Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Boys Will be Boys...Some Longer than Others"

by Pa Rock
Film Critic

My primary reason for going to see the new Adam Sandler movie, Grown Ups, today was to get out of the hot, unrelenting Arizona sun - that, and the fact that I had a free pass.

The simple plot revolves around five boyhood friends and basketball teammates who reunite thirty years after their championship season to attend the funeral of their coach and scatter his ashes on an island in the lake that was one of their boyhood haunts. The funeral occurs on the Fourth of July weekend.

There are some touching moments in this film as the reuniting adults struggle to recapture the feel of their youth and to show their wives and children how life was lived and enjoyed before cell phones and computer games denatured it. There is also humor, albeit somewhat twisted, as the grown up gang plays "arrow roulette," a game from their youth where one person shoots an arrow straight up into the air, and the last of the five to not run off wins. There is also more honest adolescent humor as the sons of the grown ups deal with their hormonal urges.

Adam Sandler was a co-writer of this movie, and it is basically a vehicle to show his abilities on the screen. He is substantially outshone, however, by the beautiful Salma Hayek who portrays his wife, and the irrepressible Steve Buscemi - the film's goat who suffers most of the injuries - more adolescent humor.

As a summer-fun-by-the-lake film (in the tradition of 1979's Meatballs and 1993's Indian Summer), Grown Ups, unlike "arrow roulette," misses the mark. It's a fun idea, one that appeals to the adolescent hiding in each of us, but it falls short of where it could have taken us - back to our youth, whether it was as we remember it or not.

Grown Ups was enjoyable, but nothing more, and the price was right.

1 comment:

nick said...

We played a game similar to arrow roulette in the yard at our house in Noel when I was about 13 years old only we used the big metal yard darts that we would throw straight up into the air and then run to get out of the way to avoid getting a metal spike to the head. I saw a box of these recently in the trunk of a friends car and really had to wonder who the hell came up with the idea for this toy? And we could have these to play with but I couldn't have a bb gun because I could shoot my eye out?? lol