Dirty Grandpa

Laughter, joy, and loneliness, and sex and sex and sex and sex.
Movie Review #1,051


Distributed by Lionsgate.  Comedy.  Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes.  Rated R for crude sexual content throughout, graphic nudity, and for language and drug use.  Released January 22, 2016.  Directed by Dan Mazer.  Screenplay by John Phillips.  Starring Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Julianne Hough, Zoey Deutch, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Mantzoukas, and Dermot Mulroney.  With a cameo from Danny Glover.

“You look like the keynote speaker at a buttf–king convention.” – Robert De Niro to Zac Efron in “Dirty Grandpa”

“Dirty Grandpa” is filled with–to quote a Stones song–laughter, joy, and loneliness, and sex and sex and sex and sex. Okay maybe not the loneliness part, but the rest of it applies. Boobs and penises dominate the script; aside from that, it’s a creative melange of cocaine, marijuana, and feces. What I’ve quoted above is a typical line in “Dirty Grandpa”. Crass, but funny and memorable. That description applies to basically anything Robert De Niro says in the movie, and seemingly, it also applies to the movie itself. “Dirty Grandpa” offers some of the lowest form of humor we could ask for, but the way it so eagerly delivers is often downright hilarious.

A young, busy Georgia lawyer, Jason (Zac Efron), is getting married in one week and doesn’t have the wedding fully planned out yet. To make things more hectic, his grandmother has just died. His grandfather (Robert De Niro) convinced him to take him down to a place in Florida where he had gone with his wife every year until her death. He claims it’s what she would have wanted for him. However, this turns out to be a ploy to get Jason to loosen up and have a little fun.

The story isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. It’s basically a hard-R buddy comedy, except it’s not quite as memorable or zany as “The Hangover”, nor is it as dark or depraved as “Horrible Bosses”. This is lighthearted fun that relies on a run-of-the-mill script to make its way through. As a result, the sub plot concerning the wedding dilemma presents the usually-talented Julianne Hough, as nothing more than a character so obnoxious, we seriously wonder why Jason decided to marry her. Furthering the feminist argument about flat female characters in modern-day Hollywood, all she seems to be concerned about is her wedding. She seems to completely miss the truth that Jason is out having fun, no matter how many different ways it’s presented to her. I guess that’s supposed to be a joke in and of itself, but it didn’t seem to work out in the end.

Robert De Niro and Zac Efron are a good screen pair. Honestly. I don’t appreciate Efron much as an actor, but I do see him and De Niro working together on more projects. If it means seeing the two of them together again, then I could certainly go for a sequel. It’s De Niro’s one-liners, paired with Efron’s all-too-serious attitude throughout the movie, that makes “Dirty Grandpa” an entertaining watch. Not to mention, that scene where Efron wakes up on the beach after smoking crack, which kept me laughing for several minutes after the scene ended.


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