Saturday, May 27, 2006

Grandma's Boy

Sometimes it's fun to watch a bad movie.

Sort of like seeing an accident on the side of the road.

Everybody likes to slow down and take a look.

It's especially convenient when one has the opportunity to watch movies for free. Working at one of the premiere DVD stores in Los Angeles, we have an extraordinary amount of excellent, rare, and hard to find movies cross our paths every week. But inevitably, for some strange reason, it's always the worst of the bunch that often perks the curiosity of myself, and my fellow employees.

There is even a humorous tradition we've started at work, where every week we choose the worst looking film of the new release bunch to watch on Friday nights. Then throughout the following week we ridicule, quote and sarcastically praise the merits of the film.

We refer to this film as The Friday Night Film.

But sometimes....not often.... there's a film that seems too bad....too ignorant....too much of a chore to endure. In that unfortunate case, usually one poor soul in our bunch, will take it upon themselves to pick up the cross, and force themselves to carry the heavy burden of watching this unfortunate film.

If only to say that someone at the store has watched the movie.

Guess who took up the cross this time?

Grandma's Boy is the story of Alex (Allen Covert), a X-Box game tester that has to move in with his Grandma because of unfortunate circumstances.

And....I guess that's pretty much the synopsis of the whole film.

Hey, I usually like toilet humor.

I'm not really hard to please in that respect. If there's a couple of fart jokes, nudity, and some crude humor then I'm usually mildly entertained..... which is half the battle with me. So I was quietly optimistic.

The movie is made by the crew at Happy Madison.

Adam Sandler's production company. So..... A little hope.

I mean the Tagline for the film is Sex. Drugs. Nakedness. Rude language... And proud of it!

That kind of sounds interesting.....right?

It's true that this bunch isn't renown for their high standard of cinematic excellence. But usually one can count on a couple of shits, and giggles in one of their 90 minute flicks.

No such luck here.

It's not that the movie is ONLY bad....the fact is that it's actually kind of depressing to watch too.
Depressing because I'm sure at some point....I assume fairly early on.... the people making the movie just knew that unfortunately the film isn't all.

I mean more than other bad movies, there's a sense that everyone, as a group, just decided to show up, do the work and just get the film under their belt.

There's simply no joy in any of the performances.

Honestly the movie feels like a tax write off.

Usually an observant viewer can point to something to explain why a movie is bad. They can say the movie has no budget, or the script was rushed or horrible, or the actors were poorly cast. Or the filmmakers aren't talented or creative.

But this movie has tax write off written all over it.

I can't imagine that anyone really cared about making the movie. If they did, they would notice that it's just not funny. The sex jokes aren't shocking enough, the nudity isn't visible enough, and the crude humor isn't over the top as it needed to be.

It all just seemed like middle of the road mediocrity.

It's not even good at being horrible. When the filmmakers shouldn't take themselves seriously...they do. When they are supposed to be funny, they aren't wild or witty enough. Instead of just giving us wild hi-jinks, for some reason they try to give us an actual story with a reasonable structure.

What happened to just crazy sick fun?

Remember Bachelor Party?

That was a movie that didn't give a shit about offending people. They just wanted to get some cheap laughs. If one is making a cheap, crude, low budget comedy shouldn't the filmmakers take some risks? At least be a little shocking.

In the one provocative, or supposed wildly comic moment. The mother of one of Alex's co-workers walks into the bathroom while Alex is masturbating to a Lara Croft action figure. (Trust me it sounds funnier than it plays.) But the moment comes off so.....bland, unenthusiastic and uninteresting, one wonders why they even bothered. It's like they were all embarrassed to do it. The actors seemed embarrassed, the director shot it in the least offensive way, and the pay off is way underplayed. It's like they were all forced to do it under gun point.

I mean even in a high profile comedy like There's something about Mary there was semen hanging from Ben Stiller's ear.


There's nothing that clever, inventive or crude here.

I almost feel guilty for criticizing the movie. Like I was kicking aside baby chicks on the side of the road.

The better question is how movies like this ever get made.

I mean was this honestly someone's life work or ambition?

Does someone actually want to use this film as their calling card?

Why did someone actually pay people to make this film?

Did they even try to make a worthwhile film?

I think the only sign that someone actually cared about the movie is that the movie has cameos by Rob Schneider and David Spade.

That's right, SNL comic superstars Rob Schneider and David Spade.

Actually....ummm.....on second thought.

Grandma's Boy is now on DVD.

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