I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the appeal of a film like Grandma’s Boy, a movie that substitutes flatulence for thoughtfulness and a swift kick in the ‘nads for narrative; as much as I might detest a movie like this — my sense of self-respect simply won’t consent to this form of gratification — I wonder why so many of these disposable films are still made. Certainly, there must be an audience beyond the intelligence-averse or dope-smoking teenagers hoping for the right mix of amusement and boredom to grease the wheels of their sexual proclivities.
In the end, I ultimately surmised that the mediocre success of the dick-and-fart genre must have a lot to do with adolescence, both in its natural form (e.g., pimply kids looking for mindless escapism to postpone the realities of adult life) and in its regressive, adult state (e.g., 30-year-old cubicle jockeys looking for mindless escapism to forget the realities of adult life). In that respect, I can extend a small amount of compassion for the dumbasses of the world (hereafter, DOTW) who would prefer to turn off their brainpower (with a remote control, undoubtedly) for 90 minutes or so and forget about their Excel spreadsheets and their passive-aggressive bosses, whose laissez faire attitude toward deadlines until the deadline actually approaches is driving them batshit.
So, it is in the spirit of those DOTW that I wanted to attend Grandma’s Boy with all of my critical faculties turned into the off position so that I might provide a review that is on the level. I wanted to channel my inner-gamer, get in touch with my holistic doobie-ism [sic], shed a few brain cells, and maybe even feign virginity for two hours or so, so that I might share in the kindred spirit of schlub.
But, c’mon! C’mon! C’mon! C’mon! How the hell am I supposed to look past the fact that the lead character (42-year-old Allen Covert) in Grandma’s Boy goes into a bathroom and jerks off to a goddamn Barbie doll … and then ejaculates all over an unsuspecting walker-in, or that a type of marijuana noted for its abilities to make you “shit your pants” is discussed while a monkey performs martial arts, or even that a 20-something-year-old guy fucks Shirley Partridge/Jones after she gets into the technicalities of giving Charlie Chaplin a hand-job. Seriously, people, how fucking obtuse do you have to be to find enjoyment in a gamer-geek who tries to pick up the ladies with robot-speak? It’s not funny, and I don’t care how many short buses you rode on as a kid; it would take an unearthly amount of pot to have you believe for even a few seconds that Grandma’s Boy has more entertainment value than does a herniated disc. It’s obscenely bad. It’s Manos: The Hands of Fate without all the plot intricacies; it’s a snuff film without the snuff; it’s a goddamn alcohol-free hangover that pounds … and pounds … and pounds. …
Indeed, I think it says about as much as you need to know about Grandma’s Boy when I say that Rob Schneider actually has to demean himself to do a cameo, when Kevin Nealon is the goddamn Al Pacino of the bunch, and when Happy-Madison regular and largely unemployed Jon Lovitz prefers skid row over picking up a lousy check for appearing in this travesty. I won’t go into the ins and outs of the plot, largely because it didn’t exist. I’ll just say that the fat old lady from “Everybody Loves Raymond,” gets high and plays video games; everyone that has ever been in a bad Adam Sandler film (except Sandler himself) is in it; and the lovely Linda Cardellini (the poor man’s Jennifer Connolly) was apparently bludgeoned somehow on the set of “ER”, because her featured scene just happens to involve drunken karaoke and the licking of her own breast. C’mon!
This is how bad Grandma’s Boy is (true story): The wheelchair-kid with Down’s syndrome sitting a row over from me actually took his caretaker and wheeled himself out before the movie ended. Why?! Because the poor guy was offended by one of the characters who couldn’t stop slobbering all over himself. That’s how bad Grandma’s Boy is. So, if all of you DOTW want to partake in the joyless festivities of Grandma’s Boy, just keep that in mind.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba and managing partner of its parent company, which prefers to remain anonymous for reasons pertaining to public relations. He lives in Ithaca, New York.
Film Reviews | May 12, 2006 | Comments ()