Grandma's Boy (2006)

grandmas_boyRob Schneider, David Spade, I want you to get down on all fours and thank the stars you know Adam Sandler. Thank Sandler. Build an altar to him and thank him for helping your mere shreds you call careers. Where would you be without that douche bag? Nowhere and you know it. How else can you explain your cameos in “Grandma’s Boy,” an otherwise glorified custom made vehicle for all of Sandler’s pals? “Grandma’s Boy” is a vain film. Vain in the assumption that through endless sex jokes, and weed induced sight gags, that it’s making a commentary about ageism. Really, it’s nothing but a veil thrown over it to add a thin sense of non-existent intelligence.

“Grandma’s Boy” is a flat comedy about a video game programmer who loses his apartment thanks to his hooker addicted roommate, and is forced to live with his grandmother and friends. The whole center of the film is the experiences of our character Alex living with three old women in a house filled with antiques. But oddly, that’s sidetracked for a rather boring plot of Alex’s attempts to break into the video game business. All three writers pack in so many potential sub-plots, and plot elements, that it all feels like one big messy attempt to add jobs to Sandler’s friends’ resumes.

There’s Alex living with his grandmother, Alex attempting to cope with the doldrums of his job, Alex falling in love with an executive, JP, an awfully unfunny character who steals others ideas, the Macguffin of finishing a big game before the deadline, and it just goes on and on. There are admittedly some chuckle inducing moments presented here that provide a glimpse of the possibilities. Alex masturbating at the beginning provides a guffaw, while the scene in the Vegan restaurant had the possibility to induce a knee slap or two, yet still ended up drawing a chuckle, sad as I am to admit it. There’s a lot of potential in the script, and with a much more creative trio, this would have been one of the funnier comedies of 2006. As for Linda Cardellini, having her sing “Push It” while clutching her chest was a blatant attempt to woo the male audience, and it worked.

Cardellini is so much fun to look at, even if she does piss on her resume here. I’ve crushed on her since “Freaks & Geeks” and here, she’s even more gorgeous than ever. And it’s great that even in the tidal wave of crap, Doris Roberts still maintains her dignity as Alex’s grandmother who is naïve but well intentioned. There are so many threads that are never resolved here, and none of it is funny or entertaining. The sub-plots go on and on and never bind together to form a coherent picture. It’s hard to believe it took three writers to shit this crap onto the page. While it’s never as awful as I originally predicted, it’s still a messy result of too many cooks in the kitchen and lacks any sense of energy or laughs.

Covert is a rather bland lead character forced to compete in a young man’s world, while most of the supporting cast wings it sleepwalking around the film spouting one-liners, and engaging in much physical humor, ad nauseum. As annoyed as I am to admit, “Grandma’s Boy” with a different team of writers, and a better studio, could have been a funny and entertaining comedy. The plot involving the video games and Alex living with his grandmother are seeds for hysterical humor, but it’s pissed away minute by minute without anything to show for it. Happy Madison has filled its quota with providing Adam Sandler’s friends with roles, but the odd thing is, “Grandma’s Boy” is so filled with untapped laughs, potentially interesting sub-plots and fails in every single aspect in a mostly laughless stoner comedy.