DIRTY GRANDPA (2016)
Directed by Dan Mazer
After the death of his grandma, uptight lawyer Jason is tasked with driving his grandpa Dick back to Boca Raton, Florida from his own home in Georgia. Set to marry his fiance in just over a week, Jason’s life is seemingly complete however his sex-starved grandpa has other ideas. On the rampage for some student poontang, Dick believes the trip home, with a detour through Daytona Beach, could just be what his grandson needs before signing his life away for good.
Imagine the teen comedies of years gone by with all their verbal vulgarities rolled up and delivered by one of the greatest living actors there has been. This, dear reader, is what you can expect of DIRTY GRANDPA, a film not to be confused with Johnny Knoxville’s Bad one yet is is a movie which is similar in vein but with a heavier focus on sex.
With an opening credit sequence featuring a series of old photos of Robert De Niro and Zac Efron as grandpa and grandson, of which are clearly photoshopped (and badly at that!), it isn’t long before DIRTY GRANDPA lives up to its name and we see what cannot be unseen: Dick Kelly (De Niro) masturbating to porn. Okay, we might not literally “see” it, thank God, but there’s enough flesh on show above and below the groin area to easily envision it and, trust me, it’s not an image you want burned into your mind.
The movie starts as it means to go on with filth-ridden dialogue and sex jokes played for laughs which wouldn’t be amiss from the long-running American Pie series. In a way, Dick Kelly is the Stifler of DIRTY GRANDPA except Dick is rather good natured compared to Seann William Scott’s character and just likes to tease and prank his uptight grandson. Jason, on the other hand, is a right stick of a person. Played by Zac Efron, he’s a dull, work-obsessed preppy with no social life whatsoever except for the one his fiance Meredith makes for him. With a passion for photography, Jason’s grandpa expected him to follow his dream and become a photojournalist but Jason decided to follow in the family business and join his father’s law firm. Concerned he might be living other people’s dreams instead of his own, Dick decides to take Jason on a spring break he’ll never forget!
The major problem with DIRTY GRANDPA is that it thinks it’s funnier that it actually is. There’s no solid or clever humour here to speak of with Meet The Parents and even American Pie funnier than this could ever be. However, if you switch your brain off and don’t mind the gratuitous use of lewd language that would make a teen comedy blush then you may find some enjoyment from this movie.
The film’s highlight is also ironically it’s lowlight and involves two of the film’s stars. The sexual language used between De Niro and Aubrey Plaza, the latter of whom plays the object of Dick’s affections, not to mention the provactive erotic dancing (if you can call it that) in the nightclub, will likely make you squirm and cringe between the laughter as will some dodgy scenes involving Efron, a bumblebee toy and a kid on the beach. The film often tries to push the boundaries in order to shock the viewer as well as provide laughs but as humour goes the film ultimately fails to make you actually laugh out loud.
With its mixture of daft humour, a splash of romance and STI-laced verbal diarrhea, DIRTY GRANDPA will appeal to teen audiences or those looking for mindless fun without much substance.