By Fred Topel | Image property of Columbia Pictures
Adam Sandler leads all his comedy buddies in Grown Ups. He wrote the script for and cast Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider as his buddies. The comedy in the film comes from the guys riffing off each other.
Adam Sandler One of the Grown Ups
“There was a lot of ad-libbing and a lot of jokes these guys brought,” Sandler said. “Everybody who watches the movie, friends of ours talk to me and they go, ‘Wow, Spade is…’ They love Spade. I think they’re used to every one of us doing good work and not used to David doing anything good.”
That’s the kind of ribbing that makes it into the movie. However, Sandler clarified that there was a script and a director to reign them in. “We worked hard. We did a lot of helping out and it brought us into the right place and focused us. Dennis [Dugan] lived across the lake, on the other side of the lake. Every morning he would row to work.”
In the film, the guys haven’t seen each other since they were kids. It’s less of a reunion in real life because they all keep in touch as professional comedians. “I would like to do this sort of reunion if I was having one, hang out at a house, do the fun stuff on a lake. That’s a good place for it. I mean in real life it ain’t much of a reunion. We see each other, so it’s not like this gang hasn’t seen each other in 30 years. We see each other a lot. In fact, I see my friends from growing up a lot. There’s no reunions in my life. I see everybody too much. Every time I go back to see my family in New Hampshire, my buddies hear I’m in town and they show up to the house. [Chris] Rock, when he’s in LA I see him. I see Kevin all the time. I see [David] Spade whenever I can. [Rob] Schneider I see a lot too.”
As kids, the characters were on a sixth grade basketball team. That was convenient for casting purposes. “I thought that instead of doing a movie about high school, I just thought it would be easier if we made it church league basketball kids who, when you see them in the past, it’s easier to buy little kids as us instead of high school kids who don’t [look like us.] It would look a little closer to who we were if they were little. I thought like sixth grade was a big time in my childhood, of hoops and friendship and coming up with funny things. That’s kind of what the movie is. Our kids are that age in the movie. We thought that that’s when it starts. You see the contrast of childhood now compared to what we were like as kids. So, that’s why I picked that, the 12-year-old basketball kind of thing. That was a big part of my life. These guys all play a little bit of ball. We just thought that would be interesting.”