Thirty years after winning their basketball final in 1978, five friends are reunited when they return to their hometown for the funeral of their old coach. Lenny (Adam Sandler) is a wealthy Hollywood agent with three spoiled children and a beautiful wife, Roxanne (Salma Hayek). She’s a world class fashion designer. Eric (Kevin James) is also married with children, but is on a downwards spiral. Kurt (Chris Rock) is a house husband who doesn’t feel appreciated by his wife or children. Marcus (David Spade) is still behaving like a teenager. Rob (Rob Schneider) is on his third marriage to a woman old enough to be his mother. The five men and their families go on to spend the Fourth of July weekend together at a lakeside lodge. This was a favourite place when they were growing up. Their aim is spread Coach Buzzer’s ashes.
During the weekend, the five men rediscover their friendship and undertake a lot of soul-searching. Their children discover just how much fun life can be life without mobile phones and video games. The men are also challenged to a basketball rematch with the boys – now men – they defeated in 1978.
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; mid-life experiences
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 contains infrequent slapstick violence and accidental harm. It also contains frequent psychological violence in the form of demeaning insults and ridicule. For example:
- During a basketball match, a young boy bumps into and knocks over another young boy.
- A young boy plays a video game called Cruise Ship Wars. The aim of the game is to run around a cruise ship cutting off people’s heads with a chain saw. You get extra points for tipping grandmother over the ship’s rail. Images from the game show blood splattering across the screen and people being shot.
- A man picks up a heated rock used for therapy and screams in pain. He places it on a woman’s back. She screams.
- A preschool-aged girl gets upset when she sees moths being zapped by an electric bug zapper. A woman steps on a dead moth and squashes its body into the ground.
- When a young girl sees a rope on a tree, she says, ‘We get to hang ourselves’.
- Lenny slaps Rob across the face (several times) with a piece of dried banana and then with a packet of bacon.
- In reference to Lenny’s son’s misbehaviour, Lenny says that his father would have given him a backhand to the face with possible bleeding from the ear.
- Five men play a game called Arrow Roulette. It involves a man firing an arrow into the air. The other men run away before the arrow comes down, and the last man to run away is the winner. As the men run away, one runs into a tree branch and is knocked off his feet. Another trips over a tree stump and lands face first in animal poo. Another refuses to move and has his foot impaled by the arrow. We see the arrow impaled through the man’s foot and blood around the wound. The man faints when he sees the arrow through his foot. He’s carried off by two men, and his foot is bandaged.
- Rob is shot in the foot with an arrow. His wife suggests a poultice. Rob tells her to ‘Get some alcohol on this’, and then calls her a rude name. He says a lot of insulting things about her age, looks and abilities.
- Throughout the movie, Lenny and his friends keep insulting each other about appearance, weight, ethnicity, lifestyles, eating habits, children, monetary status, sexual relations, age, physical abilities and deformities. For example, one person is described as an ‘Elvis Oompa Loompa’, whose hair looks like a dirty cue tip.
- A man tries to ride a flying fox while hanging upside down. He crashes heavily through the side of a wooden building. He ends up in a full-body plaster cast.
- Rob kicks Marcus hard in the groin, twice causing Marcus to collapse on the ground in agony.
- A drunk man shoots an arrow high into the air at a crowded outdoor basketball game. The crowd shouts and runs away. The falling arrow impales the foot of a man who is wearing a full-body plaster cast, and he can’t run away. He falls backwards unconscious.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example, an elderly woman shows off her swollen infected-looking bunions. A young child screams and runs away at the sight.
Apart from the violent scenes mentioned above, there are no scenes in this movie that are likely to scare or disturb children in this age group.
This movie is unlikely to scare or disturb children in this age group.
Grown Ups contains frequent sexual references, innuendo and double entendres. For example:
- While playing in a basketball match, an 11-year-old boy winks suggestively at a young girl watching in the stands. Another young boy does the same thing. When the girl nods her head in response, the boy shakes his head and nods his head at the girl’s mother.
