Saturday, May 30, 2015


Directed by Frank Coraci.
2014. Rated PG-13, 117 minutes.
Adam Sandler
Drew Barrymore
Terry Crews
Bella Thorne
Emma Fuhrmann
Alyvia Alyn Lind
Braxton Beckham
Joel McHale
Wendi McLendon-Covey
Shaquille O'Neal
Dan Patrick

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore try to rekindle whatever people think they had from prior cinematic endeavors. This time they play Jim and Lauren, respectively, a pair of single parents who go on a blind date and absolutely hate each other. Somehow, they keep bumping into each other. By somehow, I mean because of a number of plot contrivances. Through the break-up of someone else's relationship, a trip to Africa becomes available. Unbeknownst to the other, each of them claims half of the luxurious trip for their own family. Needless to say, they both get quite the surprise when they arrive and see one another. What could be an origin story for The Brady Bunch ensues, complete with commercial breaks. We don't really get commercials, but there is a good deal of product placement, here. Dick's Sporting Goods and Hooters get so much run I wouldn't be surprised if they footed the bill for this entire movie.

As entertainment, not advertisement, Blended has a few nice moments, but is far more miss than hit. The romance between Jim and Lauren follows the expected path with nary a surprise. Most of the more humorous scenes show Jim dealing with Lauren's sons while the most tender depict the bonding between Jim's daughters and Lauren. This is hardly enough to justify the rather lengthy two hour running time. No Adam Sandler comedy has enough material to sustain that, let alone this one.

Energy, music, and uncomfortable comedy is injected into the proceedings by Terry Crews, playing the lead singer of the hotel band. Crews is an actor who has been funny in the past, but has frankly bordered on minstrelsy. Here, he fully embraces it. Nearly every second of his screen time is spent dressed garishly, wearing a bug-eyed, wide-toothed, grinning veneer as he sings and dances. He recalls an era where such roles were the only ones African-Americans could get. If you're not black and have ever been confused, or just not sure what's going on, when you've heard one black person insult another by accusing them of "shinin'," or "coonin'," for the white man, this is pretty much it. Through sheer exuberance Crews occasionally makes even the most offended of us laugh. By "most offended," I mean me. The few chuckles, however, aren't worth the trip back into an unfortunate era. Nor is it entirely surprising given the broad stereotypes in which Sandler comedies often operate. Even in this movie, there are other stereotypes and cliched archetypes at play. Stop me if you've never heard any of these before. Jim's oldest daughter is deemed completely unattractive until she dons a short skirt and heels. Lauren's oldest son is a relentless masturbator. The very young wife of a fellow traveler is a ditzy and busty blonde who purposely jiggles as she speaks.

Real human beings are in short supply. And I haven't even gotten into the magic wand approach taken to couple of very serious child issues. Basically, a one-time feel good moment is enough to cure all ills. Instead of the movie dealing with these things in a genuinely compassionate and thoughtful manner, it uses them as plot devices to help keep the romance in our romantic-comedy. It's a mess I'd rather not spend anymore time on, so I'm done.


  1. It's not as bad as some of the films that Adam Sandler has done in recent years but it is still terrible though I will be ashamed to admit that I did laugh at that scene where Terry Crews sang and berated a boy for getting beaten in basketball by a girl while the chorus just keeps saying "you suck, you suck, you suck, you suck".

    1. Don't feel bad. Like I said, he goes at it so hard he's bound to make anyone laugh a time or two.

  2. This was another movie was got trapped into at the drive in, and believe me, not even in the worst HALF of them.

    1. That sucks. Still jealous you have a drive-in near you, though.

  3. I get what you're saying about Crews and, well, the shame of it all...but I have to admit I laughed my ass off. I get it though...and Adam Sandler isn't a stranger to insulting other races by his awful sense of humor.

    1. I understand laughing at what he does because he really does go all in on this performance. Even I laughed a time or two. Couldn't help myself.