Grown Ups 

Adam Sandler
Kevin James
Rob Schneider
David Spade
Chris Rock

Directed by: Dennis Dugan (“Problem Child”, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry”)

Recommendation: Rent
Rating: 6 out of 10

The Happy Madison crew is back with another comedy film.  In Grown Ups, five childhood friends reunite in their hometown for the funeral of their youth basketball coach, 30 years after their championship game.  Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is a hotshot Hollywood agent married to a famous fashion designer (Salma Hayek) and has three spoiled kids.  Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) is the husky man of the group, seemingly doing well for himself with a beautiful, tabloid-obsessed housewife (Maria Bello) and two equally spolied children.  Marcus Higgins (David Spade) is the loner in the group living it up in the singles life.  Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a devoted house-husband and father of two whose pregnant wife (Maya Rudolph) takes for granted and whose mother-in-law drives him insane.  And finally, Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) is a weird, little, hippie/vegan who’s married to a woman twice his age.  With all of them spending the weekend in one lake cabin, and the basketball team that they beat as kids coming back to challenge them again as adults, the hijinks ensue.

If you’ve seen any of the other Happy Madison films, you’re sure to recognize most of the cast from the earlier films: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Blake Clark, Steve Buscemi and plenty of old SNL alumni.  However, this was just an above average movie.  The laughs were plentiful, but the story was just okay.  For the most part, it seemed like the gang was just going through the motions and not really putting any real effort behind the movie.  Adam Sandler has definitely grown up and has been great in his more serious roles, but it seemed in this role that he was trying to get back to the adolescent humor that made him popular in the first place; trying a bit too hard and not succeeding.  Kevin James and David Spade pull off their usual routine very well and Chris Rock was fairly good as the emasculated token black man.  Rob Schneider though reinvents himself once again and is eerily brilliant and hilarious.  Although not worth paying full price admission for, it’s definitely worth at least renting and watching once it comes out on cable.