“I don’t even know where to start with this. Let’s just jump in head first, and get it over with.
Dirty Grandpa stars Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron as grandpa/grandson on a road trip thru the south. I came in a few min late because the MBTA is stupid (I tried to circumvent the red line shuttle buses and ended up with a delayed #1 bus instead), so I never quite figured out exactly why Grandpa needed to get down to Boca so badly. It had something to do with Grandma having recently passed.
The two are polar opposites. Grandpa is an old horndog looking for sex, drugs, and rock and roll, who has no shame about letting every dirty thought spew from his mouth. Grandson is this preppy up and coming lawyer at the family firm, who is set to marry a fellow lawyer (Julianne Hough) that has him pretty whipped. Hilarity ensues. Or rather, it’s supposed to ensue.
The main problem with this movie is that it simply wasn’t funny. Like at all. Their main attempt at humor was let’s-see-how-many-dirty-things-we-can-get-DeNiro to say, followed by let’s-see-how-many-awkward-and-embarassing-situations-we-can-put-Zac-Efron-thru. I’m all for dirty humor, but for the love of jackass, please put some thought into it. The idea of an old man saying something that’s more likely to come out of fat boy’s mouth isn’t that funny in and of itself. You need to be clever about it, like Kevin Smith or Judd Apatow would be. Hell, even Trey Parker and Matt Stone would have written something better. I mean, c’mon, have some respect for the acting royalty you have on screen. DeNiro deserves so so much better.
To DeNiro’s credit, though, he never gave a hint of complaint on screen. Either he really was having that much fun with the role, or he’s simply that great of an actor that he still gave it his all, and instead of phoning it in, acted twice as hard by also convincing us he was enjoying himself. Honestly, as badly written as the film was, DeNrio and Efron never let it get unwatchable. I think they knew they were working on a pretty big stinker, but they found the right level of attention to give each awful line of dialog. Don’t just halfheartedly go through it, but don’t try to play it up and force it to be funny. Just deliver it seriously and thoughtfully, and move on to the next thing. That’s what kept me from clawing my eyes out. Well that, and a very buff Zac Efron in very little clothing.
Dirty Grandpa – \m/ \n”