GROWN UPS — ★1/2 — Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock; rated PG-13 (vulgarity, slapstick violence, profanity, slurs, brief partial nudity, brief gore); in general release

"Grown Ups" is hopelessly juvenile.

As we've come to expect from nearly every Adam Sandler comedy made since 1998's "The Waterboy," there's a heavy emphasis on crudity and cruelty in this film. In fact, its brand of "humor" consists mostly of insults, as well as sexual, flatulence and scatological jokes.

Yet it's not these things that make the comedy so noxious. It's the ridiculous attempts to redeem itself and the characters at the end.

But these efforts feel half-hearted, as much of the obviously, largely improvised film does.

The title refers to five childhood friends. Lenny (Sandler) is a successful Hollywood agent who's married to a beautiful fashion designer, Roxanne (Salma Hayek). But they're worried that their three children are becoming spoiled rotten.

Both Eric (Kevin James) and Kurt (Chris Rock) feel underappreciated by their wives (Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph) and children.

Meanwhile, (David Spade) is still hard-partying womanizer, and free-spirited Rob (Rob Schneider) is on his third marriage, this one to a much-older woman (Joyce Van Patten).

This motley crew has fallen out of touch, but they've been reunited by a tragedy — namely the death of their beloved basketball coach.

The resulting, treacly sentimentality and faux emotional breakthroughs for the characters are unconvincing. And the contempt that both our supposed "heroes" and the film show for women is a little disturbing.

(They're treated either as sex objects to be lusted after or as the targets of scorn and derision.)

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And aside from the always likable James, the rest of these guys are pretty much jerks. That's especially true of Spade, who sounds like he really is as intoxicated as his character is supposed to be.

Sandler is barely putting in an effort here, and he seems to be playing himself. Not that Rock and Schneider's performances are that much better, mind you. At least they appear to be trying, though.

"Grown Ups" is rated PG-13 and features crude humor and references (relating to various bodily and sexual functions), slapstick or other comic violence (various pratfalls, some athletic-based violence and arrow fire), scattered profanity, derogatory language and slurs (some of it sexist in nature), brief partial male nudity, and brief bloody imagery. Running time: 102 minutes.


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