The audience most likely to crack up at the antics of Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Rob Schneider are those experiencing their own growing pains and those that want a little harmless, check-your-brain at the door summer fun.
After the death of their high school basketball coach, five friends reunite to pay their respects and reminisce. It doesn’t take long for the guys to realize how different their lives are from their high school days.
Lenny (Sandler) is a big time Hollywood agent with a fashion designer wife (Salma Hayek), two boys used to their pampered lifestyle back home and a live-in maid.
Kurt (Rock) is a stay-at-home father and just wants a little respect from his wife, Deanne (SNL’s Maya Rudolph) and his mother-in-law. Marcus (Spade) is still in no hurry to meet Mrs. Right, but Ms. Right Now will do just fine.
While he didn’t spend years honing his chemistry with the others on SNL, James fits in with the gang just fine. And there’s something cool about these guys working together on a film without someone being “the big star.” Hayek, Bello and Rudolph get some appreciated moments of their own instead of just being the oppressive wives.
The gang’s kids don’t have a lot of screen time, but that’s fine as they’re not essential to the story.
After bonding and reconnecting, the guys are challenged by their old rivals, led by Steve Buscemi (“Monsters University”) and SNL alums Colin Quinn and Tim Meadows to a basketball game to determine once and for all, who really is the better team.
The story, written by Sandler and SNL writer/actor Fred Wolf, isn’t gonna win any screenwriting awards with its paper thin plot and hardly developed supporting characters, but it’s entertaining. Besides, the film’s main draw is watching the main cast interact and if you’re fans of the group, you’ll dig it.
At its best, the film is just a bunch of guys who just enjoy each other’s company, nothing more, nothing less. It’s low-brow humor — kicks to the groin, random insults and numerous instances of bodily harm — are commonplace, but Sandler and company aren’t aspiring to make the best comedy known to man.
Sometimes simple works best and that’s what makes “Grown Ups” so much fun. Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll have a good time.
Rating: 6 out of 10