The Big Chill If The Big Chill Was A Comedy
Its been said often that in movies, you can't always hit a home run every time you step to the plate, and though there is alot of effort put into the coming of age buddy comedy Grown Ups, it just doesn't hit the ball out of the park, not even with its star power consisting of 90% of the last 20 years of Saturday Night Live's cast. But by all means, don't allow that to take away from the film, just because its not a home run doesn't mean its not worth seeing, it does have its moments of comedic bliss, and really isn't a bad way to spend an afternoon or a fun night out with friends, because well, you can't always hit it out of the park every single time, and as comedians age, just like regular actors, thats alright.
Grown Ups is based in a small unnamed town in new england, which actually looks to be central Massachusetts by the scenery and the fact everyone has Massachusetts accents, and is the story of an elementary school basketball team that in 1978 won their first, and apparently, only basketball championship, and after a speech by their coach about how they're all winners and how proud he is of them, the film fast forwards 30 years, where you see each of the five member team as they are now. Lenny (Adam Sandler) is a Hollywood agent and married to Roxanne (Salma Hayek), Eric (Kevin James) is married to Donna (Maria Bello), Kurt (Chris Rock) is a stay at home father and is married to Deanna (Maya Rudolph), who is pregnant, and Rob (Rob Schneider) is married to Gloria (Joyce Van Patten) despite the fact that Gloria is 30 years older then him, Marcus (David Spade) is still single, living in town and spends his time drunk and randomly sleeping with any woman he can pick up. Lenny gets the call first, and decides to call the others, seeing how they are and telling them he's going to the funeral, they all decide to go along with him, being the coach's only winning team in school history, and all that he taught them about life, they felt it was important to be there, as Lenny calls them, you see alittle of what life is like 30 years later for all of them, you meet their families and stuff like that, you know, normal stuff for films of this type, its not bad, but its kind of predictable.
The funeral takes place in their hometown in central Massachusetts over July 4th Weekend, for which, Lenny rented a giant lake house for them all to stay at so they can all catch up and spend some time together, which they haven't been able to do in many years given their lives, like I said at the start, its basically the Big Chill but done as a straight up comedy, not a dramatic one. As the movie progresses, you see each character starting to change, Lenny discovers that his children are far too intrenched in their spoiled rich kid lifestyle of television and video games and being waited on hand and foot to even attempt to see that there is stuff to do outdoors, Lenny decides that he has to teach them what life was like in a world before cellphones and the internet and video games and the like, and after his wife discovers that she can't remember how to skip a rock, she sees what he is trying to do, and agrees to let them all stay instead of going to Milan Italy where she'd be debuting her fashion line for the year over that week. Everyone else, who had already planned on staying that week, is overjoyed and to celebrate, they all go to a local water park, where the film's whole third act takes place, and though its got its moments of funny involving urine dye and afew drops off a zip line into the water, the entire act mostly serves as an excuse to see Selma Hayak in a really small really sexy swim suit for an entire 20 minute segment of the film, which I am sure was kind of blatant, and yet, like any other redblooded male in the world, I can not complain, because ... yeah.
Anyway, through out the entire film, Lenny keeps running into a local named Dickie, Dickie was the captain of the basketball team they beat 30 years before, who, for some reason is rather bitter about the loss still, mocking Lenny for going off and becoming a talent agent who married a high profile fashion designer and claiming he was no good for becoming something with his life, and continually challenges Lenny to a rematch, which Lenny finds completely insane and mocks most of the film. By the end of the film, they agree to a rematch, four on four given that each team had one member that was hurt given earlier accidents in the film. And after nearly beating Dickie and his team, Lenny looks around, looks at how their loss set Dickie and his team down paths of unhappy lives where they never went anywhere and just took crappy jobs in town and being unhappy, Lenny realizes that everyone deserves atleast one win in life, stating to his wife as they watch the fireworks at the very end of the film, "I wanted to let Dickie and them feel like they have won just once, and let our kids feel what its like to lose atleast once..".
I'll be honest, this movie isn't really anything new, its not some generation defining comedy or statement that will forever speak to future generations as a timestamp of what life was like in 2010, its not some film that years from now, those in the age group its aimed at will speak of how great it was and have found memories of that they tell their grandkids about, its not smurfs in space with groundbreaking special effects, hell its not even Vincent Price as a mad scientist creating hot girl robots that wear bikinis that are rigged to explode or rob rich people, but what it is, is a funny, and at times cute way to spend two hours. Sure its not the greatest film thats ever been made, but thats fine, it doesn't need to be, sometimes all a film need to do is make you laugh, and well, call me easy to amuse, but David Spade falling face down twice into animal dung, to me is hilarious, and kind of a metaphor for his career as well. You will not find any real message or definitive moment in this film, but thats ok, because sometimes all you really need is some laughter.... Oh and Selma Hayak in a bathing suit.
here is the trailer...