This week in theaters marks a reunion of varying sorts in Grown Ups. Adam Sandler, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Chris Rock were all part of the cast of Saturday Night Live from 1990-93. Some lasted a few years longer than others, and if Chris Farley had not passed away, one would imagine we would be seeing him on screen instead of Kevin James, who has nevertheless hitched his big screen career to Happy Madison productions. In the film the fivesome play friends who reunite after the death of their basketball coach and fall into their old habits despite carrying the new responsibilities of family.
While each may have had roles or cameos in previous films with each other, this is the first time all five are together in the same project. But what about groups that have already been established? We figured we would look back, and by some miracle, forward to characters we would like to see reunite and discover where they have been.
The Breakfast Club
We may as well get the obvious out of the way right up front. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Andrew, Brian, John, Claire and Allison. Enough time has past that we can refer to them by their proper names. Years ago I fancied a ten-year reunion where Brian was a successful engineer, Andrew was a suit and John would even share a beer with his old nemesis, Principal Vernon. It would be a stretch to get them together now for a funeral for the guy and their true headmaster, John Hughes, is gone too. But reunions are reunions and what is it going to take to get one of the most recognizable fivesomes into a room again?
We have been hearing about a sequel for years. They may have lost Mama Fratelli and Sloth, but throw enough makeup on someone and who can tell the difference? Jonah Hex won't be turning into a franchise anytime soon for Josh Brolin, so he may as well return to the film that started it all for him. Plus, the good Lord must be keeping Corey Feldman around for a reason. It's time for a new adventure. Don't wait for the economy to turn around as that is the perfect backdrop to continue the tale of the Astoria-saving treasure hunters. Two bad National Treasure movies are enough. Someone get a script to Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg so they can show everyone how its done.
As long as everyone else in Hollywood is currently obsessed with 1984, we're gonna stick with 1985 here. Val Kilmer is not exactly pulling his Chris Knight weight these days, but perhaps there is an interesting jumping off point there. Maybe Chris' excessive relaxation led to professional failure or just the opposite where success led to an emotional breakdown. Only Mitch Taylor can get him out of his funk, offering him a job in the private sector where they cross paths again with Jerry Hathaway. C'mon Neil Israel, to hell with that remake idea from those moles and trolls. We need to know if Lazlo and Sherry Nugil found happiness with all those sweepstakes prizes or if he's become an Art Bell-like outcast broadcasting from his R.V. Plus, any excuse to reconnect with Michelle Meyrink's adorably hyperkinetic Jordan is worth the ticket.
If Chris Knight was one generation's "get over it" party leader, then Vince Vaughn's Trent had to be the next one's. Built upon his rules for seeking out one-night stands and boosting his friend's confidence, Trent created a whole new vernacular for dudes and sportscasters alike, not to mention Ben & Pete from Knocked Up. A few phases of their journey down the road though would certainly pose more interest than the likes of Texasville. Were Mikey and Lorraine perfect for each other? Did any of them find regular gigs as actors or comedians? Have their golf games improved? Let's all take a road trip to Vegas and find out. We don't want to believe they ended up as the guys from Couples Retreat.
You could take just about any Cameron Crowe script and add your own ellipsis. What became of the graduates of Ridgemont High? How many more dings were in the life of Lloyd and Diane? Did the Singles remain eternally so? Greater than the question as to what happened to Eddie and the Cruisers (apparently Eddie Lives!) is what path Stillwater took after William Miller's article was published. Would we see a tumultuous time through the cut-and-paste corporate rock mentality of the 1980s or would it be present day getting the band back together for a reunion tour with Journey, Styx and Infant Sorrow? Did Penny Lane grow up to be just another washed-up groupie junkie or find momentary fame in bad films opposite Matthew McConaughey and Dane Cook? William Miller could be a modern journalist faced with the prospect of a dying print business and wondering where all the fact checkers went. This could be the most exciting follow-up opportunity on this whole list.
Unless Phil Alden Robinson can wrangle this team together again, of course. Forget the crew of The Italian Job or even Danny Ocean's gang. Entertaining as they might have been, few have been able to generate as much fun and originality into their work as did Martin Bishop's in Sneakers. They were like the grown-up Goonies if, you know, they were on the run from the government, became conspiracy nuts and went blind. It was a perfect team and having to match wits with Bishop's old idealist friend, Cosmo, was the stuff of great comic books. Cosmo's mission to bankrupt the global economy and provide balance to the classes sounds a lot like what certain factions accuse our current President of. They may have lost River Phoenix, but if Joaquin doesn't want to shave and un-retire from acting to wear the hat of Carl Arbogast, it could always be explained he retired himself and is now touring the world with Mary the NSA agent. Heck, bring Chris Knight and Mitch Taylor aboard and let's get another caper going.
The 40 Year-Old Virgin
The last time we saw David, Jay and Cal they were toasting their friend Andy's baptism into the world of the laid by singing Age of Aquarius. I don't care if these guys ever grow up -- I just want to see them together again by all means necessary.