Opening 18 Jul 2013
Writing credits: Fred Wolf, Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy
Principal actors: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek
Middle-aged family fathers Lenny, Eric, Kurt, and Marcus live in small-town Stanton, Connecticut, USA, with their wives and kids (except Marcus has no wife). The women seem to keep the family going, so that the guys have time to hang out and act adolescent. Lenny wakes up to find a deer in his house. Weak-kneed Eric has to over his terror of jumping off a cliff into the lake. David rolls down the hill in a tire. Eric accepts his son’s arithmetic errors to boost the boy’s self-confidence. Kurt gives his son dating tips: “Smile, tell her that she has a nice smile, ask if she can go out tonight” in that order. They must recapture their old high-school swimming hole which has been seized by college fraternity boys and their nubile girl friends. These actions are accompanied by farts, burps, sneezes, giant poops, hiccups, skimpy costumes, genitalia and breasts pressed against interesting places, crazy drivers, and nudity, all on a totally hilarious, bad-taste level. The climax winds up into a huge ‘80s party with everyone in costume to represent VIPs of that era.
It’s worth watching the film just to test your recognition of prominent personalities from the 1980s. Some easy ones are Meat Loaf, Prince, Tina Turner, and Boy George. My favorite members of the cast are the frat boys led by Taylor Lautner and Kyle, the gymnastics teacher (Oliver Hudson). Male viewers will have no lack of comparative “fit” objects to keep their eyes peeled. And then there are the kids. All are wonderful and I’ll mention Kaleo Elam who plays Kurt’s three-year-old son. This child can shake it, rock it (wearing a diaper), and makes a very convincing Michael Jackson. It’s interesting how many fat actors are available to walk the streets, thus making the set authentic, small-town America.
This is low comedy at its best. It’s a sequel and supposedly the first sequel which Adam Sandler has ever made, supposedly, because the original version made so much money both in the U.S. and abroad, that there are similar expectations for this one, and it might succeed. It is never politically correct, but at the same time there are moral lessons to be learned such as kindness, fairness, overcoming disappointments, encouragement and, simply, the value of friendships and family. (Becky Tan)