Dirty Grandpa review
For those that are lucky enough to still have them around, spend some time with your grandparents. As children, they may have seemed foreign and even spooky with their wrinkled and used image, but adulthood should eliminate those phobias. You’ll come to realize that age really does posses a golden amount of life experience that’s ripe full of smart ideas that they wished they would have known a while ago. My eldest grandfather is ninety-five years old and a World War II veteran. You know someone with that background will have lots of stories that are worth listening to.
It’s also understandable that any grandparents talking to their adult grandchild will start to not only see themselves within their image, but even start to reminisce about what was good about being young. My grandpa has talked about that his one regret was that he didn’t try harder to understand computers. He was never a high tech guy, but was really marveled at my LED television and how clear the football game was. I remember that my mother tried giving him the old family computer from the early 2000’s, but he never got into it. Watch how one grandpa tries to reclaim his youth with his grandson in Dirty Grandpa.
We start with Richard “Dick” Kelly (played by Robert De Niro) who is initially grieving over the passing of his wife who has succumbed to cancer. He and his family manage to pull through a nice ceremony while some of the younger ones see this as a meet and greet. Dick’s grandson Jason (played by Zac Efron) seems like the one to have matured the most, with a lawyer job with his father, a yuppie wardrobe, and a controlling girlfriend Meredith Goldstein (played by Julianne Hough). As a grieving matter, Dick has asked for Jason to drive him down to his Florida home to spend some time with each other.
Upon picking him up, Jason finds his grandfather more unclean then he ever thought of him. While having lunch, Dick reveals that he wants to go to Daytona Beach during the spring break season just so that he can attract a college girl. Along the way, they bump into a group of young adults including a woman who likes older men Lenore (played by Aubrey Plaza) and Shadia, a classmate of Jason’s who knew of his photography passion. The trip to Daytona is crazy, wacky, and just the spark that not only satisfies Dick, but for the all too straight Jason as well.
As you can tell, Dirty Grandpa is following the ranks of fellow party movies like The Hangover and Animal House. These can be hit or miss, but somehow, this falls somewhere in the middle. For one thing, both Robert De Niro and Zac Efron have great chemistry as a team. De Niro is clearly having a ball playing a filthy senior and it’s strange to see Efron playing the yuppie type (he does it well enough). Plus I’ll admit that there are some genuine sweet moments between the family as each try to connect and reconnect.
If the relationships seem well, then what’s wrong with Dirty Grandpa? Unfortunately, not all the gags work well enough. For one, there’s a strange drug dealer character who has way too much screen time to justify his existence. Same thing with an oddball cousin whose just in the movie to curse and make sexual remarks. There are also moments where the movie just seems to loose track in order to make another pot joke or wiener gag. I laughed for a while, but it needed more then just a party to seem funny.
I’ll give this three Daytona Beach shirts out of five. I was laughing for a while, but Dirty Grandpa never finds a consistency with it’s humor and story. But the gags I I found funny and to see De Niro and Efron act this way makes this a modest recommendation. If you know you can’t take hard material like this, you’ll hate it. But for those that can stomach much of the spring break material, I’m sure you’ll find something to laugh at. It’s just not the whole picture.