Adam Sandler Is A Family Man
Adam Sandler has evolved from frat boy comic to Saturday Night Live regular to movie star. And as a movie star he has evolved from immature antics to romantic comedy to family man. His new film Grown-Ups is a mark of that change. This film presents Sandler's perspective from his current real life role as husband and a father.
In the film, which was written by Sandler and Fred Wolf, he stars as Lenny Feder, a very successful agent living in Hollywood. He has a gorgeous and talented wife named Roxanne (Salma Hayek) who has created her own dress line. They have three adorable but slightly spoiled children who are cared for by a nanny named Rita (Di Quon).
Lenny gets word that his old basketball coach (Blake Clark) has died. He and the family head east to attend the funeral and also to have a weekend reunion with his old teammates. These include Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock), Marcus (David Spade) and Rob (Rob Schneider).
Eric is married to Sally (Maria Bello) and they have a four year old son who still breast feeds. They also have a young daughter. Kurt is married to Deanna (Maya Rudolph) and they are expecting their third child. Her mother, Mama Ronzoni (Ebony Jo-Ann) also lives with them. Rob has been married several times in the past and is now married to Gloria (Joyce Van Patten) who is much older than he is. Marcus is the only bachelor in the group.
The movie looks at the interaction of these five guys as they come together again. The friendships seem to come back easily and soon they are making fun of each other and pulling silly tricks as only good friends can. This gives the movie its warmth and also provides some of the best comic moments in the film.
The movie is all about relationships: parents and children, husband and wives, friends and friends. It is presented in such a way as to make the audience like every single one of the participants and to provide the viewers with an abundance of laughs as these relationships are tested.
Sandler is a comfortable fit in his role as Lenny as are all the other actors with theirs. These guys appear to be friends with each other and none of it seems forced. Sandler has the best way with the one liners but Spade creates a cool but clumsy character in Marcus. James is the best at physical comedy as Eric. Rock is the comically reactive Kurt and Schneider is the most put upon as Rob.
The women are equally good with Rudolph and Van Patten being the stand outs at comedy and Bello and Hayek being the stand outs in looks. All of the kids are cute without being annoying.
The movie is rated PG-13 for some profanity and adult situations.
Grown-Ups is a movie that leads with its heart. It isn't ashamed of its sentimentality and puts it all out there to be picked and prodded. The great thing is the movie is also very funny. There are laugh out loud moments that will stick with you. On the negative side, the editing in the movie isn't the best and it looks like some scenes were just chopped off for timing purposes, but this is just a tiny quibble.
For heart and humor don't miss Grown-Ups. It might not appeal to The Hangover crowd but for a large segment of the population it will be just what they need in summer entertainment.
I scored Grown-Ups a mature 7 out of 10.