Most movies for kids often have just enough adult content to give parents a chuckle as the young ones giggle to the silly stuff. “Shrek,” “Minions” and even the wholesome “Toy Story” movies have embedded subliminal messages and jokes for parents who sit dutifully by as their children watch
The same is not usually true with movies aimed at grown-ups. Mature themes about house husbanding, unfulfilled career ambitions and marital discord aren’t exactly the stuff of family movie night. And that’s what makes “Me Time,” a new Netflix comedy starring Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg such a head-scratcher. Hart and Wahlberg should be able to squeeze some adult laughs out of the story of self-discovery by men who explore uncharted avenues in their lives, so why is so much of the humor aimed at kids?
Hart is Sonny Fisher, husband to architect Maya (Regina Hall) and father to two adorable kids. While Maya is advancing her career, Sonny put his dreams of being a musician to stay home with the kids. At home he’s a natural. It’s in the outside world that his awkwardness comes to the fore.
On the other end of the spectrum is his best friend Huck Dembo (Wahlberg). The embodiment of YOLO, he’s a party-boy and a risk-taker with a way with a phrase.
When Maya convinces Sonny to opt out of a family vacation and take some “me time,” he reluctantly agrees and winds up on Huck’s latest birthday adventure, a trip to Burning Man with a bus load of party people.
Cue the odd mix of adult reckoning and infantile gags.
“Me Time” wastes its two leads in a sea of wasted opportunities. Individually, Hart and Wahlberg bring the funny, so the comedic combo effect should be doubled, but director John “Along Came Polly” Hamburg keeps his two stars apart for most of the film’s first half. By the time their hijinks really begin, the mix of sincerity and silly has already worn thin. Both actors try hard to elevate the poop jokes and frenetic physical comedy, but are left hanging by a script that attempts to mix-and-match adult concerns with juvenile jokes.
The result is a movie that feels like it can’t decide who it is for, the poop joke audience or the buddy comedy crowd.
“Me Too” is a childish movie that attempts to examine what it means to be an adult.