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Overall Rating
3.02

Awesome: 38.14%
Worth A Look: 6.19%
Average: 14.43%
Pretty Bad: 2.06%
Total Crap39.18%

6 reviews, 61 user ratings


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Grandma's Boy
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by David Cornelius

"Finally, a comedy for people who don't like to laugh!"
1 stars

I missed the chance to review “Grandma’s Boy” while it played in theaters for a few weeks in January; it was unscreened for critics, and I wasn’t about to plunk down the ten bucks to play catch up. I did, however, get to see “The Benchwarmers,” a dreadful comedy from the same folks released a few months later. My critique of that movie got its co-writer/co-star, Nick Swardson, to write a deliriously snippy email to me (the report on it can be found elsewhere on this site), so when the opportunity arose to take a glance at “Grandma’s Boy” in honor of its unrated DVD release, how I could I resist?

My wife wondered why I’d bother - it’s just asking for more trouble, she’d say. Fellow critic Scott Weinberg chimed in with a warning, calling it an unwatchable mess, one that makes “Benchwarmers” look like the original “Bad News Bears,” if I recall his comparison correctly. “Stay away” was the caveat of choice from everyone I knew unlucky enough to have seen it. “Oh, come on,” I’d reply. “How bad could it possibly be?”

You have to be careful when you make a comment like that, because life has a way of playing gotcha! with your understatements. For “Grandma’s Boy” isn’t so much a movie as it is a clumsy bundle of ineptly written situations and unbearably stupid clichés. It’s the kind of movie that looks like it was written in one booze- and pot-filled evening, with jokes that would only appeal to those writing them at four in the morning. Nothing in this film makes the least amount of sense. There’s no flow, no logic, no basic understanding of the general rules of comedy. It’s as if you sat down with a room full of retarded monkeys, told them the basics of a few lousy T&A stoner comedies of the 1980s, and then asked them to write a new one.

In this case, the retarded monkeys are Allen Covert, best known for cameos and uninteresting second banana roles in every Adam Sandler movie ever made; Swardson, the stand-up comic best known for his performance as “Gay Prostitute” on “Reno 911!;” and Barry Wernick, who is not best known for anything, although he was once a writer for the weak NBC sitcom “Boston Common,” if that tells you anything. Also along for the ride is Nicholaus Goossen, who rose from being Sandler’s gopher to directing this, a movie which was probably made just so Covert would stop pestering Sandler about making this “awesome” movie he has in mind.

Their premise is simple: a 36-year-old loser gets kicked out of his apartment and must live with his grandmother and her two roommates. The intended comedy, then, comes from him having to adjust his party lifestyle to the world of the Golden Girls. If you think that’s not really enough to carry a feature length movie, you’d be right. The writers know this, so they don’t make their movie about this at all, really. Oh, there are some jokes about granny learning to play violent Xbox games, or old women accidentally getting stoned (how clever!) and throwing a wild party, but not much else. For the most part, the 36-year-old loser (played by Covert, in the role he was born to fill, I suppose) is barely seen at his grandma’s house, and grandma is seldom part of the plot.

So how else can the gang fill 90 minutes? How about making the loser work for a video game company, so we can get long, clunky scenes of him at work? (Because hey, there’s nothing more fun that watching two guys play video games while other people stand around and yell a lot!) Still not enough? OK, how about there being a new woman at work, who can fall in love with the loser? Or, hey, how about this: the loser has a dorky rival who steals his idea? Yeah, that’ll fill a few minutes. And why not whip up a torturously unfunny party scene that can go on, like, forever? Hmm? What’s that? Peter Dante wants to be in the movie as a lame-brained, often naked pot dealer? Sure - but make sure we call his character “Dante,” or he won’t be able to figure out what’s happening on the set. Oh! David Spade called up and said he wants a cameo, so let’s write a scene where everybody goes to a health food restaurant, and Spade can be an offensive gay stereotype! Who cares if it doesn’t fit in anywhere? Making fun of them queers is heeelarious!

Sigh. “Grandma’s Boy” comes across like random scenes from seven or eight other unfunny movies, all mixed together with no effort to connect. Not even characters have any cohesion: the nerdy friend played by Swardson is, depending on the scene, either a soft-voiced virgin who still acts like he’s in grade school, a potty-mouthed jerk who loves tossing vulgar insults at everyone he sees, or a smarmy Ryan Reynolds type who laces every word with heavy sarcasm. It’s as if Swardson couldn’t decide what to do with the character, so he just did everything, and screw it if it doesn’t make any sense. Heck, sometimes he actually switches between the character types mid-sentence. Huh?

