You're sitting in a quiet room in front of your computer with your head down and eyes on screen, trying to ignore the sunny suburban day, instead opting to stay in your dungeon to slay the three-headed dragon that is your writers block, your deadline, and your financial problems. Your previous books, met with critical acclaim and the financial benefits thereof have painted you into this corner that the hands of time are building up even higher with every tick of the clock on the wall. Just as your eyes glaze over while trying to piece together your next idea, you hear raucous laughter that snaps you from your screen hypnotism. You arise from your desk, remembering that your elderly father-in-law and some other seniors that you've invited to hang out in your home for a nominal fee are the only other people in the house.
Then you find them, on the floor in the middle of your spacious living room, unable to control their giggles. Why? It’s because the candy shared by one of their kindly number was laced with THC.
This is just one of hilariously challenging situations that the main character Frank, played by Reno Wilson, navigates in the film Grand Daddy Day Care. Faced not only with those creative and financial problems, he also stares down the barrel of the culture shock of taking in his standoffish ex-convict lawyer father-in law Eduardo at the urging of his wife Emma. Frank's decision to use the opportunity to figuratively kill multiple birds with one stone by making his home an impromptu day center for seniors is fraught with obstacles to it's smooth operation from the very beginning of the enterprise, taking us with Frank and Danny Trejo's character Eduardo through a journey of discovery, self and otherwise, for both of them.
We feel the frustration of Frank's trouble adjusting and prideful nature that are actually pretty similar to Eduardo's, particularly knowing that they just don't realize it yet, at least not it until faced with the vocationally overenthusiastic investigator from the Department of Social Services played by Alec Mapa.
GRAND DADDY DAY CARE Gives Us a New Look at Being Old
We laugh our way through the series of events that lead to Frank, and us, realizing that the humanity of this group of wise—um, seasoned—eh, experienced...okay, OLD people. They are old...and while we still may not know how to properly refer to people of advanced chronological age, we learn that we have been missing out on solutions by not taking into account their lifetime of worldliness and assuming that just because you are older, you lose your desire to live life to its fullest. This movie makes that very apparent with the lively hijinks of the seniors, with their geriatric precociousness and even the challenges of age, when presented. We even see how teenagers and the old aren't that different in the interaction between Eduardo and Frank and Emma's son, Jordan.
In the midst of the comedic shenanigans, this movie makes apparent its heart. In today's climate of the persistent bummer, political scandal, economic strife, environmental worry, and more celebrity dram than you could shake a selfie stick at, sometimes what we need is good, old fashioned fun...an escape. In this writer’s view, if you're looking for one in the form of a great light-hearted movie that's fun for the family, Grand Daddy Day Care turns out to be that and so much more.
Cast: Danny Trejo, Reno Wilson, Margaret Avery, Barry Bostwick, Julia Duffy, Anthony Gonzalez, Linda Gray, James Hong, Hal Linden, Alec Mapa, Garrett Morris, Roxana Ortega, George Wendt
Casting By: Jan Glaser, CSA
Costume Designer: Barbara Vazquez
Score By: Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum
Edited By: Heath Ryan
Production Designer: Scott H. Campbell
Director of Photography: Graham Robbins
Executive Producers: Vince Totino, Scott Hemming, Marla Levine
Producers: Joseph P. Genier, Greg Holstein
Produced By: Mike Elliott
Based In Part On Characters Created By: Geoff Rodkey from the motion picture “Daddy Day Care”
Story By: Robbie Fox
Screenplay By: Robbie Fox and David H. Steinberg
Directed By: Ron Oliver
For more information and to keep track of screenings in your area, bookmark the Grand Daddy Day Care website.
Photos courtesy of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Dante Hale is a stand-up comedian, Host, and Producer of The Harsh Words with Friends Podcast, a practitioner of the ridiculous, burgeoning nihilist, motivational speaker, old school nerdling, & Navy Vet. When he isn't touring, you can find him in New Orleans following his passion for nachos. For more information on Dante's upcoming gigs visit the Dante Hale Comedy Facebook page.