There aren’t any outtakes at the end of Grown Ups—maybe because every scene in the movie plays like one. Over an extended Fourth of July, the characters rope-climb, boat, visit a water park, play basketball, experiment with a form of archery roulette, ogle a blond and grill. If it sounds like a checklist of summer-camp activities that someone has tried to pass off as a movie—well, it is.
Simultaneously strained and bloated, Grown Ups follows five friends (Sandler, James, Rock, Spade, Schneider) and their families (the wives include the absurdly overqualified Rudolph, Bello and Hayek, credited here as Hayek Pinault) as they return for their childhood basketball coach’s funeral. It seems this middling SNL crowd has settled into a complacent Big Chill phase, with no sense of what separates the desperate (questionable gags involving Rock’s sassy, flatulent mother-in-law) from the edgy. Even the assembly is sloppy. Dugan loses track of his characters. The editing may or may not have involved large quantities of Elmer’s Glue.
Despite its title, Grown Ups has little to say about maturity. (The one funny running gag involves Hollywood agent Sandler’s hyperspoiled kids, who marvel over seeing a TV that isn’t flat-screen.) Step Brothers is regressive in a sharper way; the uneven Funny People is a better—and incredibly, less earnest—look at middle-aged regret. And almost anything is funnier.