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Grandma's Boy: Unrated Edition

Life has enough cruel ironies and tortures to suggest that chaos is the natural state of being for the universe, and blind dumb luck the organizing principle. And from the outset, Grandma's Boy (2006) seems like a joke on existence as director Nicholaus Goossen and producer, co-writer and star Allen Covert don't seem to have credentials nor talent to merit a theatrically released film. That is, until it's noted that Covert is often a co-star and producer for Adam Sandler. And with Sandler's Happy Madison production logo at the start of the movie, it's safe to bet that 20th Century Fox released Grandma's Boy to please the top-grossing Sandler in hopes to someday make movies with him. That is, after all, how business is done. Perhaps there is a certain order to the universe. The film itself is of very modest appeal. Covert stars as Alex, a stoner video-game tester who gets kicked out of his apartment after his roommate spent their rent money on hookers. With nowhere else to shack up, he moves in with his grandmother (Doris Roberts) and her two housemates (Shirley Jones and Shirley Knight) while telling his virginal coworkers that he's hooked up with a hot girl who has two crazy roommates. At work, drama persists because diva game-designer J.P. (Joel Moore) is running late on his latest game, to which company owner Mr. Cheezle (Kevin Nealon) brings in Samantha (Linda Cardellini) to speed things along. Of course Alex's ruse is uncovered, he begins pursuing Samantha in earnest, and the fact that he developed his own game on the side becomes a plot-point when the jealous J.P. steals it from him and claims it was his own creation. Like the characters the movie entails, Grandma's Boy is very much a low-expectations comedy, and as such it's relatively harmless. And though it's embarrassing to see "Partridge Family" mom Shirley Jones playing a slutty grannie, or Linda Cardellini debase herself after excellent work in "Freaks and Geeks" and Brokeback Mountain, at least they make the best of it. Adam Sandler's sensibilities were definitely an influence, but without his touch the jokes are usually miss — although the creators give him credit for showing up on set and improving the line "You're a hooker!", which repeats endlessly on the start-up menu. Fox presents Grandma's Boy on DVD in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Both R-rated and unrated cuts are on board, even though the differences between the two are marginal. There are two commentaries on hand, the first by director Goossen, the second by Covert, actor/producer Peter Dante, and co-writer/co-producer/actor Nick Swarsdon. The disc is rounded out by the featurettes "Covert Whacks it" (4 min.), "Monkey" (6 min.), "Scenes that went up in Smoke" (7 min.) — much of which is reiterated in the ten deleted scenes (7 min.) — "Unsmoked Material" (4 min.), "Smoke This" (2 min.), "Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session" (8 min.), a music video and a supporting "making-of" spot, and the theatrical trailer. Keep-case.
—DSH



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