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Grown Ups | Movie Reviews | Nerdy Nothings

Grown Ups

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After their legendary high school basketball coach, Bobby ‘Buzzer’ Ferdinando, passes away, five lifelong friends and former championship teammates reunite for his funeral over the Fourth of July weekend.

It is clear from the beginning that this quintet has gone in many different directions since their old school days. Arriving as a Hollywood agent with nanny in tow, a New Age Guru with much older wife, a stay-at-home dad with an inferiority complex, a salesman whose four-year-old still breastfeeds, and a confirmed bachelor with a penchant for alcohol, these personalities quickly devolve into the roles of their youth.

After the funeral, they are tasked with spreading Coach’s ashes at the fabled lake house where they formerly spent many a summer getting wasted and scoring with girls. The nostalgia of the lake house however cannot keep our Hollywood agent from whisking his fashion designer wife and kids to Milan for the opening of her new line…that is unless he can convince her that the purity of his humble past is more beneficial for their children than the contrived luxury of an Italian fashion show.

With playful insults, physical gags and plenty of tough love, the five friends and their families experience a weekend filled with bows and arrows, water parks, ice cream parlors and basketball rematches that lead them to become even better friends and human beings than they were before.

Grown Ups amounts to a Saturday Night Live reunion, starring alumni Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade, with guest Kevin James in a role one can easily imagine being filled by the late Chris Farley. Written by Sandler specifically for his real life friends, the chemistry between them shines on screen and creates many of the most sincere laughs in the film. One can imagine the atmosphere on the set was much like the rehearsal stage in the glory days of SNL.

Sandler excels in his least annoying role to date, bringing a bit of soul to a plot otherwise riddled with verbal abuse, physical injuries, T&A, and gags involving various bodily fluids. Grown Ups also delivers hilarious cameos by Steve Buscemi as Wiley, the “Wild Man” in a full upper body cast; Tim Meadows as Malcolm, “the other black guy who grew up here;” and Colin Quinn as Dickie Bailey, the appropriately named, bitter loser from the opposing childhood basketball team.

This movie succeeds in plenty of laugh-out-loud moments but fails in delivering us anything truly unique. The plot was contrived and manipulated, adding new characters simply for laughs, and taking us places solely for their high potential on the laugh meter. Skip this one if you’re out for substance. But if you’re looking for an enjoyable, 102-minute giggle fest, you’ve found it in Grown Ups.

Directed By: Dennis Dugan

tags: adam sandler, chris rock, david spade, grown ups, kevin james, rob schneider

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