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Grown Ups


Stars: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek Pinault, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Ebony Jo-Ann, Joyce Van Patten

Director: Dennis Dugan

Not so much grown, as groan. This Adam Sandler bonding comedy is, even with the inevitable rush of fart jokes, genial and essentially good-natured. But, as in much of the comedian's recent work, where's the laughs? People falling over, or flat on their faces in muck/cake/water/whatever, just doesn't cut it. Only Laurel and Hardy could get away with that and still make us smile.

Five basketball friends are reunited, 30 years after their triumph in a schools' cup final, by the death of their coach. And so, after the funeral, off they go on a lakeside holiday weekend.

Larry (Sandler) has told his fashion designer wife (Hayek Pinault) that he'll cut the break short for them to go to her latest show in Italy. But does he mean it? Burly Eric's (James) wife (Bello) is still breast-feeding their four-year-old. Three-times-divorced Rob (Schneider) is with his much older fourth wife (Van Patten, celebrating 60 years in films), while Kurt (Rock) has heavily-pregnant Deanne (Rudolph) and her flatulent mother (Jo-Ann) in tow. The only bachelor is flaky Marcus (Spade).

Together, they get up to the childish pranks you might expect, including 'arrow roulette, where one fires an arrow miles in the air, the last one breaking to flee its downward path being the winner.

No winners here, alas, least of all Steve Buscemi, in a very unfunny cameo on his return to the screen. It's all nearly as painful as Schneider's foot after the arrow impales it.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
102 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 25 Aug 2010