Adam Sandler has been making hit comedies for decades, frequently collaborating with his real-life friends on projects. One of his most successful movies was 2010's Grown Ups, which even spawned a sequel. After their high school basketball coach dies, five childhood friends and former teammates (Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade) reunite after grown apart over the years. The now-adults bring their families together for a raucous Fourth of July weekend at the lake. Netflix is adding Grown Ups to its catalog this weekend, so If you want to enjoy a little nostalgia, add it to your queue.
Grown Ups was a massive hit, one of the biggest financial successes of that year with a box office take of $270 million on a budget of just $80 million. It was such a success that Sandler ended up buying his four costars Maseratis worth $200,000 each as "thank you" gifts. "The movie's like the biggest thing for [Sandler]," Rock told Howard Stern about the cars. "He appreciates the help."
While It may have been a box office winner, Grown Ups was savaged by critics and sits at just 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. "Sandler's abysmal script cooks up a bite-sized moral for the finale. Groan ups, more like," wrote one critic for The Independent. "If root canal surgery feels too childish a torment, may we direct your attention to this ghastly celebrity roast in the guise of a boisterous family comedy," wrote another for The Guardian.
Honestly, Sandler had the right idea, explaining to Collider that he wrote the movie with this cast in particular in mind. "The whole idea was about putting together old friends that get to hang out for a weekend," he explained. "These guys are my old friends, so it made total sense. I'm glad they said yes to it." Getting paid millions to go on vacation with your best friends? The Big Daddy star clearly has life figured out.
Sandler is known for keeping a lot of the same cast in all of his films, including Shaquille O'Neal. The NBA legend recently revealed to PopCulture.com during an interview the real reason he's appeared in four of Sandler's movies, saying it all dates back to before the former Lakers player won a championship. "Crazy thing about the Adam Sandler movies — he used to sit there with Jack Nicholson, I used to always — especially after I scored a bucket and the crowd goes crazy — I'd be like, 'Adam, give me a movie!' He would say, 'Win a championship first,'" O'Neal recalled. After the NBA star went on to win several championships, Sandler felt it was his duty to honor his promise.
"He called me up one day and said, 'Shaq, you got four championships, I owe you four movies," he continued to detail, before admitting that he forgot all about it. O'Neal has been in Grown Ups 2, Jack and Jill, Blended, and most recently Netflix's Hubie Halloween. The former professional athlete didn't mention whether he plans on being in another one, but it's probably safe to say that fans wouldn't mind.