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

"My Mind Turns Your Life Into Folklore": Why Taylor Swift's "Gold Rush" Is a Song About Songwriting

"My mind turns your life into folklore." That line, from the song "Gold Rush," is the only time the word "folklore" is spoken on either of Taylor Swift's 2020 records, Folklore and Evermore , the latter of which is where the song appears. The presence of the line indicates that "Gold Rush" is a pivotal song not only in Swift's lockdown duology, but in her maturation as a songwriter.  Swift's early albums often drew heavily from her own experiences, with fans and the media scouring her lyrics for clues as to which ex-boyfriend her numerous breakup songs referred. Her tumultuous dating life made as many headlines as her music, in part because it informed so much of the music. The discourse was often ridiculous and reductive, and thankfully, that period of her career is over (Swift has been in a relationship with the actor Joe Alwyn since 2016).  Both of her 2020 albums have their fair share of autobiographical songs, but they also see

Ranking the "Mission: Impossible" Films Worst to Best

The Mission: Impossible movies, based on the 1966-73 television series, are about Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force doing something that seems impossible at first, but always ends up being possible. Tom Cruise stars in all the films as Ethan, and other members of the team are Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg). I like the Mission: Impossible movies because each film has a different director and thus each one has their own distinctive feel. Sure, there are a couple of constants (Cruise is in them all, they all are spy/action movies, and they all have people wearing masks - a nod to the TV show),  but going into a Mission: Impossible movie you are never quite sure what you are going to get.  Sometimes it's a silly fun spy franchise, other times it feels like nothing more than an excuse for Tom Cruise do to some sort of crazy stunt. Since the first film was released in 1996, there have been five movies, with a sixth on the way. Here's how I would rank the m

Ranking the Films in the "Vacation" Series

Ranking the Films in the Vacation Series I love the Vacation movies. They are a rumination on one man's attempts to create lasting memories for his family, like the ones he remembers from his childhood. What he does not realize is that people tend to romanticize their memories, so any attempts to recreate perfect moments will only end in frustration, heartache, and probably injury. Because we know how Clark's (Chevy Chase) struggles will end, it is funny when the Griswold family's misadventures all reach the same inevitable conclusion. Over the course of five movies, the audience has gotten to know exactly what to expect from their plans, and the fun part is watching the silly, bizarre, or sometimes downright cruel snags in the road.  Here is how I would rank the five films in the series from worst to best: