Grown Ups
I’m not sure they have the right stuff.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/25/2010
Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows

The new movie “Grown Ups” is jammed packed with comedic all-stars like Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider as well as spattering of cameos from both comedians and well known actors.

With a cast like this, it’s amazing that they got any work done at all; I can only imagine the gag reel. That being said, it was as though these comedians simply decided to do a movie together because it would be fun to hang out and goof around.

The plot is thin; childhood friends come together after their basketball coach passes away. While the main five actors have good chemistry with each other, there was a general lack of character development particularly of their childhood friendship.

The film was well-paced, with nice little comedic gems like the video game that Sandler’s kids are playing in the opening of the film, numerous well-timed one liners, or slapstick routines like the breaking of the pool.

The humor was fairly clean, not resorting to potty humor all that often, although there are multiple moments that will make you cringe like the scene where Kevin James hits a tree trying to show off his prowess with a rope swing. Fortunately, the movie didn’t blow all it’s funny moments in the trailers.

The child casting of the main 5 characters was genius — particularly for the group’s children as well as the child actors playing younger version of David Spade (Kyle Brooks) and Rob Schneider (Joshua Matz).

Based on the amount of laughter and hushed whispers, the audience enjoyed the film. In fact, audience laughter drowned out the next one liner or come back often. The movie was an interesting blend of morals and slapstick, reminding me heavily of the 80′s movie “Parenthood.”

The film is entertaining, but unbelievable in several arenas. For example, I found it hard to believe that Sandler was supposed to be a high-powered, lucrative movie agent married to Salma Hayek. Not to mention that after 20 years of not seeing each other, you’d allow old friends to rip on you that much … though I was recently reminded that guys are different in this respect than women.

Despite the film’s predictable nature and thin plot, it was enjoyable and much better than I expected. While I would be willing to watch it again, I’m not sure if I’d recommend it to others, as there are better movies out there worth seeing. On the other hand, I would recommend it to anyone in search of a comedy this summer. The movie is an okay use of your time, but you won’t be heart broken if you skip it. As a result, my wishy-washy feelings on this film means that “Grown Ups” earns 2.5 out of 5.