Retro Review: Grandma’s Boy


For the sake of the Blog, here are some rules that I’ve given myself for any and all Retro Film reviews. Here is the Retro Review criteria:

  1. The movies must have be at least four years old (as of right now that would include any movie that came out in 2008.
  2. I must have watched the movie that very same year, either in the theater or on DVD. I can’t review the movie if I just watched it recently.
  3. I am going to review the movie as I see it with my current mind set and not what I was thinking back when I first viewed it. I will be discussing if it still stands up or if it has lost its luster.

Retro Review

Grandma’s Boy (2006)

Oddly enough, 2006’s “Grandma’s Boy” is probably one of my favorite comedies. That’s not a lie! I’ve watched it a bunch of times and saw it around its release at my wife’s sister’s college house. I don’t remember what the occasion was, but I know I was sitting in the living room when two of her roommates decided to watch it. Sadly, I think it was a bootleg version of the movie, but I’m not going to endorse that.

I don’t think the movie had a good ad campaign at all, but a movie about a 35 year old game tester, who is forced to live with his grandmother and two elderly roommates, who not only has “extracurricular activities” (which I will also not endorse) and who works for a video game designer who thinks he is a robot; I don’t remember one second of anything that I just said was in any of the film’s television commercials. I know, I know, the “extracurricular activities” probably forced the movie studio to try and gear it towards the stupid comedy group. But for all of “Grandma’s Boy’s” faults, it is still a really funny and fun comedy.

The acting is pretty bad from lead Allen Covert, Alex, who you can usually see him playing a supporting character in any Adam Sandler movie. In fact, this being a Happy Madison production, you see all sorts of alumni from the Happy Madison collection of films. In fact, Alex’s best friend in the movie is Nick Swardson who has been in a bunch of Sandler’s movies, usually playing oddball characters.  Also from the Sandler crew are: Peter Dante and Jonathan Loughran who help to make this small world of Grandma’s Boy real; even if it isn’t remotely near reality.

Other characters are portrayed by the likes of  Jonah Hill (“Get Him To The Greek”, “Superbad”), Linda Cardellini  (“ER”, “Scooby-Doo”) and Joel David Moore (“Bones”, “Avatar”) who all do a fantastic job with their characters. Not one character is a alike in this movie, which helps to bring the great dynamics of comedy from every angle possible. Even Kevin Nash, (that’s right, Diesel) has a small cameo at the beginning of the movie.

You also get the obligatory Saturday Night Live alumni cameos from Rob Schneider, David Spade and Kevin Nealon.  It almost felt as if Sandler helped to produce this film as a favor to a bunch of these guys. And I for one appreciate it!

Rounding out the cast we have a handful of veteran actors with Alex’s Grandmother being played by Doris Roberts (best known for her role as Raymond’s Mom in “Everybody Loves Raymond”), Shirley Jones (yes, the mother on “The Partridge Family”) who plays the slutty older cougar of the group, channeling what Blanch from “The Golden Girls” would probably be if she were around in today’s world) and Shirley Knight (who has decades of big screen and small screen credit, most recently playing Paul Blart’s mother in Paul Blart: Mall Cop) who plays the trios pill popping, crazy friend.

The story center’s around Alex, who is a game tester at Brainasium, a video game company where JP (Moore) is the certifiable genius who thinks he is a robot and created a game when he was only 13 years old. Now with time looming everyone is frantically getting the next entry in the series out, Samantha (Cardellini) comes in to help them out. The truly fun stuff happens when all of the characters interact with each other in the most ridiculous ways. I can’t even write them on this blog for fear of being condemned. I just recommend watching the first 15 minutes of the movie. You’ll either be disgusted or laugh so hard you’ll just keep watching more.

I’ve written about 638 words of a retro review and no one even stopped me to tell you if this thing still holds up. Well, it better, it came out five years ago. Probably only the fact that the cell phones are flip phones really doesn’t hold up. But I’m not going to fault them for that; they were really in back then. Besides, my parents still have those…The jokes are still good, not really bogged down by the fact that they rely on current pop culture. If anything this film actually works for an older audience best. How many younger viewers even know who Salt & Pepa are? I won’t spoil that joke for anyone. Well worth waiting for it. Also, the movie uses the Xbox as its main mode of game play. I won’t fault anyone for the use of an Xbox instead of an Xbox 360. I get what they are trying to do.

While I may enjoy it, I know this film could be misconstrued as unfunny by some people. It is in the same group of films as all of the Harold & Kumar movies, if you know what I mean (and with that, I’ll say that is where the “extracurricular activities” part of the film comes from). I like that the movie isn’t all about that. Again, it is a very silly type of comedy; you really have to be in a fun mood to watch it not expecting much. If you give it until the end of the movie, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Let me know what you think, if you agree or disagree. But whatever you do, “Don’t judge me, Monkey.”

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