This sort of sleaze-in-comedy-clothing you expect from Zac Efron, having slinked down Eeew Lane just two years ago with Neighbors. (Sorority house sequel with Seth Rogen coming soon, trailer in theaters now, beware!)
But sitting through each of the sex-crazy 102 minutes of Dirty Grandpa in a pretty-packed late Friday afternoon showing in the Regal Cinemas’ theater in Syracuse mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA, I couldn’t help but think: Oh, why, Robert De Niro, why.
Why would you sign on to utter these words so-past-innuendo written by
John Phillips? What comes out of your mouth! Offensive in the name of laughs to the max.
Why would you agree to act out these should-be-kept-in-private acts in the story line directed by Dan Mazer right in front of us all?
The plot: Crusty Dick Kelly just lost his wife of four-plus decades. At her funeral, he tells his prim lawyer son he wants his apple-doesn’t-fall-far-from-the-tree grandson to drive him from Atlanta to Florida.
Grandpa turns out to be way more than lusty, and his great yearning to make up for lost time waylays his grandson’s weekend wedding plans back home.
The women involved in the trip, played by Aubrey Plaza and Zoey Deutch, do more than tolerate these shenanigans. Grandson has to hide stuff from fiancée and dad, played by Julianne Hough and Dermot Mulrooney.
Zefron does privileged, proper and put out by grandpa OK enough. Plaza is over-the-top cartoonish, just like her side character in TV’s quite good and will-be-missed Parks and Recreation Deutch is the best actress here, a strident do-gooder somehow falling for her former college classmate’s lies orchestrated by Grandpa. But wait! Jason starts feeling the truth in his old soldier’s strategies as well.
All others are left in the wake of De Niro as Grandpa, big and loud and bold and crass. All in all, the great one takes it on fully, so he’s quite the jackass who’s meant to have a big heart underneath it all.
But it’s too late for the violins and moral of the story. The outer stench was just too strong for any sort of saving grace.
How much ribald are you looking for in your comedy these days? New widower in his 70s trying to score with college girl as his grandson plays wing man, good role for De Niro or not, and why? What’s your favorite spring-autumn movie romantic pairing, and why?