10 May

Grownvengers: Grown Ups 2

Summertime.
– Braden

This is the big one, guys. Grown Ups 2. Everything we’ve posted these last couple of weeks has been leading up to this pivotal movie, and we have to say, it did not disappoint. Well, actually it did disappoint (more on that later), but it was a fun experiment and it lead to some of our best meals and header images yet. Seriously, just spend some time soaking in that header image because it won’t be around forever. Similar to the film, it’s a joke that won’t last.

The Food

For Grown Ups 2, we thought it would be fitting if we recreated our favorite, or in some cases least favorite, childhood meals now that we are all grown ups (2). We texted our mothers and asked what our favorite and least favorite foods were, and received some very detailed replies. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, it is nice to remember our mothers watching us grow up, being there for every vegetable we may not have wanted to eat, and every sweet thing we tried to get away with eating. It was a great opportunity to take some time to make dishes that hold some childhood nostalgia and pay tribute to the food culture we’ve all developed in large part from our moms.

André

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Leanna

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Ben

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For starters, we decided to mix one of André’s favorite foods, broccoli, with cheese, one of Ben’s favorites. This broccoli and cheese sauce appeared on the dinner table on multiple occasions as Ben was growing up, so it was a wonderful way to pay homage to that. All in all, it was a pretty simple dish to assemble: We broiled the broccoli in the oven and made a cheesy extra sharp cheddar sauce to dip it in. Even Leanna, who hated broccoli (and still isn’t really a huge fan, TBH) thought this dish was delicious. Tengo wanted to get in on it too.

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Following the broccoli, it was time for appetizer dessert. Thank you, Leanna, for pioneering the concept that dessert can happen more than once per day. We used Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer because it was a childhood favorite of Leanna’s. She may or may not have gotten a little teary-eyed recalling all the summers her mom would save two root beers in a cooler for them to drink after she finished her ballet classes.

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Next, we made another dish off of Leanna’s list: butter pasta. We threw some sage and lemon into the butter sauce to class it up a bit, and we made our own pasta too. Shout out to Louise (Leanna’s mom), who took us all to a pasta making class at Sur La Table last fall. Hey, Louise, we finally made it!

It may look intimidating, and it certainly takes a fair bit of time, but making fresh pasta is surprisingly simple and the end result is so delicious that it’s worth the extra effort every time. We’ve posted our full recipe on Kitchenbowl if you’re up to the challenge.

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Finally, we made our dinner dessert: Ice cream sandwiches using Tillamook Udderly Chocolate ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookies. The inspiration behind this final dish was the fact that we found it hilarious that Ben used to hate chocolate chip cookies. What kind of child doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies? We are happy to report that Ben found these cookies acceptable, so much so that he had two ice cream sandwiches in one sitting. It’s fair to say he’s changed his tune.

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The Drinks

Since Grown Ups 2 combines all of the comedians we’ve grown to love (or hate) over the last four posts, we decided it would be fitting to do a graveyard-esque combination of alcohols for this movie. We were originally inspired by AMFs, but decided to make up our own drink, using various spirits we purchased for the previous posts. We combined White Lightnin’ moonshine, UV Blue, Triple Sec, orange simple syrup, and homemade lemonade to create a little concoction we like to call Adios GrownVengers, or AGV for short. In what turned out to be quite a happy coincidence, the copious amounts of alcohol that went into the AGVs actually made the movie halfway watchable.

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The Rules

We borrowed the drinking rules from The Worst Idea of All Time podcast’s drinking game. For those of you unfamiliar with The Worst Idea of All Time, get out from under the rock you clearly live under and give it a listen (Thank you, Jered, for enlightening us all!). It’s the tale of two men from New Zealand, Tim Batt and Guy Montgomery, who set out to watch Grown Ups 2 every week for a year and record and share their findings each week. Think about this for a second: These men have probably spent more time watching and thinking about the movie than Adam Sandler himself, so there are literally no greater experts on Grown Ups 2 than these two brave souls. We thought it best to use their curated drinking rules to get us through the film.

The Movie

Oh man… Where to begin? We should start off by saying that we in no way condone the viewing of this movie. It’s a terrible movie, but it isn’t so bad that it crosses into it’s-so-bad-it’s-good territory. Instead, it is just pure mediocrity through and through.

We’ve been listening to the The Worst Idea of All Time podcast in anticipation of our big finish to the Grownvengers series, and had noticed that Guy and Tim rarely talk a whole lot about the movie. We discovered the reason why when we finally sat down and watched it ourselves: Nothing actually happens in this movie. There is no plot arc, no character development, and no running gags. The movie is literally just “four guys have a day.” That’s it.

Everything that we put into this and all of the hype we built up for Grown Ups 2 by watching the back stories of all the characters fizzled the moment we pressed play. Grown Ups 2 is just one bad joke running into another and before you know it, the whole movie is over and you’re left with the same empty feeling inside that you get after binge watching five episodes of How I Met Your Mother: you realize nothing happened in the last two hours of television you watched and you’re a worse person for watching it. (Shots fired.)

During production, Adam Sandler must have realized that this movie was pretty darn bad. Maybe he thought he might be able to balance it out by including lots of cameos, as if a short celebrity guest appearance every five minutes might make the audience forget about how unfunny the movie is. He definitely overcompensated – Grown Ups 2 is so jam-packed with celebrity cameos it is just plain ridiculous. It’s like Adam Sandler sent a mass email to every celebrity ever and said “I’m making a movie, who wants to be in it?” He thought he would have his pick of all the actors in Hollywood but only 20 people responded so he just threw them all into the movie. It’s the only way to explain how Shaq can show up in the same scene as Steve Buschemi, three-quarters of the J Guiles Band, and that one guy who went to Chili’s with Michael and Jan in that episode of The Office. Thankfully, the Lonely Island crew and some other dudes from SNL decided it would be worth their time to show up in this movie, and their sexy car wash scene is one of the best in the movie.

