Title: Grandma’s Boy
Director: Nicholaus Goossen
Screenwriters: Barry Wernick, Allen Covertn
Starring: Allen Covert, Linda Cardellini, Shirley Jones
Reviewing Grandma’s Boy is an exercise in absurdity. This is not a movie that was meant to be reviewed, or for that matter seen. I would express my outrage that something like this has been produced and released, but that would be a waste of outrage. Instead, I am overcome by a sense of futility: I am not sure what I expected from Grandma’s Boy. To be honest, I probably expected something like this. I am not sure if that makes it better or worse.
It is not, in truth, even a movie. It is missing certain basic elements of narrative filmmaking, like for example a narrative. If someone would like to make an argument that Grandma’s Boy is an avant-garde work of expressionist genius, I would like to hear it. The basic idea, I think, is that a video game tester and champion named Alex (Adam Sandler’s buddy Allen Covert) loses his apartment and moves in with his grandma and her two deranged elderly roommates. If that doesn’t sound like a conflict, that’s because it is not one, and the scattershot attempts to add to it — oh, wait, but Alex tells his friends that he is rooming with hot women! — are pathetic.
Basically, the film is a clothesline for a string of stoner jokes, involving pot, bongs, more pot, old women drinking pot, pot that makes you think you are a deer, old women using bongs as vases, and also pot. These are singularly unfunny. The notion that anyone could think that they are funny is kind of offensive — I was about to say impossible, but having seen the film with an audience, that is demonstrably untrue.
Yes, yes, I know. There is a certain repulsive snot factor about a Critic sitting in the midst of a laughing audience and shaking his head, wondering how the hoi polloi could possibly be amused by such garbage. But look: I am what is commonly referred to as an “easy laugh.” I am generally amused by things that are not even, strictly speaking, funny; I find laughs in strange places, and often read more into jokes than is perhaps there. Sitting through Grandma’s Boy, I stared at the screen with what began as disbelief, became disgust, and finished as excruciating pain. The gags are not only infantile, but they are incompetently written and staged, rarely leading to actual punchlines (scenes just cut off randomly), usually neither here nor there with regard to the rest of the film. Some jokes, not funny to begin with, were repeated and repeated until I screamed for mercy. Several sequences bear no relationship whatsoever to anything else that happens but are there simply because one of the “screenwriters” had a brilliant idea.
Yes, “screenwriters” is in quotes. That’s because there’s no screenplay. nor attendant screenwriters. There are no actors (except for maybe poor, trapped Doris Roberts as Grandma). There is no director (who the hell is Nicholaus Goosen?). There is no movie. There is only the fact that Adam Sandler has cronies, and Adam Sandler gets what he wants. I just hope he gets what’s coming to him for inflicting this evil on us.