Tue 14 Nov 2017, 00:00 | (0)
Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza
In this comedy, young, uptight, conservative lawyer Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) is putting the finishing touches to the picture-perfect wedding to his seemingly ideal fiancée Meredith Goldstein (Julianne Hough), when Jason’s beloved grandmother passes. Though it’s the week before the big wedding, everyone’s concerned for Grandpa Dick (Robert De Niro), who suddenly finds himself alone for the first time after being married for 40 years.
Right after the funeral, Dick asks Jason if he can drive him to Florida immediately, where he can grieve in the solace of their beloved family home. Knowing that Dick’s license has been suspended – and with the promise to Meredith that he’ll be back the next day – Jason agrees.
Once the trip begins, Grandpa Dick’s true agenda emerges - and it’s definitely not one that will see him holding vigil in the family home. Between a golf detour, some cigar chomping, much hard drinking, and a Daytona Beach detour that goes completely off the rails, Jason quickly learns that his Grandpa is not exactly the man he thought he was. Yet the pair’s crazy, debauched and revealing road trip will help Jason come to grips with who he is too - which may be an even bigger surprise. With these very different blood relatives, learning something about how life should be lived turns out to be a two-way street. Expecting to be accompanying a grieving widower for a brief trip of reflection and bonding, Jason discovers that his grandfather is, in fact, a foul-mouthed, scotch-scoffing sex fiend with a one-track mind. Having been a faithful, loving and doting husband to his wife for over forty years, Dick is on a mission – and he needs a wingman.
On the way to Florida, the Grandpa and Grandson duo run into three free-spirited college students headed to Daytona Beach for one last epic spring break. While one of the three immediately hits it off with Jason – with Dick zooming in right away and fanning the flames – one of the others is on a mission to complete the ultimate college trifecta: to have sex with a freshman, an alumni and a professor. With only the ‘professor’ category left incomplete, she locks in on Dick after he tells a white lie - and the feeling is mutual.
The idea for the film came to screenwriter John M. Phillips after an eye-opening night on the town with his own father, where he witnessed his dad’s surprisingly stellar skills with the ladies. “We began talking to some women and my dad was charming, funny and just crushed it, I couldn’t believe it. He made a passing joke that he would get back out there pretty quickly should my mother pass away and I was shocked to see that side of him,” he explains. The resulting film is an uproarious comedy with loads of heart that offers an uncensored – and often unexplored - perspective on adulthood, aging and sexuality.
Having recently struck comedy gold with Neighbours, Efron found the Dirty Grandpa script shocking, smart, and hilarious and was all-in, particularly when presented with the possibility of working with the incomparable Robert De Niro. “It’s every guy’s dream to work with Bob De Niro,” says Efron. “I was really curious how we would work together. He’s been doing this for so long, he’s such an icon, yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do a role like this. The day I heard this could potentially happen, every antenna went up. It was like, ‘Could I even work with this guy?’ Our histories are so different! There’s Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, and then there’s me, High School Musical!”
Beyond the outrageous situations and uncensored comedy lies a dramatic heartbeat that touches on the importance of family and acceptance, with stronger bonds developed, as a result.