Premise: An old guy is horny and says inappropriate things. There, you got the amazing premise out of me.
The Good Stuff
-I think my only audible laugh during the entire movie came from Jason Mantzoukas' joke about Florida people. Plus, he basically just played his Rafi character from The League the entire movie. I won't complain about that.
-I bought my ticket online from Fandango, then I used a self-serve kiosk to pick up my tickets. There wasn't even a ticket taker at 3 pm, so going in, nobody even knew what movie I paid for. The only person who saw the shame that I purchased a ticket to Dirty Grandpa was the employee waiting by the exit for me to leave so he can clean up behind me. All in all, that's a pretty low number of actual people who personally judged me for attending this movie at the time that I saw it. Nice.
-Wait a second... Did this entire R-rated movie about an old guy trying to get laid at Daytona Beach really have no nudity in it? I don't think it did... Wow. I'm not even mad. I'm impressed. I half expected this to be an epic showcase of aspiring actresses making regrettable early-career decisions.
The Bad Stuff:
-Do you remember when Robert De Niro was in Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Godfather II, Raging Bull, Cape Fear, The Untouchables, The Deer Hunter, or Jackie Brown? His Dirty Grandpa performance kind of makes you forget that. Little bit. You insulted De Niro's legacy just a little bit. [Donovan's 'Atlantis' starts playing] [me and Joe Pesci start stomping on a Dirty Grandpa poster]
-It starts off just as another dumb low-brow comedy; lots of easy jokes or whatever... But the last 40 minutes are painful to get through. It's like they wasted all their visual gags in the first hour, and then attempted to cram 90 minutes of terrible comedy movie cliché storytelling into the last act. Why does this movie need to have heart inserted into it at all? Does anyone paying to see Dirty Grandpa really care if Zac Efron's character gets married at the end or not? Also, you'd have to have like come out of a bunker you've lived in your whole life, and this was the first film that you have ever seen to not know exactly what is going to happen with every single plot point in this movie before it happens.
-Pairing Zac Efron and Julianne Hough was kind of too on-the-nose. Could they have found two more obnoxiously blessed people genetically? If they actually had a baby in real life, would just an American Apparel catalogue come out of her?
-Has Aubrey Plaza ever played anything but herself in a movie? She's the Danny McBride of sarcastic half-Cuban actresses.
-The several unnecessary gay and racist jokes in this movie didn't really land at all, and came across as kind of just insulting, right? Here's an example of this movie's attempt at a gay/racism joke, and I'm going to make this as verbatim as I can remember.
De Niro: "(laughs) Wow, this guy is really gay."
Gay Guy: "Really observant, Sherlock. Did you notice I was black too?"
De Niro: "(laughs again) Yeah, that's also funny."
And then the scene moves on. That was the start and end of the joke. I guess the payoff happens thirty minutes later when De Niro defends the gay guy from a gang of ruffians; but even that was lame. You see, he's progressive, but he still says offensive things. Ha. What a dirty grandpa.
Final Thoughts: I guess you should kind of assume what you're getting into here. Listen, I see a lot of dumb movies (it's my sickness), but you don't have to. Skip this one when it eventually comes to Redbox. Unless you're really hungering to watch Robert De Niro sing Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day" at a karaoke bar. Then by all means, waste your $2 and 2 hours. Also, is there a YouTube compilation of past-their-prime actors singing rap songs somewhere? Because I really don't want to see it.
Plaza is half-Puerto Rican, not half-Cuban. Get your facts straight, man. :-) She tells a slightly risque but hilarious anecdote about shooting her "sex scenes" with De Niro.
That story and the imagery of the conversations with the director, sounds better than the movie you saw.
Plaza is pretty good in "Safety Not Guaranteed"; it's watchable and interesting and she shows more range than her usual roles offer. I think she has yet to really find a well-suited role equal to her "Parks and Rec" stuff.
On the flip side of De Niro movies of late, rented "The Intern" on PPV and found it charming and well-executed, if formulaic. Worth a watch. He's magnetic whenever he's on screen in that movie.
He's also in a recent release called: "Heist", but I have not seen that.
But if you really wanna see Robert acting the hell out of a role, you need to dig up a little indie he made with the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, called: "Flawless". It truly is, too. I'll send you a dollar if you don't like it, Scott. Go dig it up, now! I promise it will be worth it.
Yes, Joel Schumaker directed this. And it was a perfect match for him.
[Mark Suszko] "Plaza is half-Puerto Rican, not half-Cuban. Get your facts straight, man. :-)"
Haha, you know what, I actually knew that, but she says out loud that she's half-Cuban in Dirty Grandpa (to make a bad cigar joke), and it messed up my thought process!
[Mark Suszko] "I think she has yet to really find a well-suited role equal to her "Parks and Rec" stuff."
I actually like Aubrey Plaza (especially as April Ludgate), but she's pretty one-note. I haven't seen Safety Not Guaranteed yet, but just off the top of my head, she's the same character in Dirty Grandpa, Parks & Rec, Funny People, Scott Pilgrim, and whenever she does talk show interviews.
[Mark Suszko] "But if you really wanna see Robert acting the hell out of a role, you need to dig up a little indie he made with the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, called: "Flawless". It truly is, too. I'll send you a dollar if you don't like it, Scott. Go dig it up, now! I promise it will be worth it."
I've never even heard of this...! Must have gotten lost in the late-90s. Looks like De Niro and PSH put on quite an acting showcase. I'll look for it on Netflix!
Like Left Behind, I'm so glad this movie came out because I enjoyed reading the reviews so much! I don't normally read a lot of reviews, but movies this bad just make them so good. Noted, I may be the only one comparing Bad Grandpa to Left Behind.