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 Films of 2020

2020 was an odd year for movies. Many of the ones scheduled to come out in 2020 were delayed due to movie theaters closures brought on by the pandemic. And many of the ones that did actually come out were released digitally. In 2019, I saw 44 films in a movie theater. In 2020, I saw only 11, all during the first two and a half months of the year. While watching movies at home on my laptop or TV is far from the ideal cinematic experience, I still saw a number of great films. Here are 10 of them.  10. I'm Your Woman  It took a few days after watching this crime drama, directed by Julia Hart, for me to really appreciate the sly magic it worked. Starring Rachel Brosnahan as the wife of a criminal in the 1970s who, after her husband goes missing, learns more about the criminal world in which he lived. It finds a unique perspective on a generic story and upends the tropes of the genre by focusing on the moments that would happen offscreen in a typical crime drama. Available to watch on P

Every Julie London Album Ranked

Last month, for school I had to write a long research paper about 17th century Flemish flower paintings, which was a bit outside my comfort zone. So, I needed writing music and a lot of it. After listening a bit to Amazon Music's playlist "Big Band Christmas", I came across the song "Warm in December" by Julie London. It was a name I'd heard before, but I knew next to nothing about her. But the song was good enough to send me to Wikipedia, where I learned that London released 30 albums in the 14 years between 1955 and 1969. Most of the material she recorded was standards, the kind I spent most of 2020 listening to, so I decided that listening to London's entire discography (in order) would be perfect for writing my paper. Now, the paper's done ( I got an A), and I'm left with many, many thoughts about Julie London.  A film actress before releasing her first album, Julie is Her Name , in 1955, London had a mega-hit single with "Cry Me a River

The Ten Best TV Shows of 2020

Was 2020 an unusually great year for television, or did I just watch more things than I usually do? Probably the latter, but I had an exceptionally hard time choosing just ten shows to spotlight for this list. So, before I get into my picks, here are a few that I wish I could have included as well: I May Destroy You, A Teacher, The Great Pottery Throw Down, Dead to Me, Never Have I Ever, Love Victor, The Masked Singer, Love Life, B Positive  and Search Party.  10. The Undoing (HBO)/Big Sky (ABC) David E. Kelley has had a pretty busy fall, between miniseries The Undoing and his new drama Big Sky . I can't really say whether I find Big Sky to be a particularly good show, but I've seen every episode so far and haven't given up yet. The two shows are actually kind of inverses of each other; one a prestige premium cable miniseries with movie stars that turned out to be pretty pulpy, the other a lowly network show that's slowly letting more and more substance seep in. From