How Dirty Was It...
Zac Efron teams up with Robert DeNiro for this spring break comedy (comedy used very loosely here) in the newest release from Lionsgate, directed by Dan Mazer. Mazer’s previous works include Bruno and Borat, which should somewhat clue you in to whether or not this one is for you, though neither film was nearly as repugnant as this epic disaster.
Zac Efron plays Jason Kelly, a young, tightly wound lawyer. Raised by a pretentious father, he joins the family law firm and has proposed to a girl (Julianne Hough) whose father is also a partner at the firm. He seems to be setting himself up for a country club, high-falootin’ lifestyle until his grandmother’s funeral.
That’s where the subtly named Grandpa Dick (DeNiro) talks Jason into driving him to Florida so he can live at the condo he shared with Grandma, because "that’s what she would have wanted" (insert eyeroll here). Jason comes to pick up grandpa and walks in on him “doing a number 3” (let your mind wander for a second…there it is!) Disgusted, but wanting to get on with it, they set off to Florida driving in a pink, fuzzy mini cooper.
On their way, they stop in a diner where they run into the trio that will set up an Animal House-esque road trip that will become a shenanigan-filled disaster. Shadiya, a free-spirited red head (Zoey Deutch), Bradley, a painfully stereotypical gay man (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman), and Lenore, a stereotypical millennial on a quest to sleep with a professor (Aubrey Plaza), make up this tragic threesome. When Shadiya recognizes Jason as a former classmate from a photography class, the ever cunning Grandpa Dick decides to hatch a scheme that will be twofold: get him into bed with Lenore, and get Jason out of this new hoity-toity lifestyle.
They follow the troika to Daytona where all hell breaks loose. The first thing that Grandpa Dick does is get Jason to chug a beer he’s filled with Xanax, leaving Jason (yes, that’s Zac Efron) wearing absolutely nothing but a plush hornet over his…stinger.
The idea that this movie could be released in the year 2016 is horrifying. As a faithful Chelsea Handler fan, I consider myself pretty easygoing, someone who can appreciate crass humor. This movie was not funny. At all.
It was rude, offensive, and just plain mean. DeNiro plays a grown up bully and a flat-out asshole. Coming off The Intern where he taught my generation to carry a handkerchief and be a gentleman, to seeing him now participate in something so careless to women and any minority made me want to cry. It wasn’t just like someone telling you the truth about Santa Claus, it was like telling you Santa was going to take a shit in your stocking.
And little Zac Efron. The prince of High School Musical just seemed like he’d been carried away doing whatever he could to make a buck. Yes, he was in Neighbors but that was forgivable by comparison. They even gave Danny Glover, the father figure of Angels In The Outfield, a cameo in which he was making a needlepoint porn project. It was just beyond anything within the realm of acceptability.
I almost walked out. Several times. The only thing that kept me was the glimmer of hope I saw in the female lead, Zoey Deutch, who is this flick’s only possible reason you’d want to see it when it comes out on video. Even then, it’s questionable.
This movie will do well with clueless fraternity boys who plan to vote for Donald Trump. If you are not one of those, pass it by and let this shitshow go die somewhere.
2016 ‧ Rated R ‧ Comedy ‧ 1 hr, 42 min
A recently widowed veteran tricks his adult grandson into going on a road trip for Spring Break in Florida.
Director: Dan Mazer
Cast: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch, Julianne Hough, Aubrey Plaza