Miles on Movies

Grandma’s Boy
(2006) (on DVD)

reviewed by R. Miles Mendenhall

Unless you think adolescent male behavior at a video game company makes for an interesting setting, and you can stomach Shirley Jones playing a dirty old whore (literally) avoid this film.

If her character really had provided sexual favors to Charlie Chaplin and Abbot and Costello, she would have to be about a hundred and seven years old, approximately thirty years older than her character appears to be! I guess as a student and teacher of history these things bug me more than other people.

Part of the joke is that any straight male of a certain age who watched “The Partridge Family” probably lusted after Shirley’s character of the mother (as well as Susan Dey’s character as the daughter, which was disturbing in itself) and to see Ms. Jones get down with a twenty something young man resonates with that memory. But it’s still creepy even if it is an example of ironic intertextuality.

There were a couple of laughs and Kevin Nealon’s new-age company owner character is reminiscent of the spiritual traffic on But it is thin, implausible stuff. I don’t play video games so maybe it’s just because I’m not part of the target demographic that I didn’t appreciate this comedy.

The joke of old people inadvertently getting stoned and turning into party animals has worn thin. Is there a senior citizen left in America who doesn’t know what pot is? I doubt it.

I’m waiting for the stoner comedy that is clever and original (like “Gravities Rainbow”!) but once again, this isn’t it.

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