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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Groan Ups

Every bone in my body wanted to hate Grown Ups. Surely this would be another brain-dead Adam Sandler spliff, his partner in crime Senor Schneider’s presence like a red rag to a bull, and yes GU is often crass and tasteless, smeared with great dirty stains of crude and puerile humour, but there is something else going on here.

There is a resonance in the central theme of lost childhood and the simplicity of bygone days that speaks to our need for friendship and simple pleasures, and that enables me to forgive a lot of this film’s lazy failings. For me there was one reluctant laugh for every two inward groans, and shakes of the head were often followed by a nod of recognition and possibly even a smile.

There are some moments of effective slapstick and as we know from his better moments Sandler is capable of being likable. His posse of Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and the ubiquitous Schneider have an easy camaraderie that is watchable, and their significant others Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph and Joyce Van Patten provide effective foils for all the nonsense. Ultimately there is a sound message at the heart of Grown Ups and this is what redeems it.

Infantile, misogynist, heart-warming fun for all the family.

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