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Dirty Grandpa

Year: 2016
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Dan Mazer
Writer: John Phillips
Cast: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Julianne Hough, Aubrey Plaza, Zoey Deutch, Jason Mantzoukas, Dermot Mulroney, Danny Glover

Let's be clear, I knew this would be a bad movie, and it is. I also knew it would be another nail in the coffin of whatever respect we had for Robert De Niro's formerly titanic talent (if we had any of that left).

So I avoided it for the longest time but finally watched it hoping for what was probably the exact same reason both De Niro and costar Zac Efron signed onto it – grown up laughs. If that's you, you probably won't be as disappointed as you fear, as long as you turn your 'but-you-were-in- Goodfellas -and-Once-Upon-A-Time-in-America' filter way, way up.

As such the story is barely worth mentioning. Straight-laced Jason (Efron) attends his grandmother's funeral not long before his wedding to uptight Meredith (Julianne Hough). Everyone assumes his grieving grandpa Dick (De Niro) is going to be a barely contained mess, but in short order they're driving to Daytona Beach so the profane, hard-drinking, older man who's still full of life can sow the wild oats his wife told him to when she was gone, Jason tricked into it by some plot contrivance I can't remember.

It's the umpteenth iteration of The Odd Couple you've seen and all the comedy is mined by the out-of-control grandpa and the straight-and-narrow preppy younger man butting heads over drugs, drink, sex, two college girls who glom onto them (Aubrey Plaza plays one and has a great time doing so), fights, nightclubs, drugs, parties and the whole Spring Break-esque experience.

Of course Dick can see that Jason is stuck in a proscribed box in his career and bride-to-be and has given up on his dreams, has to convince him to live his own life, yada yada – it's not a spoiler because you can see it coming from the opening scenes, and it's completely beside the point anyway.

It's all in the swearing, the gags, the outrageous set-ups and the payoffs. Little of it's clever or highbrow ('How do I look?' 'Like the keynote speaker at a butt fucking convention'), but it's inventive/offensive enough to have you laughing out loud plenty of times. Like the non politically correct Uncle who tells off colour jokes at every family gathering, you won't want to admit you love everything he says, but you will love it.

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