By Kate Ward
Updated June 10, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT
Tracy Bennett

STARRING Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider
WRITTEN BY Adam Sandler, Fred Wolf
DIRECTED BY Dennis Dugan

The best way to make a comedy about a reunion of old friends? Gather some Saturday Night Live pals (Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider) and then throw Kevin James into the mix. ”We started doing jokes about Saturday Night Live, and Kevin gets up and walks away,” Spade says. ”He’s like, ‘Is this going to be another SNL reunion conversation? Because I’m going to get an early lunch.”’ Grown Ups focuses on a group of childhood buddies who get together after 30 years for a summer weekend. Ultimately, James had no problem fitting in. ”[He’s] in the replacing Chris Farley category,” Rock says. ”We couldn’t find a better guy.”

The cast meshed so well that director Dennis Dugan kept cameras rolling for up to 45 minutes to capture all the ad-libs. Sandler & Co. weren’t the only folks with a shared history. Dugan hired his ex-wife, Joyce Van Patten, to play Schneider’s much-older spouse. ”We had a rocky past,” he says. ”I’m like, ‘I think she hates me, but it would be good for the movie.”’ Dugan’s marital history never interfered with the production, though rain certainly did. The director had decided to film around Boston, where it rained constantly during the three-month shoot — much to the dismay of his actors, who had to don summer clothing regardless. ”It was 40-something degrees,” Rock says. ”My people are from the heat! I’m a decent actor, but come on. I’m not Daniel Day-Lewis.”