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Probably the best actors in the whole movie.

Shining Lights

One of the ways The Worst Idea Of All Time kept their podcast fresh was by searching for a redeeming scene each time they watched the movie, which they call their Shining Light. As a tribute to Guy and Tim who have gone where no men have gone before (or ever, EVER should go), we present our Shining Lights.

Andre’s Shining Light

My shining light was David Spade’s son’s delivery of the line, “Summertime.” Let me paint a picture of the scene for you.

There is a scene in the movie where two high school seniors are hanging out with some college girls at a swimming hole and are offered a beer each. The two boys decide they aren’t “ready for beer” yet but want to look like they drank the beers so that they can look cool. I believe this was a poorly-executed attempt to try to pass on some family values to the children who may be watching the movie. On the one hand, the movie is trying to convey the message that you don’t have to drink alcohol before you feel like you’re ready to. On the other hand, the scene also tells its audience that you have to drink alcohol at parties to look cool, so the life lesson falls a little flat. Even worse, the writers have the kids face away from the party (and the camera) and pour the beer out in front of them so that it just looks like they’re peeing. We’ve already established that you have to drink beer to look cool, and now we learn that public urination is also cool and totally acceptable.

At this point, you are probably wondering why I picked this scene as my Shining Light, since I’ve had nothing nice to say about it yet. Well, the best part is yet to come. David Spade’s son, Brandon, sees the kids “peeing” off a rock. He smiles, lifts a beer into the air, looks straight into the camera as it zooms in on him, and says, “Summertime.” We all cracked up and had to re-watch the scene, which was even better on the second and third viewing.

So, your takeaways from this scene are meant to be 1) don’t drink beer until you’re ready, 2) you have to drink beer to be cool, 3) public urination is a-okay, and 4) there is nothing that says “summertime” better than peeing off a cliff. I think kids raised on movies like this are going to turn out juuuuust fine.

Leanna’s Shining Light

Patty Schwartz Party Time. PATTY SCHWARTZ. PARTY TIME. PARTY TIME. Sorry, sorry… I’ve listened to almost 40 episodes of the podcast, so I’m keen to a number of additional segments that make watching the movie more bearable. One of them is Patty Schwartz Party Time, and by Patty Schwartz I mean the son of the Terminator, Patrick Schwarzenegger. You may think his only other claim to fame is that he dated the one and only Miley Cyrus, but you’d be wrong. His real claim to fame is actually his awkward facial expressions, his pooka shell necklace, and his terrible acting as an extra in Grown Ups 2.

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Far left. Why were pooka shell necklaces EVER a thing?

But to explain my intro… Patty Schwartz Party Time is a segment on the podcast where Guy and Tim discuss their favorite Patty moment. For a guy that has zero actual lines in the film and who’s only purpose is to stand around looking like the world’s most reproachable frat bro, they certainly garnered a lot of material out of him. Seeing Patty for the first time on screen, really brought Patty Schwartz Party Time to life for me. If I had to pick a specific moment, it would be everything about the photo above. His expression, which says, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” his plaid shorts, and, of course, that damn pooka shell necklace. Party on, Wayne.

Ben’s Shining Light

Shaquille O’Neal. You wonderful wonderful fellow. I could not have gotten through this film if it were not for you. When everyone else was phoning in their performances, there you were giving it your all. Your door-kicking, dancing self was a breath of fresh air in a fart of a movie. That scene where you are dancing as you direct traffic in a small Connecticut town: classic. The one time when you are lathered up at a carwash: hard to forget. And as a man of the law working to save the citizens of wherever the movie took place, risking life and limb by kicking open a heavy, metal car door: heartwarming. You were quite possibly the funniest man in Grown Ups 2, and if I had known ahead of time, I would have scheduled in the seminal classic Kazaam, just for you. The best I can do is to include this following GIF in hopes that it satisfies the inner child in your ginormous body. You rule, Shaq.

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The Reviews

Andre: Just say “No.” Do yourself a favor and just say “no” to this movie. Adam Sandler was only able to fit in 2-3 good jokes in the excessively long 101 minute run time, and it really isn’t worth your time or money. It’s ironic that there are so many poop jokes Grown Ups 2 because this movie is absolute shit.

Leanna: This movie doesn’t deserve a real rating. It’s a burp-snart of a film. Don’t watch the film to find out what that means. Honestly, if it weren’t for all the hidden gems that I learned by listening to The Worst Idea of All Time, I think I would have just groaned my way through the movie. Guy and Tim gave me something to live for, and for that I’m grateful.

Ben: 35%. The more I watch movies for Munch, the more I feel like boring movies are inexcusable. Human beings pay time and money to see your movie, and the absolute worst thing you can do is create a boring movie. I have seen the apocalypse, and it is TVs as far as the eye can see just playing boring movies. Whenever you try to smash one TV, they just multiply and their sound nobs are turned up just a little bit higher trying to overtake your mortal body with boring energy. I wish I could say this movie defied my expectations and was actually good, but no, that means I would be lying. And I can not do that to you, fine reader. Don’t watch Grown Ups 2. Don’t give those men any more of your money. And please don’t try to watch the back stories of all of the main characters in this film. It is also not worth your time or money. I plead with you not to follow in our weary footsteps, for we are treading ground no good human should ever tread.

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