Thursday, August 19, 2010

GROWN UPS Movie Review. Those were the Days, my Friend.

GROWN UPS Press Preview


Call me mushy if you must. I kinda dig friendship movies.

As a testimony, this Reviewer has borrowed a couple of liners from a 1968 MARY HOPKINS’ hit “THOSE WERE THE DAYS”:

“Those were the days, my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way ….”

Yes, like the song’s lyrics, there’d always be a real time in our lives when we’ll all look back over

our formative years in wonderment …..

longing to relive those moments again when we were young.

The passage of time has weaned us.

It’s nostalgic to take a walk down memory lane.

It’s great to rekindle old ties.


or drift apart if you allow them to do so.

It’s therapeutic to embrace old friendships,

and to know how our buddies are faring,

Are they happy?

Are they successful in their careers?

Memories are made of these,

Let these grow and glow.

Let them fill you up inside …..

Time and Tide wait for no man,

So what are we waiting for?

Let’s go!

Get set for the journey.


So does the MOVIE match up?

No, GROWN UPS ain’t any emotional journey.

Maybe the producers should have dressed up GROWN UPS as a christmassy comedy about a warm reunion of old chums.

Unfortunately this was not the case.

The script is bland, one that exudes witless humor, and is co-written by none other than actor ADAM SANDLER.

For all intent and purpose, it could have meant to be a sweet film about kid bonding, of growing up wise, leaving town to make it big and returning again if the occasion arises, to perk everyone back home on what you’ve accomplished.

The A-lister line-up in GROWN UPS shouldn’t possibly go wrong, but then, why are these actors wasted spouting dumb lines and over-acting in many key scenes?

For bawling out loud, director DENNIS DUGAN has to shoulder the blame for his shoddy treatment.

The comedic cast includes a Hollywood agent (Adam Sandler), his fashion designer wife (Salma Hayek) with their three spoiled brats, a henpecked house-husband (Chris Rock), a pretentious salesman (Kevin James), a self-declared playboy bachelor (David Spade), and a new-age mystic (Rob Schneider) with a wife who’s old enough to be his mother.

They are the ensemble of a championship-winning 1978 junior high basketball team when they were teenagers.

This group reunites 30 years later to pay tribute to their deceased coach

in a lakeside cabin where they celebrated their many victories a long time ago.

Here, some 3 decades later, they finally let their hair down, throw caution to the four winds and ”relive” the good old days of being teenagers again.

Here, the men behave and react like ….. hmmm …. old farts in their second childhood.

Some may argue that GROWN UPS is a movie, essentially, about a bunch of aging comics, who may have once represented cutting age youth, showing that their shtick has gotten rusty, and so have they.

Maybe the guys did have a rollicking good time with all the camaraderie.

We do know that the lessons of friendship can be just as transformative as does meditation and the words of gurus.

Modern living is swarmed with hazards and stress.

We go to the movies to be entertained, what else?

In GROWN UPS, we are treated to all kinds of mindless spoofs.

One character has his face pushed twice into doggy-doo. Funny?

Then there’s this silly mother who’s breast feeding her 4 year old son, and in doing so,unwittingly squirts the milk here and there. Notwithstanding our five heroes urinating in the public pool.

More slapsticks follow.

If these actors can go all the way out to render themselves ridiculous by expounding on mindless gags and banter to make us feel good, then they are trying to make us forget the day’s stress and enjoy ourselves.

And why shouldn’t we let them?

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