Grandma's Boy

  Grandma's Boy
"Who knew Metamucil was an aphrodisiac?"

© 2006, 20th Century Fox
All Rights Reserved

Alex (Allen Covert) is a 35 year-old video game tester (nicknamed "Gray Bush" by his much younger co-workers) who loves getting high and not much else. Losing his apartment, Alex reluctantly moves in with his grandma (Doris Roberts) and her roommates (Shirley Jones and Shirley Knight) until he gets back on his feet. Enjoying the attention he gets from the seniors, along with an infatuation with his new boss (Linda Cardellini), Alex soon loses ground at his job, allowing a rival designer (Joel Moore, "Dodgeball") to swoop in and try to steal his ideas.

"Grandma's Boy" (IMDb listing) is a stoner comedy, and there's not much to criticize since the target demographic will most likely laugh at anything put up on the screen. Yet, "Boy" distinguishes itself from the pack by being about something that stoners love: video games. It's also an Adam Sandler production, guaranteeing at the very least a cameo by Rob Schneider. The film doesn't disappoint.

The comedy in "Boy" is defined pretty clearly into what doesn't work at all and what is gut-busting hilarious. Thankfully, Sandler brought in stand-up comic Nick Swardson to punch up the script and co-star, and his energy and comic spirit save the film from becoming one long wince. If he's schooling punks on Dance Dance Revolution or making out with Shirley Jones, Swardson steals every scene he's in, giving the material a distinctive twist through unexpected line delivery and crack comic timing. Linda Cardellini, also a good sport, manages a fantastic moment when she drunkenly performs Salt 'N' Pepa's "Push It' to a crowd of adoring nerds.

What obviously doesn't work in "Boy" is the star, Allen Covert. Typically cast in small supporting parts in buddy Sandler's films, Covert finally gets his chance to shine here, and the results are horrifying. Covert is stiff and obvious, pushing every punchline into the ground with his leaden delivery. He's terrible, and brings the film down whenever the script calls upon him to bring the funny. Also completely wrong is actor Joel Moore, a guy director Nicholaus Goossen (Covert's former assistant), must find uproarious, since the film keeps coming back to him for laughs. Playing a "Matrix" wannabe who nurses a desire to act like a robot in uncomfortable situations, Moore is a drag, and along with Covert, acts like a wet blanket on the fun.

Peppered with traditional Sandlerisms, along with appearances by friendly faces (Jonathan Loughran, David Spade, and the always funny Peter Dante, show up), "Grandma's Boy" doesn't ask much of the audience outside of just having some pot-centric fun. The film is just barely entertaining, and eventually heads into an irreverence free-fall that includes ... well, for those who picked "monkey that knows judo" on your scorecard at home, you can pick up your prize later this week.

Filmfodder Grade: C+

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