Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Released on June 25, 2010
Directed by Dennis Dugan
Written by Adam Sandler and Fred Wolf
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Joyce Van Patten, Steve Buscemi, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Dan Patrick, Blake Clark, Norm MacDonald, Dennis Dugan
Good lord, was this ever a shockingly unfunny mess! An absolute dismal excuse for a comedy that had me regretting the decision to watch it mere minutes after I’d started. Forced, false, overboard, typical, phony, dull, and filled with cheap laughs and cheap shots at others that had no relation to the story whatsoever. The screenplay itself—if there ever was one—seemed to be pasted together from remnants of other low-end comedies, and Dennis Dugan directed the whole ordeal as if it were a prison sentence.
Sadly, what might’ve been a decent, heartwarming, and humorous story—after thirty years apart, five childhood friends gather for a weekend reunion at an idyllic lake house, with their disparate families in tow—was killed by misplaced sentimentality, a barrage of one-liners and comments that seemed ad-libbed by a five-man comedy act, and no sense of what was true-to-life and what wasn’t. I could give you a hundred examples why this film stunk, but here’s one, in a nutshell, that perfectly defined it all: Kevin James with a KFC bucket on his head.
Yep, that was it…that’s all there was to the gag, and we were expected to laugh. Want more? How about a joke I didn’t even understand, and had to have explained to me later: James is ready to water ski, Rob Schneider gives the boat some gas, it rears up, and the outboard motor falls off. I seriously had no idea what happened…I assumed the boat hit a rock. No, it was a fat joke, at James’ expense…and he’s not even fat, for chrissake!
About the only thing I got a kick out of was watching, of all things, the editing of scenes, and noticing how some moments following jokes seemed to drag on too long…as if they were waiting for anticipated audience laughter to die down before moving on. Which was unfortunate, because I rarely laughed, and this extension of shots only helped to create uncomfortable silences and to needlessly expand the length of the film.
So, I’m giving you fair warning: steer clear of this breech birth of a film at all costs; there is nothing remotely comedic to be found anywhere, and the depth of stupidity it sunk to was enough to give me a raging case of the bends. And in case my generous rating baffles you, this earned one star only because I really liked that house on the lake, and would’ve loved to spend a summer there myself, and I really love Maria Bello, who deserved much, much better than this. (1/10)