Skip to main content

Movie Review: "Blended"

Movie Review: "Blended"





The Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore film, "Blended", opened in theaters Friday. May 23. The comedy re-teams the pairing of Sandler and Barrymore, who had previously starred together in 1998's "The Wedding Singer", and 2004's "50 First Dates". Directed by Frank Coraci ("The Wedding Singer"), the stars play two single parents who after a horrible blind date, are forced to share an African vacation with each other's families.

Like "The Wedding Singer " and "50 First Dates", "Blended" is a romantic comedy. They do not even pretend that Sandler's Jim and Barrymore's Lauren aren't going to end up together in the end. While it's not the smartest or maybe even the funniest movie they've ever done, it's  a sweet enough premise. Most romantic comedies these days fail because of a lack of chemistry between the leads. Luckily, this is not a problem for 'Blended". Sandler and Barrymore have a genuine, comedic chemistry, and they play off of each very well. Sandler is stronger here than anything else he's done in the past couple of years. Barrymore is at the top of her game. The first movie she's done since the birth of her daughter Olive (her second daughter, Frankie, was born earlier this year), this is also one of the first films were she plays a mother. Maturity suits both performers.

The jokes start early and come often. Jim and Lauren's disastrous blind date provides some of the film's most hilarious moments. For those worrying that this film will be as disgusting as some recent Sandler projects, like "That's My Boy", be assured that besides a urination gag and some sexual innuendo, this is a relatively tame film. This is probably due to the focus on family. "Blended" is one of those romantic comedy fusion family adventure films, similar to 2011's "Just Go With It".

Where the film really suffers is the blatant laziness of the script. Some scenes, especially those set in Africa, have some really cheesy dialogue and easy jokes, which is a shame because the cast could have definitely handled some heavier material. The physical bits in this film are either hit or miss. There are CGI ostriches and hippos that were probably overkill, while others bits work really well with the story. And when did Drew Barrymore become such the physical comedienne?

The supporting cast is great. Kevin Nealon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and  Joel McHale, have smaller parts, most of which were pretty funny, even if the served no other purpose but to get a laugh. The kids, mainly Bella Thorne, and some surprise cameos help the move the film along, but Sandler and Barrymore are the real attraction here.

In the end, the acting is strong, the heart is there, and most of the jokes work. "Blended" is overall very cute, and if you're willing to overlook some flaws, can be a very enjoyable experience for the whole family. 

Release Date: May 23, 2014
TimScale: 61/100

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Ten Best TV Shows of 2019

Best of TV 201910. BH90210 (Fox) What an unexpected delight this show was. While the original Beverly Hills, 90210 was before my time, I found plenty to enjoy in this funny and shiny reboot. The premise sees the cast playing fictionalized versions of themselves preparing to reboot the '90s teen drama that made them famous. Their willingness to poke fun at their images made for a great satire of celebrity culture. 9. The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4 in the UK, Netflix in the US)In its tenth year, this show is old news. Nothing new or surprising can be evinced from this format. So why on Earth did this season nearly bring me to tears multiple times? I don't have an explanation, I just know how it made me feel. Perhaps it had something to do with this crop of contestants, but the nicest reality competition there is made for some for most pleasant viewing experiences of the year.  8. Mrs. Fletcher (HBO) Based on the Tom Perrotta novel, Mrs. Fletcher charts a woman's journey …

The Ten Best of Films of 2019

Top Ten Films of 2019 10. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Marielle Heller is an incredible director and she's made yet another great film. 
9. Pain and Glory

Pedro Almodovar's deeply felt film is about the difficult process of aging and the painstaking process of creating art. It has one of the year's best endings. 
8. Non-Fiction

Olivier Assayas delivers another very interesting look at the way technology has changed culture and our relationships. This time, it's packaged in a sleek comedy about the affairs of people in the publishing industry.
7. Once Upon a Time in HollywoodI haven't waded into the online discourse about this movie because I truly don't care, but all I know is that I thoroughly loved Quentin Tarantino's carefully crafted ode to a Hollywood that wasn't. 
6. Hustlers

Lorene Scafaria's Hustlers is a very smart and funny crime film that has a lot to say about economic conditions in America. The screenplay is structured in a really e…

Best of the Decade: The Top Ten Films of the 2010s

As the 2010s draw to a close, it's time to look back on the best films of the decade. 
10. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)The 2010s at the movies were defined by the massive success of the superhero genre. For me, the best superhero flick of the decade was Christopher Nolan's trilogy capping The Dark Knight Rises. The scale was epic and comic book-y, but the human drama was real and powerful. Watching this movie is really fun, but not because they shoehorn in a joke every five minutes to keep the tone light like the factory-made Marvel movies. Also, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle is a really underrated performance. Every minute she's on screen is terrific. 
9. Muppets Most Wanted (2014)It's been a decade of real ups-and-downs for the puppet-filled comedy group. It started out strong with a comeback in The Muppets (2011), but the lukewarm box office receipts for the sequel basically killed their viability as a big screen franchise. They tried television again with a funny an…