I know your character had a name in the film. I heard it. I even tried to remember it, I swear. But I was just so… distracted. Clearly I'm not alone. Even the crack team at IMDb, who seem to capture every production detail of a movie, simply credit you as Hot Dance Teacher. You have numerous lines of dialogue, a couple of scenes, and even a tender moment with Stone Cold Austin. But in the end, obviously none of that mattered. We were all numbed and pacified by the simple pleasures you provided. And this, in a nutshell, is the entire strategy of Grown Ups 2. It's nothing but non-stop childish, ridiculous, primitive, and - fine, I'll say it - embarrassingly effective pandering.
Please tell me this doesn't hurt my chances with you… seeing me as a serious film critic, that is.
Going in, I promised myself not to reward any crotch shots with laughter. No fart joke would be tolerated. Any homophobic stereotypes would meet the wrath of my eventual review. After all, someone has to hold these multi-millionaire knuckleheads accountable, right? The average American moviegoer sure as hell hasn't. I mean, this is a sequel after all - Hollywood's definition of success. I somehow avoided the original man-child temper-tantrum that undoubtedly was the first Grown Ups, but was obliged to see this film. And so, at the risk of being completely lost by a complicated plot and evolved character dynamics, I went in cold. Stone cold. Remember, I'm a critic.
Within the first 5 minutes, I wanted to roll my eyes when that deer urinates into Adam Sandler's gapping mouth. I swore that all this slapstick humour was way beneath me. And dammit, there was no way that Kevin James' lame burp-fart-sneeze combo trick could ever win me over, no matter how many times it was repeated (and it's a lot). I was almost successful on that last one, but I can't be sure. The packed screening I attended was roaring with so much laughter, I can't even remember my own response. I succumbed to mob mentality. Apparently, it even applies to comedy; when a movie is this big and the jokes are this broad - and that critical mass is reached - people just can't help but respond.
Come on, you're the physical embodiment of big and broad appeal. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
Think of your scene where all these men attend a children's ballet recital just to ogle you. They feel safety in numbers - not worried someone will call the cops at the lone creeper in the back row. That's exactly the strange social permission this film banks on. It wedges in ridiculously hot women flaunting their assets every single chance it gets - cheerleader car washes, bikini-clad college parties, ass-slapping yoga classes, etc. But don't worry kids, and girlfriends, and wives - that's okay! Because it's surrounded by "funny". We're laughing at how much we love it! Nothing wrong there.
Then the film is jam packed with friendly faces. Like the Lonely Island crew getting wet and nasty in short-shorts (see! something for the ladies!), or Steve Buschemi as an effeminate driver ed instructor, or Taylor Lautner doing really - like really impressive action star moves (see! Something ACTUALLY for the ladies!). I wanted to scream at the screen - stop making me smile!
And then the effects. This movie obviously had budget to burn. The effects are actually well done. People slam into things, get shot through the air, roll down hills and are abused in all sorts of ways, but it all looks pretty good. They paid big money for those laughs, and sometimes it actually pays off (the inflatable raft gimmick, in banking terms, is just too big to fail).
So let's just admit that this film was a perfect fit for you. And America. And maybe even me. If the mood is right. You just have to give it a chance.
Go ahead, think about it. I'll be waiting in the back row.