Dirty Grandpa: Is the 2016 Movie Inspired by Real Life?

‘Dirty Grandpa’ is a comedy film that revolves around Dick, a retired Green Beret, who goes on a trip with her grandson Jason to Boca Raton in Florida. Dick’s wife has recently passed away, and Jason (who feels sorry for the old man) agrees to drive him to Florida despite his own busy schedule and the fact that he is going to be married a week later. Once in Boca Raton, the two discover that spring break is in full swing, and the two run into one of Jason’s old classmates.

Dick, who wants his uptight grandson to have fun, pushes him into partying with hilarious consequences. Directed by Dan Mazer, the 2016 film stars Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch, and Aubrey Plaza. ‘Dirty Grandpa,’ a light-hearted film centered around a grandfather and grandson embarking on a wild journey, raises the question: is this partying duo based on a true story? Continue reading to discover the truth!

Dirty Grandpa: Fiction Inspired by Real-Life Charm

No, ‘Dirty Grandpa’ is not based on a true story. However, writer John M. Phillips was inspired by his father to pen the story. In a conversation with The Writing Studio, Phillips revealed how he had gone out to town with his father and that he was quite surprised by how his father was that night. “We began talking to some women and my dad was charming, funny and just crushed it, I couldn’t believe it. He made a passing joke that he would get back out there pretty quickly should my mother pass away and I was shocked to see that side of him. That experience mixed with some ideas I held on to from my Upright Citizens Brigade days spawned this story and some of the characters,” Phillips said.

The unconventional comedy about an army veteran and his lawyer grandson going out for spring break is helmed by director Dan Mazer. “I like to do things that haven’t been necessarily done before,” said the director in an interview with FilmIsNow. “The beauty of this film is, I think in spades, that you’ll come out of this movie and say ‘Wow, I have never seen De Niro do anything like that before, I have never seen Zac Efron do anything even vaguely in that wheelhouse before.’ So the idea is not to shock gratuitously, but [to] not take that middle ground, not compromise, not do things that seem familiar.”

Speaking about what it was like working with De Niro in ‘Dirty Grandpa,’ actor Zac Efron told Rotten Tomatoes that “The coolest character in the movie by far is Dick, played by the one and only Robert De Niro. And it was very exciting to watch him, sort of, inhabit his character. I think I have seen – I’m a pretty big fan, I feel like I have seen a lot of his [De Niro’s] best performances, I’ve studied his work and watched a lot of his films…he’s been doing this for so long and is such an icon, yet I don’t think I have ever seen him do a role like this. He’s fully, fully committed to letting go in this movie.”

While many would wish that such a story existed in real life, it is still fun nonetheless to watch De Niro shoot a t-shirt canon at college kids in this fictional comedy. ‘Dirty Grandpa,’ through its own comedic take on a road film, presents the audience with the message that needs to be repeated time and time again – to enjoy life while you still can, because you never know how things will turn out the next day.

Read More: Where Was Dirty Grandpa Filmed?