‘Dirty Grandpa’: Come for the sex, stay for the Greek

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“Dirty Grandpa” could be a hilarious comedy, in an alternate dimension.

The film stars Zac “I need money after ‘We Are Your Friends’ flopped” Efron as an uptight lawyer who is asked to drive his grandfather (Robert DeNiro) from Georgia to southern Florida. Comedy ensues when Efron discovers his grandfather actually wants to go to Daytona Beach during spring break so he can have sex with a girl played by Aubrey Plaza.  I’m not using character names, the movie doesn’t even bother.

Yes, with the simple changes of a different title, someone besides DeNiro as the grandfather, and different marketing, this movie could’ve been something more than a movie Twitter voted for me to review simply because they want me to tear it to shreds.

Well I’m sorry to disappoint, Twitter fans, but it wasn’t half bad.

Yes, it’s weird to see acting legend DeNiro repeatedly attempt to shove his thumb up Zac Efron’s ass, call him a lesbian and various other blue jokes you’d expect in a Judd Apatow film. The joke is supposed to be “he’s an old guy but he acts like a teenager,” but the real joke becomes “Holy crap Robert DeNiro just sang the theme to ‘Friday’ uncensored.”

There is one actor worth the price of admission, though: Jason Mantzoukas as the morally bankrupt drug-dealing surf shop owner named Pamela.  As a fan of Mantzoukas’ comedy movie podcast “How Did This Get Made,” I was over the moon to see his unique sense of humor brought to a movie almost wholesale. His lines feel as if the director said “by the end of the scene they need to know this information, however you get that information across is up to you. Also, here’s some drugs and a gun in case you wanna use those as props.”

Efron’s acting isn’t half-bad, even if the main draw of the film for some people will by the fact he spends a good 20  minutes wearing nothing but a g-string with a stuffed bee covering his junk.

So yeah, come for the sight of Plaza having sex with DeNiro, stay for the Mantzoukas.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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