- A man makes a rude remark about the sexual preferences of another man’s wife.
- A woman asks a man if he was the one who didn’t reach puberty until 19.
- An 11-year-old boy tells another that he is going to Italy, where they show breasts on TV.
- Five men discuss whether you can have sex with a woman when she is pregnant.
- A man talks about having sex with his wife while she was asleep.
- A man tells his young child that babies come from his mummy’s ‘poop’. We hear how the child kept looking for a brother in the toilet.
- A man makes a lewd remark about a woman using a breast pump.
- A group of woman talks about a man’s tight-fitting swimsuit as a ‘banana hammock’.
- A man has a sexually suggestive conversation with his wife while they’re dancing.
- A man talks about having sex with a young woman.
- When a man complains about his family not appreciating him, a woman makes an insulting remark about it being ‘his time of the month’.
- A man makes an insulting remark about the way another man and his partner have sex.
The movie also contains a lot of ‘toilet humour’ about poos, wees and farts.
There are also several scenes involving breast feeding. For example, a four-year-old boy says to his mother, ‘I want some milk’. His mother allows the child to drink from her breast. (The boy’s head obscures her breast.) Other mothers with shocked expressions cover the eyes of their children. In a later scene, the boy looks at another woman’s exposed cleavage and asks his mother if he could have some of her milk.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some use of substances. For example:
- A man behaves in a drunk way at his young son’s basketball celebration. His son says, ‘You’re drunk, dad’.
- Some men talk about how they used to go to a lakeside lodge to get ‘wasted’. Their children overhear and ask what ‘getting wasted’ means. The parents say it means ‘eating ice-cream’. One young child says that he wants to get wasted every day of his life.
- Men drink beer out of bottles a couple of times.
- Several times, Marcus drinks shots of bourbon and gets so drunk that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He dances while holding a bottle of bourbon, acting as if the bottle is his dance partner. While at a crowded public gathering, he fires an arrow into the air.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Lenny reaches behind Rob and sticks his finger into Rob’s clothed buttocks.
- Rob and his much older wife kiss each other on the lips and touch tongues. Two men watching the pair pretend to gag. In a later scene, Rob straddles wife and the pair rub noses.
- One scene shows a back view of Marcus’s naked buttocks.
- A young woman in very short shorts bends over a car. The camera focuses on her buttocks and crotch from behind. Four men in deck chairs deliberately stare at the woman as she bends over.
- At Water World, a group of women stares at a bare-chested muscular man wearing small, tight shorts. The man flexes his muscles to attract the women’s attention. One of the women tells the others, ‘There are two big advantages to breastfeeding’. She then does a seductive pole dance around an umbrella to attract the man’s attention.
- After sliding down a waterslide, a young woman gets out of the water. The camera focuses on her buttocks, and her bikini looks like a g-string. Two young boys stare at her.
- A man asks a pregnant woman if he can touch her belly. He says he likes to touch the baby. He touches the woman’s breast by ‘mistake’.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: video games, hand-held video machines, Wii, Cadillac, Budweiser beer, KFC, bottled water (Voss) and mobile phones.
This movie contains some coarse language, modified swear words and putdowns.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Grown Ups is a comedy that relies almost solely on crude humour, sexual reference or innuendo, and demeaning insults to entertain.
The main positive messages in the movie are:
- Childhood is a time for imaginative play and physical activity. It shouldn’t be spent on violent video games and texting.
- Life can be difficult, but it’s the bumps in life that give it depth.
- In the words of Coach Buzzer, ‘Live life with no regrets’.
Unfortunately, you might find these messages are overshadowed by the crude humour and the way in which characters treat each other.
You might like to talk with your children about:
- the disrespectful way that the main characters talk about and view women
- the harmful and demeaning way that the men ridicule each other.