Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
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"Ha! Cookies and MILF."
Five school friends have returned to New England after 32 years to say goodbye to their old junior-high basketball coach, Buzzer. Back in 1978, when they were still children he took them back to a rented lake house to celebrate their championship title. Buzzer was beloved, and he taught the team valuable life lessons. One of the teammates is named Lenny Feder; he rented the same lake house for the 4th of July weekend for his other four friends (Eric, Kurt, Rob and Marcus) and their families to stay at. Lenny would only stay one night as his wife; a fashion designer has a showcase of her designs in Milan.
After the families had gotten adjusted to each other, Lenny noticed his kids' idea of fun was staying indoors and playing video games. He secretly postponed his family's departure to try and teach them the value of playing outside and more importantly playing together with the other children and as a family as well.
This was not one of Adam Sandler's best films, yet it was nowhere near his worst. While it easily outshines total blunders like the idiotic I now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, the pointless You Don't Mess With the Zohan or total misstep Little Nicky, it doesn't capture the family feel of Big Daddy, the silliness of Waterboy or the romantic elements of 50 First Dates. I put this one on par with another one of his films, Mr. Deeds. Having said this, I was expecting more from such a big cast of such huge names in comedy. We have SNL alumni like Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn and Tim Meadows, as well as some major eye candy with hottie Salma Hayek, as well as Maria Bello as well as Jamie Chung and newcomer Madison Riley.
Sandler attempts to capture a feeling of togetherness and family in this film, and there are moments where he is successful. The best example of this is when the children have created "telephones" with paper cups and string at bedtime. Scenes like this rival past films like Click, Big Daddy or Bedtime Stories. However the comedy aspect feels more like Funny People, where the large cast has to fit in their one-liners. So when the film attempts humor it feels like a string of zingers in a row instead of a more fluid story.
Chris Rock hardly got any funny lines at all, whereas the relatively unfunny Kevin James was an equal costar with Sandler more than anyone else. I didn't really understand Rob Schneider's character Rob Hilliard. Okay, he is attracted to much older women, he's a drama queen and he has no sense of humor. I don't see the gag, aside from the many scenes of he and his wife (played by Joyce Van Patten) get "affectionate."
The film has a PG-13 rating, and I'm not sure how offensive this really is. The cussing is at the minimum, the sexual talk is abundant yet not raunchy. There is a gag of a four-year-old child that still breastfeeds, which is odd but not very off-putting. I think that maybe 10 or 11 years old would be fine to watch this. Don't consider this a clunker by any means, but don't expect to laugh uncontrollably either. Rated three stars.
Directed by: Dennis Dugan (Just Go With It, Saving Silverman)
Written by: Fred Wolf (Strange Wilderness, Dickie Roberts) Adam Sandler (Little Nicky, The Waterboy)
Starring: Adam Sandler (Zookeeper, Funny People, Reign Over Me), Salma Hayek (Across the Universe, Bandidas, Dogma) Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Monster House, 50 First Dates), Chris Rock (I Think I Love My Wife, Down To Earth), Maria Bello (World Trade Center, Secret Window, Duets)
Length: 102 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (some language, male hiney, adult themes)
Rating: 3 stars
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Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older