Monday, 30 August 2010
The most rewarding scene of Piranha 3D.
You know how there are some movies that are so delusionally unfunny, they feel like the kid you knew in high school, who believed that the secret to being hilarious lied in amping the volume or just not breaking eye contact until you're were forced to laugh out of self-preservation? And do you know how some movies are so thoroughly smug and self-satisfied, that they feel like the guy who so believes in his own awesomeness, that he feels you should be grateful that he's even talking to a plebhead like you? And do you know how some movies are so bereft of talent that almost everyone's presence offends you, to the point it actually makes you angry? Well Grown-Ups is all of these things and more. A movie so lazily awful that it's almost offensive.
This is all Adam Sandler's fault. He has kind of broken out of the C/B- list of comedians to become an honest to Betsy A-lister, whose movies usually make 100 million on the back of his name and here he is, dragging David Spade and Rob Schneider, entities the world has rightly rejected, along with him to the same heights. Sandler, for me at least, is a terrible comedian. He doesn't really add intelligence to the mix, he's not a rubber face like Jim Carrey, he's not a good physical comedian and he doesn't even seem that comfortable with self-deprecation, much preferring to humiliate the supporting cast instead. I don't get why he's done so well for himself, because he's just not very good at what he does. But in a way I'm glad he did, because against all odds I think Sandler is a fantastic dramatic actor, to the point that I am as equally excited to seem him do that kind of work as I am despairing for his comedic roles. And if you have had to see ten Grown-Ups, to get the one performance as good as he gives in Punch Drunk Love then it's worth it. I dejectedly suppose.
Doesn't mean I'm not going to rip these movies to shit though, and Grown-Ups might be the worst of the lot. In past Sandler comedies, they were bad but at least they were movies by some conventional sense. This one just sees Sandler and friends getting paid to hang out and improv unfunny jokes and then laugh really hard at themselves. And believe me they do that a lot in this. So much laughing at stuff that doesn't deserve anything but echoing silence. Its as if they backdoored a laugh-track onto the film just in-case the audience didn't quite get the concept. Which to be fair in this film is a distinct possibility. Sandler is just his usual ineffectual self, Kevin James is probably the least obnoxious, even if he has made a career out of telling fat jokes about himself. Chris Rock is a terrible actor, the Jerry Seinfeld of black comedians in that sense, and something just doesn't seem to click as it should. And as for Rob Schneider and David Spade, well they can just fuck off. But they are not the worst thing in this movie. No, that is Salma Hayek, who a great actress in the right context, can be shockingly awful in the wrong one. And this is the wrong one. Her delivery is just way too big all the time, and frankly its kind of nauseating. Won't be too many worse performances this year I'd imagine.
But Grown-Ups doesn't care what I think. Men of a certain intelligence bought their tickets and made this movie a success and isn't that all that matters. Just call me next time Sandler does a serious one.