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Teachable moment in an unwatchable film


Originally published at

So, I watched one of the worst movies of the year this weekend. It’s called “Grown Ups,” and with a cast of Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade, plus the celluloid candy of Selma Hayek and Maria Bello, you’d think you’d have, at the very least, some watchable moments… Not so much.

There’s nary a SNL skit in the 6,120-second run-time.  I converted 102 minutes to seconds, because you’ll be counting them if you rent this temporal black hole.  It wasn’t even worth $1.00 I spent at Red Box. The only way this film would be worth the money is if they paid you handsomely to watch it.

The supposed “teachable moment” in this teeming dung pile comes at the end of the film.  Sandler, who plays a Ari Gold-type Hollywood agent, intentionally misses a shot at the end of a pick-up basketball game because the other team could use the win more.   Then we’re supposed to believe the “will get ‘em next year, Dad” crap from his mollycoddled kid.  Now, as magnanimous as the plot of that morality play sounds, I think that it’s a terrible message to send a kid.  It’s OK to throw a game or intentionally miss a shot if you feel sorry for the other team. How assumptive, arrogant and contrary to the whole idea of competition is that?

There’s no teachable moment for Hollywood either.  The film grossed $164 million domestically.  Since this film looks like it took an weekend to shoot, there’s probably plenty of return even with the high-dollar talent.

So, if there is a teachable moment in this whole exercise in futility, it is this:  Don’t rent Grown Ups!

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