I didn’t want to write this review – in fact I almost forgot about it because I consciously tried to forget the movie. Adam Sandler gets his old crew together again (with one or two new faces) to go through the motions and bring out jokes and gags from their 90’s playbook – though I was surprised that Rob Schneider was missing – has he moved on?
Some say that Sandler phones the studios to convey some kind of an idea for a film, and then they all gather on set and start filming, planning the film on a day-to-day basis. Okay… so a famous guy returns to his home town where he’s nicknamed “Mr. Hollywood”, to settle with his family and old friends. He and the friends (Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James) seem to have trouble with the idea of getting old – constantly trying to regurgitate the ‘good-‘ol-days’.
I’m not even sure Sandler fans will enjoy this one (because I used to be one) – maybe its targeted at teenage boys, or guys wading through a mid-life crisis.
The Bottom Line
It says something when Kevin James becomes the best performer of a film – and does so without really trying. It just felt like all the actors showed up because they had nothing better to do – which is depressing. How Salma Hayek fell into this crowd is a mystery, she seems to be quite content with it though. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that individually (and perhaps collectively), they’re all so much better than this. And then they managed to drag Maria Bello into the mix (or mud) as well!?!
The potential highlight of the film though, is the group of exaggerated buff frat boys, led by Taylor Lautner and Milo Ventimiglia who have a strange, tension filled, ‘bro-love’ thing going on.
Otherwise it’s a volley of them (the actors) laughing tiredly at their own jokes or pranks with a family of characters exclaiming “WHAAAT?!” at every other turn. Shaquille O’Neal makes more than an appearance, along with Stone Cold Steve Austin… more than half the characters are dim-witted and everyone seems to find the same things funny – like the sneeze-burp-fart. Yes, that’s basically it – I chuckled once at something one of the female characters said, I forget who or what scene, but the cinema remained largely quiet (although I did hear some embarrassed laughter on several occasions). I suppose that’s how some might approach it; some people may laugh a little, only to subsequently go stare at themselves in the mirror, guilt struck, to think about what they’ve done because quite frankly we deserve, and are, better than this – I urge you, I IMPLORE you, DO NOT waste your well earned money on this film!
Joel did mention that this film is actually an improvement from Sandler’s most recent work – which to me, is just depressing. Fo’ Shame Adam Sandler, For’ Shame!