Robert De Niro and Zac Efron Are Hitting Spring Break Together in a Buddy Road Trip Comedy

By  · Published on September 6th, 2014

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

We can never have too many wacky road trip comedies, but they need to involve particular formula to make things extra off-the-wall. Here’s one version: take a no-nonsense youngster – extra points if he’s a millennial completely dependent on technology who doesn’t appreciate how good things are nowadays (a mile uphill in the snow to school, etc., etc.) – and pair him with a zany sex-obsessed octogenarian who just wants to party. And party hard! Where we going? Vegas? Why? Who cares?

Such an adventure is set to star Zac Efron and Robert De Niro with a script by John Phillips and direction by frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Dan Mazer (he’s a writer on Borat, Bruno and The Dictator). The project is going through a bit of an identity crisis at this point – it’s either called Dirty Grandpa or Driving Dick Kelly, depending on which outlet you consult. But the premise is the same no matter the name: Efron will play a very uptight young man with a huge problem: he’s going to marry the wrong woman! He is also tricked into driving his grandfather (De Niro), a retired, recently widowed and – this is important – perverted Army general, down to Florida for spring break.

We all know where it goes from there. Spring. Break. Forevahhh. Question: How would Robert De Niro look in a pastel colored balaclava while holding a machine gun? Is there any answer besides amazing?

In order for this to work and not burst into flames in both Efron and De Niro’s faces is to break down the road trip and not make it as cliche as it already, terribly sounds. And then have an amazing payoff once they arrive at their destination. Grandpa is a cad who wants his tight-laced grandson to stop worrying so much, wasting his time on an equally uptight broad whom he could be chained to for the rest of his life, and maybe down a few of those margaritas that come on a lanyard? Sure, but what else?

If the title change away from Dirty Grandpa is true, at least that’s a step in the right direction. Subtly, fellas. We need to know why grandpa is so wacky and dirty. Was he this way even before he retired and was widowed, or is this a recent development? Is this road trip an attempt to stop Efron from making the same mistakes of Grandpa’s youth, one giant mixed drink at a time? If anyone has the chops to get in depth and bring these men to life and solve these mysteries, it’s Efron and De Niro. Spring break forever.