Robert De Niro and Zack Efron team up for raunchy, raucous buddy comedy
WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Mantzoukas, Danny Glover, Dermont Mulroney, Julianne Hough, Jeffrey Bower-Chapman, Zoey Deutch, Brandon Mychal Smith, Michael Hudson, Jake Picking, Henry Zebrowski and Adam Pally
WRITER(S): John Philips
Then his grandmother dies.
Re-united at the funeral with his cousin Nick (Adam Pally), Jason gets an unexpected request from the widow of the deceased/his estranged grandfather Dick (Robert De Niro) – drive him to Boca Raton, Florida per the trip he was supposed to take with his wife. After some poking and prodding, Jason reluctantly agrees and set out to hit the road from Atlanta to Florida. Then he makes an unexpected discovery, the less said about that, the better.
Stopping at a diner along the way, Jason finally learns of his grandfather’s true intentions of going to Florida: Going to spring break to party. And once he and Dick meet up with Bradley (Jeffrey Bower-Chapman), the easy – to put it nicely – Lenore (Aubrey Plaza) and Jason’s former classmate Shadia (Zoey Deutch) outside the diner, Jason quickly realizes he’s in for a lot more than he bargained for.
Grandfather-son bonding may never be the same again.
I’ll admit it: When I saw the trailer for Dirty Grandpa, my first thought was “Why in the world is Robert De Niro in this?” Watching the movie, the answer becomes pretty clear: He must have known it would be a lot of fun to play Dick, a dirty (both in language and tone) old man who is still full of life and underneath it all has a pretty decent heart. De Niro shines from start to finish as the bawdy senior citizen who says exactly what is on his mind regardless of who is around but eventually proves himself to be cool because he actually gets people and takes them as they are. Efron is there to play the straight man and does so well, furthering distancing himself from his Disney days, much like Hough who plays the pretentious … princess effectively to spur his actions. Jason Mantzoukas plays his character, which if you are familiar with his work on The League won’t come as a surprise, effectively crazy to the point his lunacy – while ludicrous in terms of believability in a real world sense – works well. Mantzoukas makes his beach shop owner a lovable lunatic, acting as a nice bridge between De Niro and Efron to allow them to keep their characters (somewhat) grounded in reality. Then again, Aubrey Plaza shows that her work in the under-appreciated The To Do List was not a one-time thing as she and De Niro pull of the most insane, filthy – and hilarious – series of exchanges since Steve Carell and Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd were all sitting around together playing video games in The 40 Year-Old Virgin. Plaza commits 100% to the role fully just like De Niro and Mantzoukas, which makes for a cavalcade of crazy comedy.
Of course, like almost every road trip/buddy comedy, Dirty Grandpa tries to insert a bit of a moral/life lesson at the end that Dick teaches his grandson, which is a nice touch … But let’s be realistic. NO ONE is going to leave Dirty Grandpa talking about the wisdom Dick passes along to his grandson. What they will be talking about, however, is the copious amounts of “did they just say that?!” moments found within the film. De Niro and company hold nothing back – vocally OR anatomically – in going for the most inappropriate (and in turn, hilarious) laugh possible. Race, sexual orientation, ageism … None of these things is off limits for Dirty Grandpa; the key is that as the film eventually goes on to prove is that there is no malice behind the jokes. Laughs are not made at the expense of others’ feelings in saying that any group is inferior to another, they are simply “here’s something about you ripe for comedic fodder” – and therein lies all the difference.
Then again, if you are offended/prefer not to see a 70-plus year-old man hitting on college age girls, are uncomfortable with anyone using racially-charged words in any capacity if they are not members of the ethnic group deemed “allowed” to use them and/or an admittedly graphic amount of graphic language, avoid Dirty Grandpa at all costs. Likewise, if you find the premise too outlandish, fear the sexual content will be too intense/perverse, you likely will be best served by staying away from the film.
Should those happen to not be issues, however, Dirty Grandpa will make you laugh possibly till your sides hurt … Or at least long enough to make you feel like you need to go to church to make up for watching and enjoying it.