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'Dirty Grandpa' Makers Seem (Rightfully) Ashamed


To me, Dirty Grandpa looks like an attempt to make friendly comedy out of what a rather nasty adolescent boy would like to think the ideal life would still look like when he reached 71: nothing but sex and gross-out humor, with a great number of willing girls running around in bikinis and thongs.

There is an emphasis on drugs that seems to me a little outdated, but indications are that I am no longer in touch with social norms, because the tiny audience I watched Dirty Grandpa with were in hysterics much of the time. The young folks sitting behind me were periodically convulsed, and the two ladies who were approaching my age group both gave it a rating of maximum four because they found it so hilarious. It was booked into the largest auditorium in the complex, if that means anything, and the size of the audience may not mean much because it was the just-before-suppertime showing, which I tend to go to because I prefer to avoid crowds.

I have to admit that I was never bored, largely because there were more than a handful of genuine laughs. But most of the time I was appalled at the realization of what Robert De Niro was allowing his career to turn into. I have read that Dirty Grandpa is getting ferociously bad reviews, but I’m impressed by the fact that it is getting reviewed at all. I seem to recall that there was a time when this kind of juvenilia was pretty much ignored.

But the motion picture’s surrender to the baser tastes of the teenage population is approaching completeness. At the end, even the makers of Dirty Grandpa seem ashamed of their product and invite us to interpret it in a more acceptable way than I hope you will be able to.