When I first received the offer to see the pre-screening of the new movie Dirty Grandpa I thought it was a sequel to Bad Grandpa (starring Johnny Knoxville doing ridiculous pranks dressed as an old man. I have a soft spot for Johnny from my days of being obsessed with CKY. I’m not sorry.) After watching the trailer however, I knew I was in for a totally different movie-viewing experience.
I can honestly say that Dirty Grandpa was even dumber than Bad Grandpa…and that’s saying something.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I did not pay for my ticket to this movie. It was provided by Jack FM in Calgary.
MORE FULL DISCLOSURE: I would not have paid to go see this movie. Even though I didn’t pay a dime, I left feeling like I wanted my money back.
Let’s talk about the good parts though, since no one likes a negative nancy (or a man who wears polo shirts and pleated khakis, or so Dirty Grandpa asserted).
1. Zac Efron has a really, really nice body
If I’m being honest, that was the real reason I decided to go to the movie despite my reservations. Zac Efron is hot. And he’s really jacked. And (Spoiler Alert!) he wanders around basically naked for a chunk of the movie. Albeit, he’s on crack, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the guy must LIVE at the gym. He has a 20-million pack. Which I guess would make him a centipede. Of hotness.
For that matter, basically everyone in the movie is attractive. And while I hate to admit it, I like watching attractive people do stuff. Don’t lie to yourself, so do you. We don’t watch Scandal exclusively for the storylines, if you know what I’m saying (holla, Jake Ballard!)
2. Aubrey Plaza as Lenore
Plaza was one of the only redeeming qualities. While her character was generally pretty forgettable, and some of the lines were total eye-rolls or cringe worthy, the fact that she delivered those lines with unhidden contempt of how dumb it all was, redeemed her.
Now on to the cons:
1. The Villainous Fiancee Trope
“She’s bringing you down, Maaaan.” Can we just make a pact to stop with this trope? Guy is supposed to marry girl. Girl is portrayed as “crazy” but also totally hot. Girl is just holding broish dude from achieving his full bro potential. Guy falls for manic-pixie-dreamgirl-esque girl instead. Guy realizes his mistake and leaves crazy-girl even though he’s known MPDG for all of 5 minutes. End Scene.
Can I say something? I didn’t think that Julianne Hough’s character (Meredith) was all that bad. In fact, she was the character I related to the most, despite the fact that her character had absolutely no development (That said, I did relate to wanting Shadia’s messy-hippy braids). The woman is trying to plan a wedding, for god’s sake. She’s successful (a lawyer at the same firm as Efron), organized, and pretty damn understanding of the fact that Efron goes missing for days, days before their wedding. If my boyfriend doesn’t text me back after 24 hours I start thinking he’s dead. Am I this woman?
I also hate the way that these movies blame the woman entirely for the terrible relationship. Jason (Efron’s character) chose to date and propose to this woman. She does not hide her personality, he sees exactly who she is (as do we as the audience), admits to being pressured by his family to be with someone like her… and yet she is the villain. Jason cheats on her emotionally and physically, leaves her high & dry a week before the wedding to plan everything herself, ignores her calls, and is generally just a dick-wad. How does Meredith become the bad guy in this? Because honestly, she reacted pretty well to the situation she was given. Most of the women I know wouldn’t be walking down the aisle after that (albeit, he is Zac Efron, so maybe they would. But the treatment wouldn’t fly.) But of course, she becomes the shrew as a way to justify all of the terrible things that Jason gets up to a week before his wedding.
2. Robert DeNiro is an award winning, celebrated actor
And even he can’t save this garbage. The racist, sexist, homophobic remarks he makes are meant to get a laugh, but I just kept thinking to myself “Is this really a movie being released in 2016?”
The plot attempted to prove that it’s okay to be racist and homophobic sometimes as long as you’re not racist and homophobic all the time… and as long as you defend your resident gay, black man, from a bunch of stereotypical black gangsters. There are so many problematic things about this weird, half-assed side story that I can’t even try to go into it. The word count would be too long.
Robert’s character is a dick. If my Grandson did crack after I’d drugged him with Xanax and ended up naked on a beach… I wouldn’t leave him there. Even if it makes for good movie-making (which incidentally, it didn’t), Grandpa is a dick. He’s selfish and uses his selfishness in the best way possible – he tries to make it seem like he’s doing all of this to save Zac Efron from a life of boredom and being called a lesbian because he wears khakis and polos.
I think it’s time for DeNiro to call it quits on the terrible acting gigs. God knows he doesn’t need the money, and he’s ruining the legacy. There, I said it.
I could go on. The movie was truly, truly abhorrent. Sometimes abhorrent works, sometimes it can be funny. This was not one of those times. It was a grasping-at-straws, trying-hard-to-be-relevant, shock-factor-that’s-not-shocking attempt at humour.
I give this movie 2 fake-Robert-DeNiro-dicks out of 5. Only for Zac Efron’s long eyelashes and centipede abs. And because the bro sitting beside me who guffawed and clapped at every single joke almost made it bearable in its absurdity.