Movie Monday: Grown Ups

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grown ups.JPGSo, given your choice of watching children’s toys act like adults or real adults act like children, what would you pick?

Most Americans went with the playthings this week, pushing Toy Story 3 to the top of the weekend’s movie charts again with $59 million, according to Box Office Mojo. The Adam Sandler-helmed Grown Ups, in which a group of childhood pals reunite for a long (looooong) weekend, scored $41 million to finish second, and Tom Cruise’s spy-caper Knight and Day made $20.5 million for third.

Toy Story 3 has already made more than $226 million in less than two weeks, which means that four of the year’s top five films (Alice in Wonderland, Shrek Forever After and How to Train Your Dragon are the others) were specifically made for families and rated G or PG. Pretty interesting.

In a bizarre sort of way, the PG-13-rated Grown Ups was scrambling to be about family, too. Sandler and most of his childhood buddies are family men now, and we see through the course of the film how much their spouses and children mean to them. I walked away from the film strangely encouraged.

Not that Grown Ups’ sweeter-than-expected heart made the film any better, either artistically or content-wise. The whole film often felt like an excuse to wedge several funny folks (the cast includes Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider) onto the screen at the same time in the hopes that something mildly amusing might happen along the way.

It doesn’t. Instead, the cast simply fire off a series of put-downs and sexual entendres at each other, making the whole film feel, at times, like an HR instructional video on bullying than a clever comedy.

But enough of my grousing. Any of you see Grown Ups? Or did you visit Toy Story 3? What did you think?

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Greg71:

I saw Toy Story 3 last week, but couldn't make a post (probably since I'm one of the few remaining people that only has dial-up; every time I clicked on the 'add a comment' link it just took me back to the top of the page). Further proof I'm living in the stone age is that I just bought a used VCR to replace my old one. My only tv is a 20" box set, although it does have a digital chip in it.

Anyway, I liked Toy Story 3, but I didn't feel it was Pixar's best movie yet, or even better than the other Toy Story(s).  It really wasn't scarier or darker than the other ones, so I don't think parents need worry about that. The running gags with Buzz Lightyear wore thin quickly on me, but the overall story had the usual Pixar wit and charm. The ending felt a little sappy; more like it was trying to tug on the heart strings of parents experiencing empty nest syndrome than a genuine ending. I still prefer Up and Wall-E, but I'm glad family fare is doing so well at the box office.