Grown Ups 2's Gross-out Comedy

I think I had my hands covering my eyes more at a recent screening of Grown Ups 2 than any horror movie I have ever seen. Maybe it was a horror film. It certainly had some horrific things happen in it. Maybe, like some scary movies can do, during the course of the movie I became anesthetized to the horror, because by the end of the film I have to admit that I also laughed, more than just a few times.

The first Grown Ups was pretty silly, but certainly not as raunchy as its sequel. The recent trend in comedy seems to see how gross can we get. Bridesmaids had its bridal shop/diarrhea fest. Pitch Perfect seemed to think that projectile vomiting might be a great running gag. All of the Hangover movies are non-stop yuck-fests (and I don't mean yucks as in laughs in this case, although I'm sure that plenty of folks would disagree with me.)

Pushing the gross-o-meter is hardly anything new in movies. Remember Animal House, Porky's, and lots and lots of Monty Python? But somehow, in Grown Ups 2, mixing all of the bodily fluids and crotch shots and drug references in a (at least marketed) summer family comedy seemed a little bit more incongruous.

Sandler & Co. party like it's 1989

Sandler is once again laughing all the way to the bank, as his gross-out comedy easily beat the super-hyped sci-fi extravaganza Pacific Rim at the box office. As much as I had to sigh and wonder why Grown Ups 2 was resorting to the absolutely lowest common denominator of current comic trends, I had to applaud him once again for his commitment to his ensemble. Sandler likes to work with the same folks, again and again, and I can't complain when I get to see Steve Buscemi, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Kevin James, Maya Rudolph, etc. together again, in another movie.

The actors all seem to be having such a good time that it almost makes me forget the cringeworthy scene where a drugged-out Nick Swardson undresses, goes to bed, and then gets up to use the toilet in a home display in K-Mart. But maybe that's the Sandler Kool-Aid talking again. He keeps casting Buscemi and I keep watching.


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