Dirty Grandpa (15)


Dir: Dan Mazer

With: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron

Runtime: 102 minutes

AN APOLOGY. A recent glowing review of David O’Russell’s Joy may have led you to believe Robert De Niro was finally out of the comedy doghouse where he was sent for Little Fockers (among other misdemeanours), and was again ensconced in the warmth once afforded him by performances in Midnight Run and Silver Linings Playbook. Well, that was before your reviewer saw Dirty Grandpa.

Perhaps all you need to know about this picture is that its director, Dan Mazer, wrote Borat and Bruno. The easily offended, in short, should not rush to this tale of a young, about to be wed, goody two shoes lawyer (Zac Efron) who goes on a road trip with his recently widowed, but keen to get “socialising” again, grandpa (De Niro).

You can probably predict what is coming: plenty of shock and phwoar comedy as the De Niro character chases after younger women and generally tries to regain the youth and time he believes he has lost while being married for so long. Meanwhile, everyone learns a lesson about life, seizing the day, blah-di-blah, along the way.

It is all run of the mill Hollywood comedy fare, but did it have to be quite so crude? There is one saving grace in Aubrey Plaza, of Parks and Recreation fame, who plays an incorrigible flirt. Otherwise, cold showers all round.