There’s little point in this publication producing yet another evisceration of yet another heinous Adam Sandler production. Grown Ups 2 is an offensively unfunny, abhorrent mess of a motion picture that reminds us to cherish the comedies that make us laugh. But of course, you already knew that. Instead we give you a sternly-worded letter from a genuinely concerned and perplexed writer.
Dear Mr. Sandler,
It has come to my attention that the hundreds upon hundreds of negative reviews you’ve received throughout the course of your career have yet to make a significant (if any) impact on your choices as an actor and producer. That’s why instead of penning a review chastising you for making what may be the worst film thus far in 2013, I decided to write this letter with one probing question in mind: What’s your motivation for making Grown Ups 2?
Surely it can’t be money anymore. In merely 14 years Happy Madison (your production company) has released 32 movies, grossing over two billion dollars (domestically) in the process.
Among those 32 films (33 if we’re counting Grown Ups 2) there is one movie that perfectly encapsulates my frustration with your work: Funny People. In Judd Apatow’s criminally undervalued movie you play a seasoned comedian who has – shamefully – made one dismal, superficial comedy after the next. It’s there that we see you acknowledge what you’ve become. And yet, you continue this cynical and methodical mass production of soulless filmmaking designed for audiences you know you can and will make money off of.
If you’re not driven by monetary reasons, then it must be because you’re a serial sadist — feeding off the pain of those who consume each of your demeaning and derivative films, year after year. I resort to sadism because if Grown Ups 2 is any indication, you don’t have much interest in storytelling. Rarely has a comedy been as amorphously constructed and bizarrely plotless as the dizzying ’80s nostalgia trip you’ve created here.
What’s more troubling than Grown Ups 2, though, is why you’ve done what you’ve done. Films like Punch-Drunk Love, Funny People, and Spanglish prove that you’re an actor capable of so much more than tasteless, crass comedy. Even in your earlier work like The Wedding Singer and Big Daddy you created stories (although raunchy) with an underlining kindness to them. Unfortunately, those films now seem to exist in an alternate universe — one where you decided not to take the path of least resistance.
I try with the best of my abilities to be optimistic, even in the face of cynicism. And so I’ll go into your next film, whatever that may be, whenever that may be, with an open mind hoping and longing for a comedy with comedy, for a film that makes me laugh and smile like Big Daddy did all those years ago. Although shaken, I still – despite my skepticism and perhaps against my better judgement – have faith you in Mr. Sandler. Perhaps there will be a day where you come through, like we both know you can, once more. For now we’re stuck with Grown Ups 2. Remember not to see it in theaters tomorrow.
Sincerely a cautious, yet hopeful viewer,
~ Sam Fragoso