Movie Review – Dirty Grandpa

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Rated R

Directed by Dan Mazer

Written by John M. Phillips

Cinematography Eric Alan Edwards

Music by Michael Andrews

Produced by Bill Block, Michael Simkin, Jason Barrett, Barry Josephson

Starring Robert De Niro (Heat, Analyze This, Ronin), Zac Efron  (Neighbors, At Any Price), Aubrey Plaza (Monsters University, Charlie Countryman), Zoey Deutch (The Amazing Spier-Man, Everybody Wants Some!!), Julianne Hough (Dancing with the Stars, Rock of Ages), Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Young Guns)


Have you ever heard either statement, “He’s just a dirty, old man” or “All men are pigs?” If you have and don’t believe either of those statements, this movie might move the needle towards your believing. Filled with nothing but good old-fashioned unclean fun, Dirty Grandpa shows us how to shrug off other’s opinions in how we should live and make our own life choices…at least in a very roundabout way.

Dick Kelly (De Niro) has just lost his wife of 40 years to cancer. During her funeral, Dick possesses a calm, somber demeanor – much like you’d expect from a grieving widower. Wasting no time, he wishes to travel to Florida a day after his wife’s funeral and requests that his grandson Jason (Efron) drive him since his license has been suspended. Jason, a lawyer at his father’s firm, is set to be married next weekend to his uptight, yuppie fiancé, but Dick insists that he drive him despite Jason’s fiancé’s reservations. In an effort to appease his grieving grandfather, Jason concedes, and agrees to drive him.

When Jason stops by Dick’s house to pick him up for their trip, Dick is no longer the grandpa Jason remembered. He has transformed overnight into a boozing, foul-mouthed, horn dog that catches Jason completely by surprise. He has never seen his grandfather like this. This won’t be the only thing that catches Jason by surprise.

For 40 years Dick stayed faithful to his wife, and for 10 of those didn’t receive any lady love because of his wife’s condition. On her death bed, she instructed Dick to live out the rest of his life to the fullest, and unfortunately for Jason, Dick is about to do just that.

☆☆☆☆

Although Dirty Grandpa wasn’t critically well-received…let me rephrase that…it was critically hated, I went in expecting to be humored, and humored I was. I was not expecting Goodfellas or The Godfather: Part II. The title “Dirty Grandpa” kind of gives you the idea that this isn’t going to be a classic that becomes immortalized with the likes of Gone With the Wind. No, the intent of Dirty Grandpa was to provide comedic relief for 100 minutes, and it did just that.

Robert De Niro is one of the best actors to grace the movie screen. He’s played dozens of roles ranging from young Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II, to Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, and even Al Capone in The Untouchables. To put it modestly, De Niro can act, so really he has nothing else to prove, which is why I think the role of Dick Kelly in Dirty Grandpa does nothing to diminish his stature. I mean, why not do this role? From the film, he really seemed to be enjoying himself, and he and Efron seemed to be a good team on screen.

As for the film content, don’t let your kids see this. It is chocked full of sexual innuendos, drugs, language, and about any other adult content you can think of. The jokes in the film were delivered well, especially when Dick was giving Jason a hard time for being such a stuck up. Unfortunately, there were too many jokes which diminished from the good ones. For the first 30 minutes of the film I was aching from laughing, but after time I grew weary of the same, double-meaning punchlines.

The story was sufficient…barely sufficient. Once the film gets going, it’s pretty easy to figure out the end so don’t expect any twists. The film’s intent seems to be entertainment so just go in expecting that. This will not have an ending akin to The Sixth Sense!

☆☆☆☆

I’ll go ahead and recommend this movie if you have nothing better to do for 100 minutes, especially since one time should be enough.

I’m going to give Dirty Grandpa a 65%.

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