Our thoughts on Adam Sandler’s GROWN UPS
GROWN UPS. A comedy about five friends and former teammates who reunite years later to honor the passing of their childhood basketball coach. With their wives and kids in tow, they spend the Fourth of July holiday weekend together at the lake house where they celebrated their championship years earlier. Picking up where they left off, they discover why growing older doesn’t mean growing up.
By George Geza Meszaros. In some ways, this film reminded me of what might have happened if the people who brought us “Porky’s” would have continued the series by updating it to include a more up to date looks at the gang as they mature into serious relationships and settle down in to family life.
The film starts with a flash back to a more innocent time where peripubescent are having a basketball game. One group of course has to win, and as it’s a championship game, these will be the boys we will watch later on as they struggle with their own lives, the lives of their spouses, and their childrens’ lives.
It is the death of their former coach brings them together on a Fourth of July weekend in the small town where they originally started out.
To be sure the humor is at times idiotic, and I do mean beyond infantile, but there is an undercurrent of familial values, oddly enough even among just the five guys who are the lynch pin to the story. Sometimes family is what you are born into, sometimes family is about who you marry and have kids with, and sometimes family is that special group of people that you weren’t related to, but grew up with anyway.
The humor runs the gammit of generation gaps, in-laws, child rearing, the dichotomy of weath and poverty, the Peter Pan syndrome. Some of it is sheer lunacy, at other times so subtle that it speaks only to a very small, select subgroup within the audience. Some jokes come at you from left field, others are forshadowed a mile away. There were a few instances where I found myself laughing even as the punchline was being uttered.
I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite character in the piece. Adam Sandler’s Lenny Feder is the anchor for this near perfect ensemble cast that include Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James, Rob Schneider as the grown up versions of the five boys we originally started out with. These characters were surprisingly well rounded, even if they have their stereotypical mommets, and that really drove the film forward.
Among the running jokes through out the film, you’ll be laughing at children having to learn to put aside modern technology and seeing life as their fathers lived it, a four year old that’s still breast feeding, the guys reacting to the beauty of the grown up daughters of their friend, urinating in pools.
The film could have become a parody of itself all too easily and yet it managed to avoid that particular trap. I haven’t laughed this much since “A Fish Called Wanda”. I highly recommend it as an alternative to the high octane action driven block busters.