criticized a great deal over the years for his dependency on the cheap joke but you must give him credit for keeping his former Saturday Night Live buddies employed. He is loyal to a fault. Schneider alone has appeared with Sandler in 11 movies.
The Movie in a Minute or Less
Childhood friends reunite 30 years after winning a youth basketball championship to honor their beloved coach at his funeral. Lenny (Sandler) is a highly successful Hollywood agent married to a beautiful fashion designer (Salma Hayek) and has three highly spoiled children. Eric (Kevin James) is unemployed but pretending to be part-owner of a furniture store. He also has a beautiful wife (Maria Bello) and two children, each with a personal issue. Kurt (Rock) is a meek stay-at-home dad who is controlled by his wife (Maya Rudolph). The mystically spiritual Rob (Schneider) is married to a woman at least 20 years his senior and has two scantily clad adult daughters. Those daughters are being pursued by Marcus (Spade), a down on his luck sleaze ball.
After the funeral, the quintet and their families gather at a gorgeous lakeside retreat not only to remember the good times they shared as children but also to deal with the various issues facing each respective family. What ensues is a loosely connected series of scenes involving flatulence jokes, sexual innuendo, and enough bathroom humor to choke a horse.
Christian audiences will be shocked at the utter vulgarity in the overwhelming majority of scenes. Viewers are subjected to suggestive references, crass language and even male rear nudity. Should we expect anything less from Sandler and director Dennis Dugan who have now teamed up four times on movies ranging from Don’t Mess with the Zohan to I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry?
If there is one redeeming quality that can be found in Grown Ups it is that it does seem to have heart, even if its beat is very faint. The importance of family is stressed throughout as is the encouragement of children to disconnect themselves from today’s technology to enjoy, here’s a shock, family, friends, and the great outdoors.
Admittedly, there are many scenes in Grown Ups that will make you laugh. Sadly, they are all wrapped around jokes involving fat people, flatulence, and a rather juvenile portrayal of women. If you are looking for a better family viewing option pack up the kids and head to Toy Story 3. You will be glad you did.
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