Opening February 11, 2016
Directed by: Dan Mazer
Writing credits: John Phillips
Principle actors: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch, Julianne Hough, Jason Mantzoukas
Following his wife’s funeral, Dick (De Niro) coerces grandson Jason (Efron) to drive him to Florida the next day. This goes over like a lead balloon. Getting married in a week, Meredith (Hough) is in perfect-wedding planning panic, and Jason anticipates a promotion. Even David (Dermot Mulroney) tries to dissuade his father. But, Grandpa Dick wins out. Along the route from Atlanta, Georgia, a chance meeting with Jason’s former classmate (Deutch) leads to a detour to Daytona Beach, Florida. Her friend Lenore (Aubrey Plaza) and Dick have taken a shine to one another. Grandpa has a distinct goal – two really – that are achieved, eventually.
Unclear is why this film was picked-up for Europe. The film’s premise could be interesting, but its setting at a kids’ Spring Break haven (a semester break at US universities and colleges), i.e. rowdy, over-the-top behavior and drink until you drop, denudes it of good taste. The direction (Dan Mazer) is fumbling, and the screenplay (John Phillips) embarrassingly stupid. The classic talent is good; the production values worthy. I left in a foul mood having wasted 102 minutes. This film will appeal to the drugs-drunk-boobs/sex-crass jokes mentality. If you are a die-hard Di Nero fan – his past comedic undertakings are entertaining – wait for the DVD, and then only an English version. German dubbed. (Marinell H.)