Film Review: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock Act Like Children in ‘Grown Ups’

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CHICAGO – It may be called “Grown Ups,” but too much of the new Adam Sandler ensemble comedy feels like it was written by an eight-year-old boy. The believable friendship chemistry that Sandler has with co-stars Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider significantly ups the entertainment value, but “Grown Ups” could have and should have been much better.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Co-written by Sandler with Fred Wolf (“Joe Dirt”), “Grown Ups” is a cliched variation on “The Big Chill” with a quintent of friends from childhood reuniting after the death of the coach who long ago guided them to a basketball championship. It hits all of the beats that you would expect it to while being often genially entertaining by virtue of the fun that these friends in real life must have had in making it. Sadly, the elements that actually work are off-set by gross-out jokes, false sentimentality, or bits that fall to the floor with an embarassing thud. There may be more laughs than your average Sandler comedy but the growth of the overall piece is still stunted.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Grown Ups” in our reviews section.

Sandler plays Lenny Feder, a bigwig agent called “Mr. Hollywood” by his friends who comes to the funeral “reunion” with his spoiled kids, cute nanny, and high maintenance wife (Salma Hayek). At the funeral, Lenny reunites with Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James), Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock), Marcus Higgins (David Spade), and Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider). Of course, most of them come with spouses, offspring, and subplots.

James’s Eric is pretty much just there for fat guy jokes and physical humor but he also comes with a wife (Maria Bello) who still breastfeeds their four-year-old son. Kurt’s wife (Maya Rudolph) may be pregnant but she wears the pants in the family as both she and her abrasive mother (Ebony Jo-Ann) ridicule the stay-at-home father. Marcus is the player, the one who comes unattached enough to hit on Rob’s unnaturally hot daughters. Finally, the overly sensitive Rob is the brunt of most of the gang’s jokes, not just for his hippie nature but for the fact that his wife (Joyce Van Patten) is a few decades older. Other regular Sandler collaborators including Colin Quinn, Steve Buscemi, and a nearly movie-stealing Tim Meadows pop up in small roles.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Grown Ups” review.

“Grown Ups” stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Joyce Van Patten, and Ebony Jo-Ann. It was written by Sandler & Fred Wolf and directed by Dennis Dugan. It is rated PG-13.

Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock), Marcus Higgins (David Spade), Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James), Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) and Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider).
Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock), Marcus Higgins (David Spade), Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James), Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) and Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider).
Photo credit: Sony Pictures/Tracy Bennett

millionaireCafeLA's picture

Population appreciates a critic for their honesty.

My neighbors work here in L.A./ Motion Pic. industry, they said the movie was terrible.

More importantly, people are just sick and tired of critics who really are not critics at all raving about poorly made, directed films.

Hollywood is in the Dark Ages!!

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