Grown Ups 2 begins with the last day of the school year. Lenny Fader (Adam Sandler), his wife Roxanne (Salma Hayek) and their three children have returned to live in the New England home town where Lenny grew up. Lenny has moved back to be with his childhood friends Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chis Rock) and Marcus (David Spade). Lenny also wants his children to experience the same healthy lifestyle he had when growing up.
Unfortunately times have changed, and life for Lenny isn’t as easy as he thought it would be. The local swimming hole where Lenny and his friends used to swim has been taken over by college boys. Lenny’s teenage enemy is back in town and determined to let Lenny know who the top dog is. And Lenny’s children have trouble fitting in with the new school scene. Lenny’s friends also have their own problems. Marcus finds himself landed with a psychotic teenage son he didn’t know he had. Eric finds it more rewarding to watch Days of Our Lives with his mother than to spend time with his wife Sally (Maria Bello). Kurt has several issues with his own family.
A day in Lenny’s life gets even more complicated when a schizophrenic bus driver, a lunatic drunk policemen, a psychotic ex-girlfriend from elementary school and several dozen crazed college boys enter the picture. Lenny’s friends feel that an 80s-themed party at Lenny’s house is just what’s needed to put things back into perspective. But the craziness of the day is just a taste of the craziness to come as Lenny’s party gets underway.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Family relationships; sexual relationships including homosexuality and transsexual behaviour; mental illness
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Grown Ups 2 contains some school and adult bullying, occasional teenage aggression and slapstick violence throughout. None of the violence has any blood and gore, but neither does it show real-life consequences. For example:
- A very large teenage boy, covered in tattoos, pulls out a knife and uses it in an intimidating way. He slashes the head off a teddy bear and says that he wants to ‘smash his father’s face in’.
- Later the boy’s father looks at a large hunting knife in a shop. He says that he wants his son to think that he is going to cut his son’s head off. This is so the son won’t cut the father’s head off.
- A large student verbally intimidates a smaller male student and then grabs him by the throat. Later on he knocks books out of the same student’s hands.
- A school teacher throws a basketball at a student with enough force to knock the student from the bench he’s sitting on.
- Lenny recounts how he was bullied as a teenager. In a later scene the now middle-aged perpetrator of the bullying says he used to ‘smack Lenny around whenever he wanted to and Lenny did nothing about it’.
- Four grown men are confronted and intimidated by a large gang of drunken male college students. The students force the men to jump naked from a high cliff into a quarry filled with water. One of the men lands on top of another man.
- An unconscious school bus driver is tied upside down by his ankles to the ceiling of the school bus. Later the same man, still unconscious, falls from the ceiling and slides down the aisle of the school bus as it speeds up. The man hits his head hard on the back of the bus.
- An inflatable raft is accidentally inflated. The force of the inflation knocks several people through the air and into shop shelves.
- A man sitting inside a truck tyre rolls down a busy street, narrowly missing oncoming traffic. He’s chased by a police car with police officers firing their handguns into the air. He finally crashes into a police car and a police officer.
- A large gang of college students (male and female) gatecrash a party and attack the guests. This results in a massive brawl with lots of stylised punches and kicks.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, there are some scenes in Grown Ups 2 that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- A six-year-old girl gets upset when her favourite soft toy is destroyed by a rampaging reindeer.
- In a couple of scenes a father shouts at his six-year-old daughter.
Children in this age group could also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group could also be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the bullying shown in Grown Ups 2.
Grown Ups 2 has a lot of sexual references. For example:
- A man refers to a previous sexual partner as ‘Hiccup McGee’ because the woman always got hiccups during sexual activity.
- Characters refer to a man’s teenage son masturbating in the shower.
- A toddler’s mother jokes about her son being her lover and says that he’s very gentle.
- A female dance instructor at a young children’s dance recital does some very suggestive dance moves. A policeman who is watching says that she is ‘disturbing the peace in my pants’.
- Several times characters talk about a man having sexual relations with a transvestite.
- While talking to her husband, a woman talks about hormonal changes in her body and how she is going through menopause. But then she tells her husband that she’s pregnant.
- An elderly woman tells her middle-aged son that she and his father had sex in a toilet at a football game.
- After a husband entices his pregnant wife to have sex with him, we hear him say to the woman’s stomach, ‘Watch your head in there’.
- A man pretending to be a gym instructor instructs a class of mainly middle-aged women to turn around, bend over and slap their own buttocks while he goggles at them.
- The women make lurid sexual comments towards the younger man. One woman asks if she can stick her tongue down the man’s throat. The man responds that he is gay.
- A man licks his transvestite partner’s bicep and they hug. The transvestite makes mention of having a penis.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Grown Ups 2 shows some use of substances. For example:
- A character talks about how pharmaceutical drugs can ‘fill voids that nothing else can fill’.
- There’s a comical reference to a man buying crack cocaine.
- People drink a lot at parties, out of bottles and while driving. Parents drink irresponsibly.
- At a party, people give a dog beer through a hose.
- A father offers his six-year-old daughter cough medicine to make her go to sleep.
Nudity and sexual activity
Grown Ups 2 has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Several girls and women are shown wearing very skimpy, provocative clothing and are treated as sex objects.
- Four men are shown from behind, jumping naked into a quarry full of water.
- A man at a party lies on a kitchen bench in his underwear. He realises that he is gay and makes advances towards another man. He thinks he is tongue-kissing the man, but he opens his eyes to find he’s kissing a dog.
The following products are displayed or used in Grown Ups 2: Jack Daniels and other US brands.
Grown Ups 2 has low-level to medium-level coarse language, put-downs and name-calling throughout. It also has a lot of crude and/or toilet humour.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Grown Ups 2 is a comedy that relies heavily on adult-themed humour, crude (mainly sexist) humour, toilet humour, slapstick comedy, coarse language and the objectification of women to entertain its audience.
You should note that while younger children will be attracted to the movie’s cast of children and teenagers as support characters, the movie’s adult themes make it unsuitable for children under the age of 13 years.
These are the positive messages from this movie:
- Friendships and relationships are very important.
- Parenthood requires responsibility and commitment.
- Unplanned children are loved just as much as planned children.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the following:
- Positive caring relationships: three of the movie’s lead male characters have positive and caring relationships with their partners.
- Parenting: four of the movie’s lead characters are committed and caring fathers, who take an active role in their children’s lives.
You could also talk about how the movie objectifies women, and the negative influence that the movie’s sexist and crude humour might have on viewers.