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GROWN UPS

About The Film
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider head up an all-star comedy cast in Grown Ups, the story of five childhood friends who reunite thirty years later to meet each others' families for the first time. When their beloved former basketball coach dies, they return to their home town to spend the summer at the lake house where they celebrated their championship years earlier.

Sandler came up with the idea of a guy who feels like he and his family have lost their perspective of what's important in life. So, when he unexpectedly has to go back to his home town, he decides to use it as an opportunity to get back to his roots and get his family on the right track. To do this, he rents a lake house and invites his old friends and their families to come and stay with them for the Fourth of July weekend.

"The whole project was really appealing,” says director Dennis Dugan. "These real-life friends get together for a summer to make a movie about friends who get together for a summer at a lake house. It's a bittersweet reunion, because their coach has died, but they're also happy to see each other. They're meeting each other's families – it's them and their wives and girlfriends and kids and dogs – at a moment when they're all transitioning in their lives.”

The underlying sweetness to the story proved to be the key in bringing the all-star talent together. "It's a really, really good script that Adam wrote with Fred Wolf,” says Rob Schneider. "It's very funny and it has interesting characters. Dennis really encouraged us to make it real – get out there, play around with it, and make it a natural performance.”

As Maya Rudolph puts it, "There are a lot of funny people in this movie, but it's not just a lot of funny people in this movie. It's a movie about old friends played by people who really are old friends. You can see that history come out in the relationships.”

Once Sandler and Fred Wolf finished the script, it wasn't hard to get everyone on board. "Adam's whole idea was that everyone would bring their families and we'd all have a nice summer at the lake house,” remembers Dugan. "It was one of the best summers of my life. Because everyone knew everyone else so well, it was like going to a really great party. Adam really wanted that kind of atmosphere to come across in the movie.”

"Adam created something special for all of us,” notes Salma Hayek. "All of our children are about the same age, and mostly girls, and they all bonded immediately. It was really a family environment – it was perfect.”

"We wanted the whole movie to have a nostalgic feel and element to it,” says the production designer, Perry Andelin Blake. "Everything harks back to a simpler time. The movie really is about getting back to family, roots, and being together with people.”

So the real-life chemistry between the actors would translate seamlessly to the characters they play on screen. In fact, many of the stars of Grown Ups have known each other for years. Rock says, "Most of the guys met at ‘Saturday Night Live.' I met Adam doing stand-up 20 years ago easily at Comic Strip in New York. We just hit it off when we were the younger funnier guys in the club. Spade I met at ‘SNL.' Schneider I met at ‘SNL.'”

"When the ‘SNL' stories came out, I'd just see Kevin sort of fading away,” laughs Schneider. "Honestly, though, it seemed like Kevin is cut from the same cloth. Having done stand-up comedy and surviving, he gets it.”

"If you hang around comics or comic actors a lot, you sometimes see really competitive guys: ‘oh, he just told a joke and now I've got to tell a better joke,'” says Dugan. "But this set was really relaxed – partly, I think, because Adam brought everybody together. Everybody came in with a great attitude – ‘Let's just start riffing and see how much fun we can have

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