There are numerous genres of movies. Dirty Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron, falls in the disturbingly pathetic genre — even though I found myself chuckling throughout the movie. While watching this train wreck, I kept asking myself, “Why, Bob, why?” Maybe Mr. De Niro is trying to make the point that even he can make bad decisions.
Life is looking pretty good for Jason Kelly (Efron), even though his grandmother just died. He is a lawyer at his father’s firm in Atlanta. He’s getting married to his beautiful yet controlling fiancée Meredith (Julianne Hough). That’s why Jason thinks it’s odd that Dick (De Niro), his grandfather, insists that he drive him to Boca Raton one day after Grandma’s funeral. Jason’s busy at the law firm and needs to help with wedding planning. But they’ll merely drive to Boca, play golf, and Jason will be back the next day. What could possibly go wrong?
Dick is bent on having sex. He hasn’t had sex in 15 years, and his dying wife told him to live life to the fullest. The road trip to Boca quickly becomes a spring break scenario when they meet two college girls and their stereotypically gay friend, and hightail it to Daytona Beach. Oh, Dick tells the girls that he is a college professor (so hot!) and Jason is a photographer for Time (that’s hot, too!). It turns out one girl (Aubrey Plaza) wants to hook up with a professor to complete her “trifecta.” The other girl (Zoey Deutch) took photography classes with Jason in college and really digs that he’s living his dream. I wonder what could happen.
Dirty Grandpa is a cross between Superbad and The Hangover movies without the hilarity of Galifianakis, Helms, Cooper, Hill, Cera and Rogen. The jokes, for the most part, are flat. And we’ve witnessed old people “gone wild” before in movies.
This movie isn’t all bad. De Niro knows how to deliver a comic line. Plaza, of Parks and Recreation fame, is really funny at times. Other reasons why people may enjoy the movie: Efron gets mostly naked; De Niro does one-armed pushups; you may or may not get to see De Niro’s actual penis; and there are some wonderful one-liners, so bring a notepad.
So, go see the movie if it’s your thing. You’ll have a few laughs. You’ll shake your head in disbelief. And in the end, you may have a good time. I did, sort of.
Dirty Grandpa is available beginning May 17 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
© 2016 Lionsgate Credit: Bob Mahoney