|Featuring:||Adam Sandler … Lenny Feder
Kevin James … Eric Lamonsoff
Chris Rock … Kurt McKenzie
Salma Hayek … Roxanne Chase-Feder
David Spade … Marcus Higgins
Maya Rudolph … Deanne McKenzie
Maria Bello … Sally Lamonsoff
Nick Swardson … Nick
Steve Buscemi … Wiley
Happy Madison Productions
|Distributor:||Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)|
“Just because they’re a little older doesn’t mean they’ve grown up.”
Prequel to this movie: Grown Ups (2010)
Why is it that the Grown Ups franchise continues to do so well despite its lackluster performance and overwhelmingly negative reviews? There are different answers to this, but I have one answer: most Adam Sandler movies perform excellently despite the quality of the film. Sandler is one of a few actors out there where people cannot get enough of him, despite his (or the film’s) terrible performance.
“Grown Ups 2” is a sequel to the fan-favorite film released a few years prior about a group of best friends who get together for a weekend after being apart for years. This new film is about the same friends (minus Rob Schneider) getting together after going back to their hometown after Adam Sandler’s character Lenny Feder relocates his family from the big city back to their hometown in Connecticut. The film follows the characters’ going back to roots, and facing the challenges that come with change over the years they were gone. The film also deals with the discovery that Lenny Feder’s wife Roxanne is pregnant and how Lenny deals with this revelation, while fighting an angry group of jock teenagers that ruin the peaceful environment of the town.
This film made me laugh much more than once (as many Adam Sandler movies do), mainly due to its use of slapstick and clever use of inappropriate comedy; this does, however, get out of hand. The reason for this may be because the film does not have a well constructed plot and script, and relies heavily on one-liners, racist and sexual stereotypes, and bathroom jokes (though I do admit that I am a sucker for bathroom jokes).
What is well done in the film is the progression of the pregnancy subplot, especially near the end of the film, which I will discuss later.
Violence: The film’s violence is more slapstick than anything else, as there are many scenes with people getting hit in the head, fighting with animals (a moose to be exact), animals fighting people (near the film’s end), and people falling over things and landing flat. Though much of the violence is rather comedic, it increases near the film’s end. There is a big brawl, with much punching, throwing, kicking, and grappling.
Language: Coarse language is typical in Sandler movies, especially in this one, as words like “d*ck” (2), “a**” (used many times), “a**h**e,” “d*mn” (at least 3 times), and “hell” (2), are used. There are also sexual slang terms used, and God’s name is used in vain at least once. There is also name-calling in the film, such as “loser,” “nitwits,” “fart-heads,” “moron,” and other names. Someone also compares another person to Satan.
Sex/Nudity: There are plenty of sexual moments, and a little bit of nudity. Women’s cleavage is shown, with men ogling it; a mailman high-fives Lenny after seeing his wife’s bra hanging from a moose’s head; women in a yoga class make sexual passes at their yoga teacher, not knowing that he is gay (and then grow greatly disappointed after this revelation); the men in town ogle a dance teacher during a school recital. A number of sex and/or masturbation jokes are made. Lenny feels threatened by his wife’s yoga instructor before finding out he is gay. Talk of “hooking up” is made, and there are scenes with many people (male and female) dress in swimwear, bikinis, and underwear. There is also a rather disturbing scene where the main male characters are forced by the jocks to jump off a rock face naked into the water below; one of the characters lands on his friend in the water.
Though there is not a whole lot to take out of this film, one thing people can note is the emphasis on family and friendship. Upon finding out about his wife’s pregnancy and reflecting on it, Lenny decides that family is the most important thing and decides he wants this child in his life.
This reminds me of a verse from Psalms:
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).
Also, the friendship between the main characters is a good example to others, even though they continuously taunt each other.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)!
Overall, this film is not for everyone, specifically because of its lackluster storytelling and many sexual and profane moments. However, those that are fans of Adam Sandler’s work may enjoy it; I do caution Christians if they choose to view it.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.