Sandler, James, Spade, Rock and Schneider are five best mates, who reunite thirty years after their finest moment - winning a basketball championship - for the funeral of their influential and much-loved coach. Deciding to make a weekend out of it, the lads and their families all spend a few days in the cabin where they had some of their fondest memories.
Coming with a customary dolloping of sentimentality, it's hard to ignore the fact that not a lot happens here, so come the final reel, there are few issues to resolve. Helmer Dugan has worked with Sandler countless times before (most notably on the brilliant Happy Gilmore), and is fine with the slapstick gags. Task him with a plot, however, and things get a little fuzzy. That may be why Grown Ups doesn't have one; and even if it's not the type of film that requires too much story, the characters and jokes just aren't hefty enough to make up for it.
There are laughs in fairness, but most of them are scuppered by the lads reeling themselves in to serve the restrictive, family safe rating. They could easily have cut Spade and Schneider, opened up the film a bit more, and maybe let the three talented remaining comedians go at it for a while. Spade in particular has been doing his pervy, middle-aged schtick act for a while now, and it wasn't funny to begin with. Schneider is an easy target, but there's a reason for that.
Undemanding comedy fans, who like their laughs delivered by broad, plot-light films, may find plenty here to enjoy. But for this reviewer, it just felt like a potty-trained, Hot Tub Time Machine without the laughs.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Friday 7th January 2011 | DVD review
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