Plot twist: Wild, raunchy 'Buddy Games' movie will premiere in Plymouth, Minn.

Plot twist: Wild, raunchy 'Buddy Games' movie will premiere in Plymouth, Minn.

A movie will premiere in Plymouth later this month. Yup, Plymouth.

“Buddy Games,” directed by and starring Josh Duhamel, who also co-wrote the screenplay, will premiere at 8 p.m. Nov. 21 at Plymouth Grand 15. Like Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups,” it’s a raucous comedy about men who reunite — in this case, playing games that often involve drinking — to relive their glory days. The movie also stars Dax Shepard and Nick Swardson, who is from Minneapolis.

Michelle Mann, co-owner of Mann Theatres, knew Swardson’s local connection and that North Dakota native Duhamel spends time in Minnesota (like Swardson, he’s a Vikings fan). So she made some calls.

“I approached Josh’s manager. I saw he had a new movie coming out and I thought, ‘I’m going to reach out. They’re Midwest guys. Why not?’ ” Mann said when she inquired about bringing in the long-delayed comedy, which was shot three years ago. “They were pumped about it and thought it was a great idea.”

The plan is for both Duhamel and Swardson to attend the screening, COVID-19 pandemic permitting.

“I hope Plymouth likes R-rated comedy,” said Swardson via text.

The actor/comedian said making the movie, which is inspired by Duhamel’s own experiences, was nothing like his youth.

“I never had anything this elaborate growing up, which made the movie amazing. So it was like ‘Guy Narnia.’ It was Josh’s vision and how he grew up. So I guess they have wardrobes in North Dakota that lead to a magic land,” joked Swardson.

The Manns operate eight Minnesota theaters but selected the Plymouth location because it’s their flagship and its 15 screens offer flexibility, based on ticket demand. (Prices had not been set at press time but tickets will be available at

Noting that “there’s not been one COVID case related to any movie theater anywhere in the United States,” Mann said the event will follow Minnesota guidelines, including physical distancing and no more than 25% capacity. Initially, five screens will be devoted to the “Buddy Games” premiere, with the stars popping into each auditorium to take questions, and with the availability of more if needed.

Staff critic Neal Justin contributed to this story.

Chris Hewitt • 612-673-4367 • @HewittStrib


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