It was Billy Madison who once told a kid that he didn’t want to grow up. “Don’t you say that. Don’t you ever say that. Stay here. Stay here as long as you can. For the love of God, cherish it. You have to cherish it.” So were the wise words of Billy Madison, aka Adam Sandler way back in the year 1995. While Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore put Sandler on the map his latest films have made him just next to yesterday’s news. Within the last week I learned that if my life will emulate Adam Sandler’s career I don’t ever want to become a “Grown Up.”
Grown Ups is the latest attempt at comedy from Adam Sandler and friends. Pooling together resources from the stars of yesterday, Sandler teams up with Rob Schnieder, Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James to create a family friendly film about 5 friends who went their separate ways but rekindle their friendships at a weekend retreat. As a kid I was always reminded of common place TV jingle: “I don’t wanna grow up, I just wanna be a Toys R Us Kid!” As I look back now, I don’t even care if I’m a Toys R Us kid, I just don’t want to hang around these old guys ever again!
Great comedy is about timing, and this film certainly lacks timing. The jokes fall flat fast, and drag on forever. We find Sandler and company trying to drain every ounce out of each one liner until there is nothing left, all while remaining kid tested and mother approved. For a mere 90 minutes I starred at a screen trying to tolerate the on screen antics of these 5 funny men and left the film feeling like I had just ended a 3 hour epic instead. Yes Adam, we get it- your kids are spoiled brats and you’re wife if a high maintenance pain. Yes, Chris Rock your wife is an angry black woman. Yes, Rob Schneider, you’re dating a creepy old lady. David Spade, you are a creeper, we get it! And Kevin James, you just wanna be one of the boys. You’re the fat guy who steps in when Chris Farley dies. Cool. Can we move on now?
Drudging the bottom of the barrel with fat jokes, fart jokes and other mediocre humor, Grown Ups tries every trick in the book to keep families laughing. While the kids might have a good time, it’s the grown up viewers that will be begging for this film to end. In fact, as these 5 comedians tried to talk about the good ol days on screen it made me actually dread the day I become “old.” I actually thought back and relived my entire childhood 8 times throughout the film, just so I could have a break from this painfully unfunny flick.
I could keep going on with example after example of why someone should avoid the film Grown Ups much like the plague, but I’d be giving you extra reading material on a film that doesn’t deserve the film it’s printed on let alone web space devoted to it. The only thing Grown Ups did for me is make me nostalgically wish for a time when Sandler and company were funny again. In previous reviews I lied Mr. Sandler. I asked for you to grow out of saying “abbey doobie” and push your comedy to new limits. Now I beg you to retreat back to it before you take all of your friends down with you. You once were a comedy juggernaut, but you’re quickly becoming the washed up quarterback of comedy. Prove it to us that you still have it in you! Prove me wrong- just don’t make a sequel to Grown Ups.