Who’s a Grown Up  now?
Grown Ups is the 2010 comedy with a packed team of comic maestros Adam Sandler, Kevin James (King of Queens), Chris Rock, David Spade (Joe Dirt) and Rob Schneider (Big Stan) with supporting roles (mainly as the wives) from Selma Hayek Pinault, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph and Joyce Van Patten.
The film, directed by Dennis Dugan and written by Sandler and Fred Wolf is about a groups of friends who come together to mourn the death of their childhood basketball coach.
The younger versions of Lenny Feder (Sandler), Eric Lamensoff (James), Kurt McKenzie (Rock), Marcus Higgins (Spade) and Rob Hilliard (Schneider) made up the St. Mark’s basketball team that won the C.Y.O City Championships in 1978 under the guidance of their coach “Buzzer” (Blake Clark) – the only of the coach’s team to win a championship.
30 years later the team come together for the funeral and mourning of their beloved coach. It also gives them time to reunite, reminisce and rekindle the inner child.
There is a particular scene where the guys, excluding Rob, get to perversely watch Rob’s daughter trying to fix her car – a trait which is also shared by Lenny and Kurt’s sons Greg (Jake Goldberg) and Andre (Nadji Jeter) respectively.The chemistry and timing of these guys is perfect. When I first saw the line-up, I had expected some friction especially having so many comedy superstars in one film. Fortunately, watching this film was like watching a team of professional athletes doing their thing.
Although, they are friends and a team, Rob bears the butt of the jokes especially with his choice in women, his hairstyle and approach to life.
He arrives at the funeral with his older (much older) wife Gloria (Van Patten) whom Roxanne (Hayek Pinault), Lenny’s wife, mistakes for his mother and he wears a toupee. All throughout the film he gets singled out most of the time which gets many laughs.
However, being a ‘conspiracy theorist (to some degree)’, I found Rock’s character, Kurt McKenzie, a bit distasteful. There was a show on Oprah which Dave Chappelle told the audience and Oprah about his refusal to wear a dress in a film.
He further explains his conspiracy theory about the film industry forcing male African American actors to wear a dress in some point of their career. In this case, Kurt does not wear a dress; however, he assumes the feminist role by being a house husband and doing almost everything that was once considered traditionally a female role.
I also noticed an uncanny resemblance between the young Lenny (Michael Cavaleri) and Seinfeld.
Apart from that, the film conveys a beautiful message – which is life is too short and we have to make the most of it ‘so that when the final buzzer of life goes off, you’ll have no regrets.’