Movie Review: Grown Ups

Movie Review: Grown Ups

Grown Ups

PG-13 for crude material including suggestive references, language
and some male rear nudity.
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes

Grown Ups is a story about five men who were best friends as young kids and throughout their school days. Now they’re getting together for the Fourth of July weekend to meet one another and also meet each others’ families for the first time.

Has the passage of time changed their friendship?

Of course as the weekend progresses, the five childhood friends pretty much pick up right where they left off. They also discover growing older, does not mean growing up.

A Surprisingly Funny Movie

For a movie written by Adam Sandler, and starring the likes of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider, Grown Ups is surprisingly funny and not as rude and crude as we thought it might have been. Going into this movie we knew it would either be really funny good, or really rudely bad.

Imagine our surprise when we found ourselves laughing pretty much through the entire movie.

We also have a feeling the calmer side of the other four, may be a result of the presence of Kevin James. Personally, we’ve always liked Kevin James. He works for his humor, does physical humor well, and for the most part, keeps his humor clean. James does not disappoint in Grown Ups. While much of the script has the childhood friends making fun of one another, the Kevin James character, Eric Lamonsoff, isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself. That in itself makes the Lamonsoff role classic for James. He simply knows how to have fun, poking fun at himself!

When it comes to the scriptwriting, we applaud Adam Sandler for actually being creative. All too often Sandler goes for the quick rude and crude joke just get the fast laugh. But, for the most part, Grown Ups is a well written script with great jokes along the way. Sandler actually worked for funny material instead of falling into the quick laugh trap.

A Coming Of Age Story

Grown Ups is really a story about boys, finally coming of age, even years into their married lives.

Four of the five childhood friends are married and have kids while one, the David Spade character of Marcus Higgins, is the single alcoholic who seems to have followed in his father’s footsteps. But, the common bond between the childhood friends, their old basketball coaches words of “When the final buzzer goes in life, make sure you’ve accomplished something”, simply makes for great on-screen chemistry for the stars. Throughout this movie we discover that while the five friends appear to have it all together and appear to have followed the advice of their basketball coach, each one of them are at the same time struggling to keep it all together. Even Adam Sandler’s character of Lenny Feder, who appears to have it all together, has some issues to work through too.

But, even after saying that, for the most part Grown Ups is simply a fun laugh-out-loud type of movie. Yes there are subplots and if you look deep enough you can learn a few lessons along the way about friendship and even married life. However, while it’s a “coming of age” story proving that even for grown ups it’s alright to remember the good old days, in the end, Grown Ups is really all about simply being there for one another through thick and thin.

When it comes to rating, we have to say Grown Ups is not family-friendly. It carries a PG-13 rating, but we once again have another example of where an M for Mature rating would be much better. While it is not as rude and crude as we thought it might be, the bottom line is, Grown Ups is best aimed at the 16 and above crowd.

All in all, we love it when a cast of characters such as those collected in Grown Ups can surprise us with a truly funny movie. We went into the screening with an open mind and left the theater feeling refreshed and full of laughter and joy. For that, we applaud all those involved with this fun summertime movie.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.