The pickings are slim this time of year. The studios have pretty much shot their wad of actual good movies in the weeks before the end of the year in order to qualify for Oscar consideration. On the other hand it’s too early for them to start thinking of their blockbuster offerings since everybody is still recuperating from their New Year’s hangovers and/or unplanned drunken trips to Newfoundland. So we get a bunch of low-concept and low-budget movies that are being cast off faster than Tara Reid takes off her tops.
Which brings us to Grandma’s Boy. Produced by Adam Sandler (never has such a small piece of information contained so much of what you need to know) it’s the story of a 36-year old video game champion who winds up needing to move in with his grandma and her equally geriatric roommates. Hilarity ensues because these old ladies are just as foul-mouthed and horny as a frat boy and none of his friends know who he’s actually living with.
If I start drinking now does that mean the pain will lessen? I’m actually asking.
Dammit, why did they actually have to create a good poster for this movie? They way it’s painted just all sorts of off-the-wall really works for me. It reminds me of the glory days of raunchy comedy in the late 70’s and early 80’s (when there was effort put into the comedy and not just a string of fart jokes). There’s no way a movie that looks like this should get this good a poster. It’s fundamentally wrong.
Anyway, you get the basic point of the movie here. The lead character stands triumphantly in the center, flanked by the old ladies he’s shacking up with and surrounded by the rest of the supporting characters. I’m telling you if this had been a standard photo poster it would suck. It’s the painting that makes it better than it has any right to be.
Have you ever driven past a 10-car pileup on the highway featuring at least one burning car, broken glass and car parts everywhere and at least one body being pulled out of the wreckage and thought, “Man, that looks like fun”? That roughly sums up my conflicted feelings about the trailer. On the one hand it’s obvious that the movie will be crap and that the creators of this trailer just grabbed whatever gross material they could and edited together to appeal to 15 year old boys. On the other I actually laughed at a couple of the gags in it. I feel very dirty.
What the trailer has in abundance is that now typical Sandler brand of humor. Nothing is funnier in his world than old people talking dirty and such. So we get lots of sexual and drug humor from Doris Roberts and Shirley Jones, which I’m sure gets very very old in a full-length movie and doesn’t even work that well in a short trailer. The best bits are where star Allen Covert is messing with and around with his buddies. Unfortunately there is little of that so as a whole the trailer is not that great.
Most of the website is completely unremarkable. There are Cast Bios, arranged in no particular order since the star of the movie is listed like fourth. There are Filmmaker Bios that contain very little actual information other than to fluff the..err..egos of those involved. There’s also a synopsis and the trailer and you can listen to songs from the soundtrack via a little player on the site.
The rest of the site actually gets kind of fun if you have the mental capacity of a 13-year old. There’s a racing Game where you use the race car bed one of the characters has in the movie to navigate a course strewn with bongs and other weird shit.
When you click on the links at the top of the screen that have headings like “Dante’s Basement” or “Brainasium Office” you may think that the website designers have created a section of the site that contains absolutely nothing. After all you get a huge picture of the location in question but there’s nothing else there. I thought at first that there would be something to click on in the picture but there’s not. Instead all there is is a few things down at the bottom like a behind the scenes video or clip from the movie. Additionally there is an Image Gallery and a couple of Wallpapers in some of the sections but that’s it. It would have been better to put this type of stuff in it’s own, well labeled section but apparently they felt they’d rather hide it where no one will find it. Good plan. Let me know how it works out.
Did the campaign need to be anything special? No, and in that it succeeded remarkably. While the poster is, in my opinion, absolutely fantastic at harkening back to a bygone comedic era the trailer is almost completely awful. Yes, as I said there were a couple funny bits I laughed at but that doesn’t mean I’m proud of that or that you should be either. The website could have redeemed the campaign with a little bit of work a bit more of a sense of fun about it but they decided instead to not even fucking try.
Does it realy matter what the quality of the campaign is, though? Not really. All it has to do is raise awareness in the minds of the audience and it will be sought out by guys trying to get away from it all and teenagers looking for boobies. If it makes back it’s production costs in theaters they can wait two months and then release an “Unrated” DVD and watch the beer money pour in.