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Grown Ups movie poster

Grown Ups: Movie Review

Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek Pinault, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Joyce Van Patten, Steve Buscemi
Released by: Columbia Pictures

In Short: Adam Sandler and friends head to a lake for a vacation, and the result is perhaps the least-funny comedy in the history of Hollywood.

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102 Minutes of Movie and Not a Single Laugh

Adam Sandler has jumped the shark. For a comedian who used to actually be funny (think “The Wedding Singer” or “The Waterboy”), it is sad to see him devolve into a screenwriter/producer/actor who cannot write a single funny joke in a 102-minute movie. But that’s just what he’s done with “Grown Ups:” he has created a “comedy” that isn’t funny for a moment.

And what’s even more embarrassing, he’s recruited a bunch of his also-once-funny pals to join him in the mess. What is obvious is that Sandler wanted to hang out at a lake for a summer vacation with his family and friends Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider, so he decided to cobble together a corny story in order to get the studio to pay for their vacation. Thus “Grown Ups” was born.

The story is simple. The five guys were childhood friends, whose most glorious moment was winning a basketball championship when they were 12. Now the coach of that team has died, and the grown ups and their families reunite for the funeral. After the eulogies, they all traipse off to the woods, where they move into a large lake house for a reunion vacation.

Kevin James in Grown Ups Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, David Spade and Adam Sandler in Grown Ups

Hijinks ensue, but not a single sequence is remotely amusing. The boys shoot an arrow into the air, and it pierces the foot of Schneider’s hippy dippy New Age character. Hilarious. The families discuss getting “wasted” in their childhood, then lie to their children about what it means. Ha ha. They all go to a water park, and all five men urinate in the pool. So funny that the whole audience forgot to laugh.

In other words, despite the presence of some other funny people in the film, including Maya Rudolph and Steve Buscemi, and a few beautiful ones (Salma Hayek Pinault and Maria Bello) as well, “Grown Ups” is a complete misfire. An embarrassment, in fact, for all involved, including Sandler’s real-life wife and two children, who have minor roles in the movie. Obviously, they got bored hanging out at the lake on their vacation masquerading as a movie, and needed something to do. Don’t make the mistake of being so bored yourself that you pay good money for this movie; go to a lake and have some real fun instead this summer.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

(Updated 06/25/10 CT)

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