With lots of stars, and an array of familiar faces in the background, one can hardly blame viewers for expecting plenty of good banter and chemistry from 'Grown Ups'. However, just like this year's 'Couples Retreat' and 'The A-Team', Dennis Dugan's film fails to deliver. Instead, the audience is forced to watch Adam Sandler's summer vacation video, which flaunts how much fun he had. It's a plot we have seen so many times before, and if the premise does not have you snoring Sandler's goofy funny guy act will.
We are initially introduced to a group of 12-year-old boys who win a championship basketball game. More than 30 years later their coach has passed away and the teammates reunite at his funeral. There is absolutely no reason to believe these five kids have developed into lifelong adult friends, but that's what the movie desperately tries to make us believe. In honour of their coach, a weekend of remembrance is held at a childhood lakeside haunt. This getaway conveniently allows us to get an insight into how these chums have progressed as adults.
Lenny (Sandler) is now a Hollywood big shot whose materialistic kids and beautiful-but-superficial fashion designer wife (Hayek) would give MTV's 'Laguna Beach' a run for its money.
Then there is Eric (James) and his wife Sally (Bello), who still breastfeeds their four-year-old son, which of course we get to see throughout this flick.
Kurt (Rock), the only remotely interesting character, is a stay-at-home dad who's insecurity with his wife Deanne (Rudolph) makes for a delicious joke up until his wife's obnoxious mother intrudes upon the storyline with her bad habits and flatulent ways.
Rounding out the group are charmer Marcus (Spade) and spiritual guru Rob (Schneider), whose public displays of affection with his elderly wife Gloria (Van Patten) makes this movie reek of desperation.
The script by Sandler and Fred Wolf provides nothing but clichéd one liners, lame running gags and predictable set-ups. The concept may have been successful if the jokes weren't so forced, but five actors competing for screen time despite not having anything funny to contribute amounts to a shocking waste of talent. You think they'd know better at their age.