By Leydi Rodriguez
Dan Mazer the man behind the comical and sassy movie “Dirty Grandpa” takes the viewers in a ride they could have not imagined. Dan Mazer directed this film in a way which kept viewers at a constant awe.
Dan Mazer is best known as the long time writing and production partner of Sacha Baron Cohen. Sacha Baron is an english actor who is widely known for five different fictional characters; Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard, Admiral General Aladeen and Nobby Butcher. Mazer is best known for working in movies like the acclaimed Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006). The films Mazer has directed are far from the traditional “normal” movies. The storylines are completely out of this world and they have a very weird sense of humor. Some people even find some jokes very offensive. This movie is as raw as it gets. Not many people can really relate to his movie. Besides being a screenwriter and producer, Mazer is also a comedian. This explains a lot in a way because his movies are hilarious.
Dirty Grandpa is by far one of the most blunt and outspoken movies i’ve watched. It touched on many touchy subjects that not many directors would. It showed Dick making negative remarks towards a gay person and Jason in a risky scene where things didn’t look right with a child. The dialogue in the movie was straight forward and to the point. There was no sugarcoating anything in the movie, it was like we were listening to the first thing they thought of. Mazer allowed this movie to run its course, most of the dialogue looked improvised and helped set a good tone for the movie. His style is clearly expressed in the movie.
Robert De Niro and Zac Efron take us on an adventure with their embarrassing yet comical experiences throughout the film. They make all their awkward moments worth watching. They excelled in making their characters believable. From Dick Kelly(Robert De Niro) disturbing sexual dialogue to Jason Kelly’s (Zac Efron) sell out stuck up attitude. Casting these actors was perfect, no other actors would have done a better job on these roles. Zac Efron’s pretty boy look and Robert De Niro strong willed look made their characters look more alive.
Dick and his grandson Jason both go on a roadtrip and try and rekindle their “love”. Dicks wife had just passed and he was ready to let loose and go wild. In the other hand Jason was a preppy boy who wanted and was living this “perfect life” but in reality he was just fooling himself. Jason was about to marry his bosses crazy daughter(Meredith) and would soon be partners in his firm. His grandpa knew it was a mistake so he tricked him into a road trip to Boca Raton, Florida that would lead to some crazy and regretting adventurous . On there way to Boca Raton in Meredith’s pink car they encounter many funny characters and wild parties. Dick wasn’t really there for Jason as an adult but wanted to make sure that Jason lived a life he would love. He decided it was his job to make this whole thing right. He didn’t want his grandson to live a life he would regret. He wanted Jason to follow his dreams of being a photographer and to live life to the fullest. They end up in Daytona Beach on Spring break which was wilder than you can imagine.
Eric Alan Edwards was in charge of the cinematography for “Dirty Grandpa” and known for his work on Knocked Up (2007), The Change-Up (2011) and The Break-Up (2006).
The director chose bright and pastel colors to show the different vibes and setting
throughout the movie. As I was watching the movie, you could tell that it was a feel good movie. In the sense that all colors were bright and the director barely used any grays or dull colors. Also, the colors the director chose made it very easy to distinguish the two different lifestyles that were being shown in the movie. When Jason is with Meredith, his soon to be wife the director chooses pastel and light colors and when Dick and Jason get to Daytona beach the colors change drastically. Bright colors everywhere to show the different feel. At the beach there’s a scene where Jason is telling Dick how beer makes him gag and the background was sort of blurred but you can still see the bright colors. When Jason is home he is living in this sort of dull lifestyle and as soon as he gets to Daytona beach everything changes. You can get the sense that he is living in this almost fake world with his “perfect” fiance. The setting switches drastically, we have the suburbs with perfect houses and yards and then we have Daytona beach where young people are in the streets getting drunk. Colors in this film were used to show and point out differences. The different lifestyles and settings were pointed out throughout the movie.
