By Ian C. Beck ’12
As a super team of Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James was busy assembling in Miami, a super team of comedy actors had already come together as part of Happy Madison Production’s “Grown Ups.”
Directed by Dennis Dugan, known best for his other comedies like “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” and “The Benchwarmers,” “Grown Ups” brought together some of the elite funny men in Hollywood: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider.
A group of childhood friends who have grown apart over the years, Sandler and Co. reunite after their childhood basketball coach passes away.
Each of them have taken very different paths of life with Lenny Feder (Sandler) becoming a successful Hollywood agent, Eric Lamonsoff (James) growing up to be an unemployed father of two and Kurt McKenzie (Rock) developing into a stay at home dad who cooks, cleans and routinely receives insults from his wife and mother-in-law.
Meanwhile, Marcus Higgins (Spade) has turned into an irresponsible drunk and Rob Hilliard (Schneider) embraced his inner zen to become somewhat of an herbal oddball.
The group has grown apart with age but the movie follows them as they and their families grow closer together once again, wrapped up in memories of childhood antics.
While “Grown Ups” might come across as a film for young ones, writers Sandler and Fred Wolf have made it into more of an adult comedy with plenty of suggestive references and vocabulary.
But the movie plays out like real life.
Most of these more adult jokes go right over the heads of the child audience who will laugh at the mere silliness and excitement of these five adults who are trying to get back to the glory days and re-live some of their irresponsible childhood thrills like standing in place as an arrow arcs through the air and whistles back down towards them.
Overall, the movie was funny and surprisingly heart-warming, chock full of funny jokes while at the same time providing life lessons and insight pertinent to many people in today’s world.
4 out of 5 horseshoes.