Growing Up and Other Lies Film Review

Four BFFs Revisit Old Memories in Manhattan

Sometimes you wonder how directors and actors work on a really awful film and then tell their family, friends and peers they were proud of their work and it was a worthwhile experience.

Jake, played by Josh Lawson, decides to leave New York for good and calls his BFFs Rocks, played by Adam Brody, Gunderson, played by Wyatt Cenac, and Billy, played by Danny Jacobs, to the northern tip of Manhattan for a despidida gathering.

The plan is to spend the day revisiting old memories in the city of Manhattan. The trip starts inauspiciously enough, with one of them vomiting on a train platform at 7 in the morning.

Next, another makes an offensive overture to an elderly woman sitting on a bench, asking whether she’d like to sit on his finger. Later, Gunderson goes out of his way to hurt the feelings (“I thought you’d be dead by now”) of a woman, played by Lucy Walters, he’d ostensibly seduced and unceremoniously dumped after a one-night stand.

Brody at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival

The four friends also offers dubious, unsolicited dating advice to teenage girls attending an elite prep school, suggesting they avoid romance at all costs, since it invariably leads to having one’s heart broken. We also witness them dismantling a “Broadway” street sign, and giving a hard time (“How much for everything?”) to a working-class clerk at a farmer’s market. And Rocks (nicknamed for his huge gonads), whose fiancee, played by Lauren Miller, is nine-months pregnant, risks missing the birth of his baby in order to participate in the interminable, 13-mile trek down memory lane.

Co-written and co-directed by Danny Jacobs and Darren Grodsky, Growing Up and Other Lies is a meanspirited, misogynistic dramedy masquerading as a nostalgic male-bonding adventure. But this meeting of The He-Man Woman Haters Club (ala TV’s Little Rascals) merely takes delight in insulting females at every turn.

Its lame excuse for a plot presumes to thicken when Jake learns that Tabatha, played by Amber Tamblyn, the ex he still loves, has just broken up with her boyfriend and is suddenly on the market. Will he still pack up and leave, or will he postpone his plans to return to the Midwest in light of this development? Unfortunately, given how unlikable a protagonist we have here, you’re more inclined to root against than in favor of a romantic reunion.

Growing Up and Other Lies is an awful misogynistic dramedy. Who wants to watch four, obnoxious, testosterone-fueled slackers vent their bile on a gauntlet of unsuspecting victims?

Growing Up and Other Lies

Poor (half star)


Running time: 90 minutes

Distributor: E1 Entertainment

Watch the Growing Up and Other Lies trailer:

Kam Williams is a popular and top NewsBlaze reviewer, our chief critic. Kam gives his unvarnished opinion on movies, DVDs and books, plus many in-depth and revealing celebrity interviews.

Sadly, Lloyd Kam Williams passed away in 2019, leaving behind a huge body of work focused on America’s black entertainment community. We were as sad to hear of his passing as we were overjoyed to have him as part of our team.