The lighting the director chose was perfect for the movie it seriously gave the movie it’s sassy feel. The lighting combined with the colors that were picked made the movie far from dull. The lighting made the film so lively, not even Dicks Wife’s funeral was a dull moment. The director kept pretty much the same bright lighting throughout the movie. There was another scene during Dicks wife’s funeral in which Meredith kept asking Jason to choose a color for a tie. She was harassing him because it was f for their rehearsal dinner. Mazer kept this scene very bright. It really set the mood for the movie. Any other director would have dimmed the lights but instead Mazer kept the lights bright. It was
supposed to be a sad moment but because of the lighting and dialogue, it was actually kind of funny.
The editing for this film was ideal, Anne McCabe was able to keep the movies comical, sexual and blunt essence through her editing. There was a scene in which Jason was telling Dick how amazing it was to be a corporate lawyer and Dick kept making rude remarks as to how shitty that job sounded. The way the camera was angled and the back and forth single shots of Dick and Jason individually talking made the scene very real. The film was structured in a linear sequence, there were no flashbacks. Everything happened in order which made it very easy to follow. The scenes where Jason smoked crack by accident, the editing was perfect because it set the mood for the party. The lighting intertwined with the editing made it perfect. Throughout the movie there were many long shots and wide shots. The setting was shown a lot through long shots. There’s a scene in which Jason and Dick are entering Florida in Meredith’s pink car, and you can definitely tell they have arrived by the way the camera was positioned. The scene where Jason and Dick get into a flexing competition was insanely hilarious. Just to watch Robert Di Nero trying to flex was out of this world. The camera shots were great because it was a combination of long wide shots showing the crowd going wild and then there were medium shots showing Dick and Jason flexing and doing tricks. There’s another scene in which Jason is at a party and he starts chugging beer. There were a combination of blurry close ups and wide shots that made this scene feel real.
The dialogue was what made the movie as raunchy as it was. The director used Dicks sexual rude personality and made this movie a curse word party. Dick literally cursed his way through the movie. Profanity and sex was the center for this film. There were many jokes referring to sex or wanting to have sex.Every remark he made to anyone in the movie had to end with the F word. In my opinion it also set the vibes, it gave the notion that he was about his business and just wanted to let loose. The dialogue between Dick and Lenore (college student he meets) was nothing less than rated R. She would tell him all sorts of nasty things she wanted him to do to her. I wasn’t a big fan of the things she was saying because they were just plain disgusting. Music had a big role in the movie as well. Some scenes relied on the background music.There’s a scene where Jason smokes crack and starts acting like a party animal in Daytona beach. The song “makarena” was playing in the room and made the scene so much better. It made the whole scene believable even though Jason was wearing a thong with a stuffed bee covering his private parts. There’s another scene in which Dick and Jason are walking through the beach and the song “classic man” is playing in the background. They are girls in bikinis sucking on ice cream cones, which seemed inappropriate. It really made that whole scene “cool” and hinted what they were getting into. The song and the way the camera focused on them and blurred the background was great. It definitely set the tone for the scenes that followed it. There’s a beer chugging scene which i thought was phenomenal, Jason is chugging beer and the music in the background makes it feel like the whole thing is happening in slow motion. That background song mixed with the slow motion shots was epic.
The color, the editing, light and dialogue made this film exactly what it was supposed to be: a raunchy yet dirty comical film. The movie received many bad reviews because of it’s perverted and dirty dialogue. I can agree with this because, some scenes like the one Jason woke up at the beach with his bee thong and a child kept pulling on the stuffed animal. The way the cameras were angled made the whole scene far from okay. Many criticized it because they thought it was making fun of child molestation. Nick Schager a movie critic stated “A brutally unfunny stab at ribald comedy that stands as the legendary actors big-screen nadir”. Another review from The Guardian quoted “The great man’s late career continues to baffle as he plays a widower lusting after bikini-clad young women on a road trip with grandson Zac Efron”.