Weekend Watching: Grandma’s Boy

35-year-old video game designer Alex is kicked out of his apartment when his roommate neglects to pay the rent. Homeless and with few options, Alex moves in with his grandma and her two elderly friends.

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Grandma’s Boy (2006) is a comedy produced by Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison that wouldn’t look out of place in the nineties. It contains his particular brand of humour and although the film isn’t particularly original or interesting there’s a comic edge that makes it worth watching. This is a stoner film on par with Harold and Kumar and although it shouldn’t, Grandma’s Boy elicits more than a few laughs. This comedy is mindless to say the least but as a stoner flick it kind of works.

Alex is played by Allen Covert who has been in over twenty films but although recognisable he’s not a celebrity or particularly well known. However he does have a slacker ethos that works very well in this film. The story follows Alex, a 35-year-old video game tester who loses his apartment due to his roommate’s ineptitude. Alex has a job and it’s likely he’s earning enough to look after himself, but instead of a hotel or crashing at a friends he moves in with his gran and her two elderly roommates.

This setup is funny enough and the comedy derives mostly from the fish out of water scenario that Alex is in. He doesn’t tell his colleagues or friends the entire truth and implies that he’s living with three ‘hot chicks’ that keep him up and active every night with a number of sex toys.

Everyone smokes weed

That’s all standard enough fare and the initial inciting incident gives way to a new plot. Alex has a new boss at work played by Linda Cardellini but what follows isn’t quite the run of the mill slacker comedy/romantic comedy. Alex likes to smoke weed, his boss likes to smoke weed, and funnily enough so do his three elderly house mates.

In amongst the marijuana haze, Grandma’s Boy loses all pretence of making sense and it becomes a lot of fun. Alex’s drug dealer introduces some scenes heavily laden with jokes and odd circumstances. There’s a karate-chopping monkey, a tribal witch doctor, and a representation of being stoned that’s just batshit crazy. But there’s no harm in that really and many of the stoner flicks from the past few decades have boldly left behind any semblance of reality. Think Cheech and Chong and you’re close to the tone of Grandma’s Boy.

Grandma’s Boy is laid back

This isn’t a highbrow comedy and at no point does it touch on any issues that have any sort of meaning. However it is funnier than many films in this genre and there’s something that makes Grandma’s Boy a hugely enjoyable hour and a half. The cast bounces off each other well, and Allen Covert is a revelation as Alex. Covert is often relegated to a back seat in Adam Sandler movies and its nice to see him finally get some real screen time and take the lead in a film.

Grandma’s Boy is a laid back comedy with a stoner ethos. It works only because it doesn’t and it’s a film that’ll make you laugh if you let it. Put it on, have a couple of beers, and look out for the monkey scenes. Don’t be dissuaded by the terrible reviews Grandma’s Boy received. It’s not a great film but it never pretends to be. Grandma’s Boy is occasionally touching but mostly just downright odd, with some very funny moments. Look it up.

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