As early as the opening scene of Grown Ups 2 I became vexed by trying to discern just who the target audience was for this film. It begins with Adam Sandler waking up in bed to find a moose sniffing at him. At this point, I thought “Okay, this is aimed at a middle-aged crowd who find Garrison Keillor’s Woebegone stories edgy and uproarious…” Then, the moose proceeds to pee on Adam Sandler–torrents of pee, at that. There goes the middle-age crowd. At this point, I assume the movie’s aimed at young children who haven’t yet discovered youtube. Then, the moose thrashes into the bathroom, pushes aside the shower curtain with a cloven hoof, and unveils Sandler’s teenage son who happens to be pleasuring himself, and from here on out, a majority of the movie seems masterbatory in one way or another. To bring the moose’s misadventure to a close, there follows an extremely hackneyed sight-gag where Sandler uses his daughter’s stuffed animal to lure the creature away in the style of a bullfighter. Who finds this funny, I wondered. Then the answer hit me. I knew who the target audience was for Grown Ups 2: no one.
The audience at my screening proved my theory. I remembered when I entered the dimly lit theater seeing one man two rows behind me, and as the movie went on, I didn’t hear any laughing so I assumed the man behind me exercised greater foresight than me and simply left before the film went even further downhill (and it does). Then, when Grown Ups 2 mercifully ended, a surreal thing happened. In awe, I watched as more than twenty people exited the theater. I wasn’t alone! I also wasn’t alone in finding Grown Ups 2 unfunny.