Release Date: June 25th, 2010
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Lenny Feder(Adam Sandler), Eric Lamonsoff(Kevin James), Kurt McKenzie(Chris Rock), Rob Hillard(Rob Schneider) and Marcus Higgins(David Spade) are 5 friends who reunite after 30 years to mourn the death of their Junior High basketball coach, Coach "Buzzer"(Blake Clark), who led them to their first, and only, championship. The friends and their families gather in New England for the funeral and decide to spend the following 4th of July weekend in the very same lake house they celebrated their victory in 30 years ago.
While at the lake house Lenny, along with the rest of his friends, are shocked to find that their kids would rather sit inside and play videogames so the group forces them all to stay outside and find new ways to amuse themselves. When the families gather later the first night at a local restaurant, Lenny runs into his old nemesis Dickie Bailey(Colin Quinn). Dickie still holds a grudge about their basketball game 30 years ago, claiming that Lenny was out of bounds and challenges him and his friends to a rematch to which Lenny declines.
Later on at a 4th of July barbecue, the families run into Dickie and his friends again, who try to challenge the group to a rematch only this time Lenny and his friends agree. The game goes back and forth for a long time but, due to the players being old and out of shape, everybody quits except for Lenny and Dickie who bring out their sons to continue playing with them. As the game winds down, Lenny has a chance to make a game winning shot, exactly the same as he did 30 years ago. However, Lenny intentionally misses the shot, giving Dickie a sense of victory.
At the fireworks later that night, Lenny and his friends watch fireworks with their families, having an increased appreciation and love for one another. The weekend accomplished what it was intended for by bringing all the families closer together and helping them realize what was truly important in their lives.
Adam Sandler has been one of my favorite comedians for a long time now. He has a history of making some insanely funny, albeit over the top films and was one of the funniest cast members on Saturday Night Live. That being said, Sandler has taken a different turn in his comedic ways, shifting focus from all out comedy explosions like Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy to more subdued comedies that always find a way to add in some life lesson like Click or Funny People.
For me, this new style of comedy doesn't really work well for Sandler. While these movies are all, for the most part, pretty good films, they lack the classic Sandler humor that made him great in the first place. The same goes for the other actors in the film like Chris Rock, who hasn't done a film in many years, David Spade, Kevin James and Rob Schneider. All of these actors seem to be reverting to a more mild mannered form of comedy. This could be due to the fact that all the actors have been making movies for quite some time, with the exclusion of James. They seem to be slipping into what I like to call the "Eddie Murphy Complex". Now that most of them are married and have kids, they are trying to make movies that they are comfortable with their kids watching, just like the last 20 Eddie Murphy movies.
That all being said, this wasn't a terrible movie and it did bring out some genuine laughs. The comedy in this film wasn't as subdued as in some films but it was definitely more family friendly. The film wasn't as funny as I had hoped it would be but nevertheless it still made me laugh and when you bring in 5 actors that are known for comedy its going to happen. I thought all the actors in this film did a great job. The main 5, Sandler, James, Rock, Spade and Schneider were all pretty standard and delivered up to par performances. Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, and Joyce Van Patten, who played Sandler's wife Roxanne, James' wife Sally, Rock's wife Deanne and Schneider's much older wife Gloria, respectively, all did a nice job too. They were all such different characters that it made for a nice hodgepodge of personalities to blend together.
It seems that Sandler always puts the same 7 people in all of his films and this one is no different. Supporting character like Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows and Colin Quinn are all familiar faces we have come to see in Sandler films and I find it kind of nice to have them there. It's kind of like a "Where's Waldo" game when you watch the film, trying to find the Sandler regulars.
Overall this wasn't a bad film, but it wasn't a great one either. Sandler has been lacking of late with his films on the comedy front. I think he needs to revert back to his old school ways. However, I do like a serious Sandler every now and then and those of you who saw Reign Over Me know what I'm talking about.
Standard acting, above average laughs and a decent life message make this one of Sandler's decent family films. Definitely not his best and definitely not his worst, Grown Ups succeeds as an average film.
I give Grown Ups 6.75 games of arrow roulette out of 10.
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