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

"Us" Is a Really Weird Movie, And Isn't That Great?: Review

Film Review: UsThere's a lot to be said about the new movie Us. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything about the plot, all you need to know is that it's a horror movie about a family who encounters it's doppelgängers. Us, Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out, is wacky and wild and sure to be polarizing.
It has been five full years since Lupita Nyong'o won an Oscar and this is basically her first leading role in a movie. I find few things more frustrating than when Hollywood fails to capitalize on exciting talent. But thank god for Jordan Peele, who has given Nyong'o a doozy of a role, or double role rather, as the actors also play their doppelgängers. She inhabits the two characters, one a protective mother and the other a crazed killer, by changing her movements in ways that are strangely complimentary. It's thrilling to watch. Nyong'o's screen presence has a commanding elegance that recalls the best of Old Hollywood stars. I'm so glad an in…

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 movies …

Ranking the Five Best On Screen Portrayals of Hercule Poirot

Before Kenneth Brnagh dons the iconic mustache in the highly-anticpated new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express (in theatres November 10th), I thought I would take a look back at some of the most famous portryals of Hercule Poirot. Agatha Christie's signature creation, Poirot is peculiar. meticulous, and at times, bombastic and arrogant, but he always solves the case in the end, with the help of his little grey cells. Countless actors have portrayed the Belgian detective on stage, screen, or radio, including Charles Laughton, Austin Trevor, Orson Welles, and Ian Holm. But this list focuses on TV or film adaptations just becuase those are the ones I have seen.


5. Alfred Molina (2001)
Molina played Poirot in the 2001 TV movie version of Murder on the Orient Express. He's a terrific actor, generally, but his Poirot is not distinctive or memorable in any way. The accent is not great, the mustache is not great, and he is not eccentric enough to get away with being rude to peo…