That said, at least he’s slightly less annoying than Covert, who’s so uncharismatic, so obnoxious, so lacking in the basic understanding of comic timing, that we understand why he has to get his buddy Sandler to give him work.

“Grandma’s Boy” is such a cheap comedy that the writers actually resort to having a character fart whenever they run out of jokes. And when that fails, they just point the camera at the cast as they light up and act stoned - no jokes added, just shots of actors being high, sometimes with a stripper in the background. Did they forget that few things are as unenjoyable as watching other people party? (Wait, one thing is: watching other people play video games. We get an awful lot of this, especially at the end, when we’re offered a video game contest that mimics the ski races that would wrap up such titles as “Hot Dog: The Movie.”)

But that’s what you get when you decide to film the first draft, I suppose. I actually felt sorry for the supporting cast - Doris Roberts, Shirley Jones, Shirley Knight, Linda Cardellini, all talented performers wasted on the dopiest of one-dimensional material and hackneyed almost-jokes. Heck, I’ll even toss a little sympathy to the likes of Kevin Nealon, who’s forced to retread his now-tired mellow New Age schtick.

No pity, however, is given to Covert, Swardson, Dante, Wernick, and Goossen, who together make the sloppiest, laziest, most incompetent comedy I’ve seen in a very long time. (And I’ve seen “Are We There Yet?,” “Boat Trip,” “Tomcats,” and “Freddy Got Fingered.”) These guys make zero effort in creating actual jokes - and when they do, it’s always the cheapest, blandest way possible, often forgetting that being vulgar and gross alone isn’t humorous, that you have to actually add comedy to the mix to make it work.

So yeah. I should’ve listened to everyone who told me to stay away. This is an awful, awful, awful movie.

A note on the “unrated” edition: I didn’t see a single thing here that might have been viewed as “too extreme for theaters.” It’s likely that someone got paid a little extra to edit back in at random a few of the lame jokes that were originally cut, just so the studio could slap an “unrated” label on it and con a few more dick-and-fart-joke fans into forking over fifteen bucks at the local Target. The DVD is kind enough to include both the new edit and the original R-rated theatrical version, although the idea of owning two copies of “Grandma’s Boy” makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13713&reviewer=392
originally posted: 05/07/06 08:28:20
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User Comments

