Boys in the 'Wood

The second season of HBO's sleeper hit Entourage adds more depth to its characters.

By Leo Charney
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 31, 2006

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Grandma's Boy

Grandma's Boy has all the makings of an Office Space-style DVD cult hit. Quickly vanished from theaters in January-despite its Adam Sandler-produced pedigree-it's that same genre of thirtysomething male comedy, with the same kind of appealing every-slacker hero; funny, distinctive supporting characters; and memorable lines for stoned fans to regurgitate.

This sort of pleasant character-centered comedy increasingly seems made for DVD-maybe because to enjoy it, you don't need to see it on a big screen, or because its target audience (25-to-34-year-old gamers and stoners) are the hardest to get into theaters (unless their dates drag them there).

Like Clerks and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Grandma's Boy is aimed at this demographic. Thirty-five-year-old Alex works as a video game tester, but he's getting a little old to hang with the teenagers who call him Graybush but can never beat him. He's been developing his own video game but hasn't done anything with it-unlike his company's resident genius, a Marilyn Mansonesque weirdo who slinks around in black leather berating himself in a robot voice.

Kicked out of his apartment because his roommate blew the rent on Thai hookers, Alex has to move in with his grandmother (Everybody Loves Raymond's Doris Roberts) and her two roommates: drug-addled Bea (Shirley Knight) and randy Grace (Shirley Jones, in a convincingly poker-faced spin on her Oscar-winning hooker in 1960's Elmer Gantry), who claims to have invented the hand job.

Of course our hero gets a happy ending after lots of complications, including a romance with his boss (Freaks and Geeks and ER
hottie Linda Cardellini). The story would make more sense if Alex were 30, not 35, and if he weren't so implausibly clueless-even a stoner, to name one key plot point, probably knows he has to wear mitts when he takes a pan out of the oven.

Still, the movie is like its hero: a lovable sleeper, easy to overlook but fun to hang around with-and maybe even a surprisingly good bet for the long run. B

Includes: Commentary tracks, featurettes, deleted scenes and more.

You'll Like It If You Like: Office Space, Harold & Kumar, Adam Sandler movies.


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