The Tragedy That Is Adam Sandler's 'Grown Ups'

It's fatuous, tired and astoundingly immature

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The nation's critics have little love for Adam Sandler's slapstick coming-of-age film Grown Ups debuting this weekend. Despite having an all-star cast of Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade and Salma Hayek, critics just can't stomach the film's cheap laughs. Here's their beef:

  • Sandler Needs to Grow Up, writes Scott Bowles at USA Today: "The humor seems to be aging along with the star. Sandler (who wrote the script) may still find flatulence and fat jokes funny, but unless you like to see men struggling with their bodily functions, the gross-out humor falls flat here. Co-starring Sandler's buddies Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider, Grown Ups plays more like an inside joke between friends. Think Ocean's Eleven with paunch."
  • Like a Bad Family Gathering, writes Betsy Sharkey at The Los Angeles Times: "The new Adam Sandler comedy has all the charm of a home movie that does not star your own family, which means it's overly sentimental, filled with you-had-to-be-there moments, bad jokes and even worse camera angles. It's also far too long and an excellent reminder of why most of us spare our friends this sort of share."
  • A 'D+' That Had Potential, writes Eric Snider at SeattlePI: "There is great comic potential in seeing old friends react to how they've changed over the years, and how their families -- friends-in-law, really -- react to each other. Grown Ups gets a lot of mileage out of Rob having a much older wife, but its only other joke of this nature is that Eric's wife still breastfeeds their 4-year-old son. You can tell the movie is proud of this joke, too, because it comes back to it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, obliterating any measure of humor the gag might have once held."
  • Very Tired Humor, writes Stephen Witty at the Newark Star-Ledger: "The jokes are strictly out of adolescence and the locker room (old women are disgusting, grown women are nags, young women in tiny shorts are really, really hot.)"
  • 'Grown Ups' Isn't Even Grammatically Correct, writes Slate's exacting Nathan Heller. He reminds readers that the correct spelling is actually grown-ups: "The noun grown ups makes no sense. To grow up—or to push down, to walk toward, to jump up—is a straightforward verb intensified with a preposition. Grown-up is a single noun compounded from those pieces. But what's a grown up? Grammatically, this uncompounded object makes sense only if one is describing an "up" that has grown. And what's an 'up'? Does it eat? Need it be socialized?"
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