At 35, Alex (Allen Covert) is the oldest video game tester around - he loves working day and night, nutting out every detail. However, when his roommate spends all of the rent on "massage therapists", Alex is kicked out of his apartment and forced to move in with his grandmother Lilly (Doris Roberts), and her friends Bea (Shirley Knight) and Grace (Shirley Jones). Embarrassed, Alex tells his co-worker Jeff (Nick Swardson) that he's living with a group of glamorous girls. Still, these three women turn out to be key when Alex joins forces with gaming expert Samantha (Linda Cardellini) to develop the latest version of an iconic game, the Eternal Death Slayer.
Review by Lesley Chow:
Everything about this movie suggests it was filmed cheaply in the 80s: the turquoise and pastel décor, the cast of comedy club regulars (Allen Covert, Kevin Nealon), and the general low-key good humour, in which "rocking" grandmothers are allowed a share of the fun. Its offices are all faded grey surfaces, and its "babes" are decked out in red stilettos and heavy gold jewellery. Luckily, the film also includes another 80s staple: the womanly love interest, played by the funny and gutsy Linda Cardellini.
As the adult video game addict, Allen Covert is pleasantly laid-back; he's a sleepy-eyed actor, who seems to wake up for the obligatory gross-out scenes, and whenever Cardellini is around. Most of the other male actors initially register as weak visual jokes - Joel Moore in black latex, and Nick Swardson in an overgrown baby-suit - but they are all accomplished comedians whose styles mesh well, and bring this group of snickering geeks to life.
The scenes range from the mildly amusing (we see hope fading from a nerd's face when a rival gamer sets a new high score) to the creatively absurd. I have to admit that I (and most of the audience) laughed almost constantly during the film's final third. Even though this film was marketed through its Saturday Night Live connections (it features cameos and production from SNL's former actors), Grandma's Boy is a better series of spoofs than anything we currently see on that show. It's an affectionate and tight-knit comedy.
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GRANDMA'S BOY (MA)
CAST: Linda Cardinelli, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, Shirley Jones, Shirley Knight, Joel Moore, Kevin Nealon, Doris Roberts
PRODUCER: Allen Covert, Jack Giarraputo, Adam Sandler
DIRECTOR: Nicholous Goossen
SCRIPT: Barry Wernick, Allen Covert, Nick Swardson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Irwin
EDITOR: Tom Costain
MUSIC: Waddy Wachtel
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Perry Andelin Blake
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 23, 2006
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.