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At last, a film for the granny-stoner set

January 09, 2006|Roger Moore | Special to The Times

At long last, a movie to steal the audience away from "The Chronicles of Narnia"!

"Grandma's Boy" has it all -- bong hits, top-heavy topless women, Doris Roberts acting stoned, Shirley Knight karaoke-singing "Baby, Talk Dirty to Me," Shirley Jones talking dirty to pretty much everybody.

Yeah, like there's a Narnian alive who'll abandon "the wardrobe" for an hour and a half to spend it with Adam Sandler's least-talented friends. Some guy who used to fetch film cans for him directed it. Assorted losers in his inner circle wrote and star in it.

And much pot is smoked on camera in this pointless ramble through the world of video-game testers. It's not flattering. The arrested-development set that lives to play and trouble-shoot increasingly complex gamescapes is a regular lexicon of Loserville -- cliched overweight geeks, cliched Asian geeks and the obligatory pasty-faced geeks.

And their king is Alex, a.k.a. "Grey Bush," the 35-year-old (he looks 45) master tester who sleeps too late and lets his fellow stoner roomie cost them their apartment. Allen Covert, a Sandler sidekick, plays Alex and co-wrote the script.

The joke here is that Alex-the-pothead moves in with his granny (Roberts of TV's "Everybody Loves Raymond") and her two roomies (Knight and Jones). The old ladies give him chores and learn the pleasures of pot and cable TV from him. Of course, he lies to the virgins he works with, that he's living with three sex-starved hot chicks.

Supporting players include Linda Cardellini of "ER" as the new boss who needs to get their latest game checked out, Joel David Moore as a freakish game inventor who dresses and acts as if he lives in his own "Matrix," and guys like Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider and David Spade, Sandler's least-employed "Saturday Night Live" pals.

It's as aimless and pointless as a joke told while stoned. There are some pretty decent shock-laughs, often provided by Jones, who hasn't ever been this nasty.

But the best thing going for this stoner comedy is that its target audience won't remember it. And unlike the sober set, they won't mind.


Roger Moore is a film critic for the Sentinel in Orlando, Fla.


'Grandma's Boy'

MPAA rating: R for drug use, strong language, strong crude and sexual humor, and nudity

A 20th Century Fox release. Director: Nicholaus Goossen. Producer: Allen Covert. Executive producers: Adam Sandler, Jack Giarraputo, Glenn S. Gainor, Bill Todman Jr., Edward Milstein, Paul Schwake. Screenplay by Barry Wernick, Allen Covert, Nick Swardson. Director of photography: Mark Irwin. Editor: Tom Costain. Costume designer: Maya Lieberman. Music: Waddy Wachtel. Production designer: Perry Andelin Blake. Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes.

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