1/05/14 Deez Nuts Your review is infinitely more poorly written than this movie. As in, I enjoyed the latter 5 stars
5/25/11 Eddie I can watch this movie ALL DAY LONG it is FUCKING HILARIOUS PERIOD 5 stars
6/03/10 User Name The occasional chuckle does not sustain the whole film. 2 stars
2/28/10 KVM117 Funny.. Though the poor acting is more apparent while stoned.. 5 stars
2/11/10 HM If you don't love it you are boring. Hilarious. If you want a plot, go watch The Holiday 5 stars
12/15/09 DAGGER DENNIS CHRISTIAN! Grandmas boys was fucking magic, your a terrible biased critic, and that will haunt you 5 stars
9/06/09 stoner have we really been reduced to calling this comedy? i may be a stoner but im not an idiot. 1 stars
2/24/09 matt a very funny movie, criminally underrated 5 stars
1/22/09 Passersby It's increasingly amusing how many people here rave over this film. Witless and stale. 1 stars
7/30/08 K went in not expecting much, but found it hilarious 4 stars
7/21/08 Samantha Pruitt this is pretty funny, good stoner movie, hehe 4 stars
2/14/08 zac best movie ever 5 stars
2/14/08 Grandma If you don't like this movie you need to pull the stick out of your ass! 5 stars
1/01/08 Total Crap Don't listen to the neg. reviews, they are dead wrong. I REPEAT DO NOT LISTEN!!! 5 stars
11/15/07 t(^^t) This movie is a great one with a PLOT. 5 stars
10/27/07 Scott Cutter All the negative comments on here were obviously PLANTED. This movie was Awesome! 5 stars
8/07/07 Chad Hossack David Cornholeius has a dick up his ass and hates anyone who pokes fun at his fag friends. 5 stars
8/02/07 slang I'm gonna get a cb radio for xmas so I can talk to other car beds. Great comedy! 5 stars
6/30/07 Michelle what I want to know is what scott weinberg is smoking...this movie is hilarious. 5 stars
6/09/07 M.S. Hilarious!!!!! 5 stars
5/23/07 Hannah Dude I'm way too baked to drive to the devil's house... DRIVE MONKEY DRIVE!!!! 5 stars
5/23/07 Brian Mckay If you like weed and video games, you'll find it's funnier than it has any right to be. 3 stars
5/18/07 j what is the deal? it was HILARIOUS 5 stars
5/17/07 Yamis I'm still mad--waste of my fucking time 1 stars
5/06/07 fools♫gold An attitude that surpasses 2001 Maniacs, and much funnier than Idle Hands + BASEketball. 3 stars
5/06/07 brian hilarious stoner movie - way underrated 5 stars
4/22/07 ashly my FAV movie ever.. fucking hilarious. 5 stars
4/21/07 Dude unfuny 1 stars
4/14/07 Nusic Funny movie, pure entertainment. Not a chick flick. Pseudo-intellectuals...don't rate it 4 stars
4/06/07 scratchdisk Super Funny ... loved it. 5 stars
3/19/07 Lawrence It doesn't suck, it FUCKING SUCKS! 1 stars
2/09/07 The chode Completely blew ass. 1 stars
1/31/07 Come On!!! Recommended for anyone that has had a lobotomy 1 stars
12/31/06 Hugh Jeballs This is movie is for stoners. AMAZING 5 stars
12/07/06 John Amazing. Really really funny. JP is a riot, Dante is amazing. 5 stars
12/04/06 Emily this movie was insanely crap-tacular 1 stars
12/04/06 Tommy Great fucking movie, not for people who are uptight and don't like to have fun. 5 stars
12/01/06 Scott This movie isn't for pussy faggets like David Cornelius. 5 stars
11/10/06 biron i want to beat the shit out of all of you, this movie is an emberrassment to film makers. 1 stars
11/03/06 MF HANNNA this movie changed my life. ADIOS TERD NUGGETS 5 stars
10/30/06 stacey campbell i thought it was hilarious and those that don't like it is fucken stupid 5 stars
10/15/06 Lauren Im not even into stupid humor movies and I absolutely LOVE this movie! 5 stars
10/09/06 noooicedude this movie was insanely good 5 stars
10/07/06 Andrew Ridiculously Good 5 stars
9/30/06 Tamara D. Leonard Terrilbly embarrasing...I took my father with me to see it. Big mistake! 1 stars
9/30/06 Nacho My fovorite movie for sure! Treu!! 5 stars
9/14/06 Josh P this movie is crazy funny!! you gotta see it 5 stars
9/09/06 Ashley It Was Fuckin Woderful 5 stars
8/30/06 jj i liked this movie, everything doesn't have to be masterpiece theater 4 stars
7/20/06 Mjsgrass This movie was funny, are you guys really movie critics? Take the movie for what its is, l 4 stars
7/14/06 Alex this is one of the best movies I have seen in an extremely long time. its a have to see mov 5 stars
6/28/06 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Danged if I can imagine what about this justifies an unrated version. Bet it's lame too! 2 stars
5/28/06 Jeff Anderson Surprisingly funny. The sexy Cardellini's drunk kareoke jam is a screamingly funny delight! 5 stars
5/22/06 Brandon Norman it was ok, but that robot guy annoyed me 4 stars
5/22/06 Ryan_A Staggeringly unfunny. Covert's fine, but the rest of the cast is beyond awful. 1 stars
5/19/06 your worst goddamn nightmare As a stupid kinda comedy, this flick was sooo fuckin' funny! Chix won't dig it... 5 stars
1/14/06 Ron Dahlem Fricken hilarious 5 stars
1/13/06 Marjorie Cressy Absolutely horrendous movie 1 stars
1/11/06 Tamara D.Leonard Rude, crude and stupid! 1 stars
1/08/06 Evil Wolfie Soo goddam funny 5 stars
1/07/06 Abbath Felt like 3 hours long. 3 painful, unfunny hours. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Jan-2006 (R)
  DVD: 09-May-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  23-Mar-2006




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