I know a theatrical one-sheet shouldn’t be subject to the harsh rules of the real world. After all, that would rob us of the glory of oversized floating heads and the violent facial scrubbing of Photoshop perfection. Still, this vivid poster for the upcoming Adam Sandler comedy “Grown Ups” caught my eye the other day, and not just for its formidable display of Happy Madison star power.
What brought the poster to my attention was its borderline sci-fi suggestion that several adult males were allowed to merrily shoot down a water park slide at the same time.
This past year brought about my first visit to a full-fledged water resort, and while my senses were dazzled by the intense colors, the constant music, and the blue rush of the heavily chlorinated water, I was also stunned by the meticulous attention to safety. It’s a water park, which has to be a hornet’s nest of potential lawsuits for the owners, so I get the need to be overtly mindful of safety to keep the suntanned-slathered business moving forward. Still, security around these joints isn’t just texting teens encouraging guests to “Be careful, yo,” but elaborate watchtowers, prime leaping placement for lifeguards, and specific timing (with the use of traffic lights to help regulate the splash flow) to make sure the evening ends in pruney fingers, not in the emergency room.
To me, the image on the “Grown Ups” poster suggests the film is set in a post-apocalypse wasteland where the pussified rules of society are a thing of the past. Where men gather to burn off the worry of the bloodthirsty day in empty water parks, boldly speeding down intimidating slides all at once, without care for injury or possible (and humiliating) tube-clogging. A liquid Thunderdome. That, or Adam Sandler is making summertime fart jokes with his comedy pals. Fingers crossed for the end-of-the-world scenario.