Film: 'Grown Ups'; Director: Dennis Dugan; Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek; Rating: *
For the film that carries a name like this, the film is amazingly amateurish. If the cliched jokes, hackneyed slapstick humour, pointless gags that follow one after the other do not get you, its collection of done-to-death subplots will.
Five friends, who played basketball together as kids, return after 30 years to attend the funeral of their inspiring coach. They bring their wives, children and potbellies with them. Despite their relatively successful lives, they are not really successful.
After two hours of an endless series of gags, they realise that... well, they hardly realise much except perhaps that they have to go on with their despicable lives, and the audience has to go on with the film.
'Grown Ups' is an example of wasted talent. With a cast like that of this film, one would expect some hilarious moments fuelled by these fine actors' collective comic timing. Instead what you find is an endless series of jokes that are predictable, crude, and too out-of-time to laugh at.
Watching this film would make you feel as if the great masters of comedy like Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd never existed. It is a regression back to one's childhood where laughing at someone slipping on a banana skin was the funniest thing on the planet.
Adam Sandler is regular director. Dennis Dungan perhaps made the film because there was a demand for it. Because 'Grown Ups' is nothing but a sign of our times, about what is paraded today in the name of 'entertainment'. If this is entertainment, can we please have something that is not?