Last night I wasted 102 minutes of the limited time I have left on this earth watching the Adam Sandler vehicle Grown Ups. This is 102 minutes I will never get back. It was time better invested watching CSPAN or in navel contemplation. That many people still serve turkey on Christmas day somehow renders watching this film during the holiday season appropriate. Simply put, there is not one single laugh in the entire movie. Nada, zip, zilch, zero, goose egg. The only positive in this narrative is that I rented Grown Ups at a Red Box, spending only a buck. At that, I was still bilked out of about 95 cents.
It is stunning that you can assemble a cast composed of Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, Chris Rock, et al and still not manage to create one chuckle – let alone a giggle, guffaw or belly laugh. Amazing. Take Chris Rock, for example. Here is one of the truly funny standup comedians of our time. A guy who can be counted on to deliver laughs in rapid fire from the time he steps on stage, couldn't inspire one smile in this turkey of a movie. Just seeing him on camera in Lethal Weapon 4, made me laugh. Nearly every line he delivered in that action film was funny. Not so in Grown Ups. through which he often looked like a deer caught in headlights.
The plot, such as it is, follows a group of middle schoolers, who played together on a championship basketball team, as they gather 30 years later for their coach's funeral. Are you laughing yet? They all stay in the same big lake house (where they evidently hung out during their high school years) for the weekend of the funeral. Apparently the comedy is supposed to come from them falling back into their adolescent relationships colliding with their adult personas. Of course their families accompany them on this journey, which contributes mightily to the humor. Ha, ha.
There is little question in my mind that Sandler simply called several of his friends and told them he knew a way for all of them to have a $500,000 payday for a few days work. Not one of them seemed to have based their decision to participate on reading the script. This was just a bunch of pals having some fun making a movie that they figured people would plunk down $10 to see based on the strength of the cast. It worked. I rented the damn thing.
In the words of Johnny Carson, "I've seen better film on the top of hot chocolate."