problem with people that are stoned (well, other than the fact that they eat
all your food) is that they will laugh at just about
dude, a monkey driving a car... Cool! Hey, how about a
supporting character in full bushmen's makeup and gear. And we can
make him curse! That rocks. The owner of a video game company
who is a new age vegan? Ha Ha. A guy so nerdy that he
occasionally pretends to be a robot? Dude! An old lady having
sex with a virginal dork. That kills. Masturbating to a Lara
Croft doll? No, that's probably not funny even if you're wasted.
film is written by and stars long-time Adam Sandler collaborator Allen
Covert as Alex, a professional video game tester who is almost always high.
I don't know how autobiographical the character is, but some of the scenes,
like those mentioned above, have a definite stoner mentality. Which is
too bad, because Allen Covert's Grandma's Boy is a pretty funny idea
and it has some terrific moments, but it also has too many sections that just sort of
lay there, tired and dazed on the couch, contemplating their fingers and
enduring a major case of the munchies.
plot of the movie, or what little plot there is, has Alex's roommate blowing
their rent money on hookers. When attempts to crash at friends' places
fail humiliatingly, Alex has to move in with his Grandma (Doris Roberts of
Everybody Loves Raymond) and her two roommates, the sexually
aggressive Grace (Shirley Jones yes, Mrs. Partridge!) and the oddly
muddled in fact she seems borderline demented Bea (Tony Award winning
thespian Shirley Knight).
meantime, Alex's work life is crazy. A new game by an eccentric
prodigy programmer (Joel David Moore) has to be tested to get ready for
launch. The game company sends a beautiful executive named Samantha
(Linda Cardellini of ER and Freaks and Geeks) to oversee the
final stages. There is an immediate attraction between the exec and
her slacker tester, but the offbeat programmer also has eyes for her.
like the older actresses, Cardellini is probably a little too good an
actress to be in
this role, but she throws herself into it with such gusto that she can't
help but light up all the scenes she is in. A section where she
drunkenly does a karaoke version of Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" is one of the
high points of the film, just because it has attitude to burn in a film
where most of the people are either laid-back (cannabis buzzed) or
testosterone spewing (the game competitions and the guy fights).
tells all of his virginal buddies at work that he is living with three girls
who are sexing him night and day, but he is really exhausted because his
grandma give him a bunch of chores. In return, he turns them onto
cable television, Antiques Roadshow and video games. Then when
the three find his stash and assume it's tea... well, you get the idea.
leads to some party blowout scenes, lots of alcohol, a little gratuitous
nudity, lots of doper humor, a few unfunny cameos from producer Sandler's
former Saturday Night Live buddies Kevin Nealon, David Spade and Rob
Schneider and some wonderful, fun-filled work from the old
pros. Roberts doesn't do anything all that different than what she's
done before, but she's still good at it. Jones is rather shocking at
first in the frankness of the character, but by the time she's telling sex
stories of Charlie Chaplin and Don Knotts in order to seduce a tester you
can't help but laugh at the chances she takes. Shirley Knight's
karaoke performance of Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me" is also surprisingly
funny two funny karaoke performances in one film, I wouldn't have thought
that would be possible.
However, plot isn't that important in Grandma's Boy. Instead
the movie has a tendency to go more for lots of laid-back character moments,
led by the slacker charm of its star. Covert does have the ability to
carry a movie though frankly he needs a stronger script than he and his
collaborators have provided.
movie has some laugh-out-loud moments, but the
cold hard fact of the matter is that Grandma's Boy would undoubtedly
be a lot funnier if you, too, were stoned. Hey man, don't bogart the
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Posted: January 7, 2006.