|
|
PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Movie review: ‘Blended’ is not the best of Barrymore and Sandler

    • email print
  • The setting is a Hooters in Georgia, where Lauren (Drew Barrymore) and Jim (Adam Sandler) are meeting on a blind date. She’s a divorcee with two boys, he’s a widower with three girls. Aside from being single parents with kids, they have nothing in common. The date goes badly, and they part ways to deal with their problematic children (I’ll just pick two: One of her boys has temper tantrums, on a baseball diamond, with a bat in his hand; one of his girls regularly converses with her dead mom, and always saves a seat for her at dinner).
    But after a couple of uneventful run-ins with each other – one at her home, one in a drugstore’s feminine hygiene aisle – that only heighten their dislike for each other, Lauren and Jim, with kids in tow, end up sharing a vacation week together at a resort in South Africa where, through their kids’ intervention, they eventually ... OK, stop it right there. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, co-starring in a film where the odds of them getting together are completely against them. Hmmm, where have we seen that before? Well, in 1998, it was in “The Wedding Singer,” and in 2004, it was in “50 First Dates.”
    For the record, I think “The Wedding Singer” is terrific, and “50 First Dates” is insensitive. But “Blended” is just plain bad.
    “Blended” is a by-the-numbers romantic comedy that has a few very funny moments (every one of which is seen in the trailer) and quite a few more very unfunny moments. The two main characters are nice people who are trying to be good parents while dealing with the hands they’ve been dealt. But nothing in the film bears any resemblance to reality. Even the bad date at the beginning isn’t all that bad.
    The storyline has already entered into areas of preposterousness before it presents the “coincidence” of the two disparate families ending up at the same resort, and sharing the same living space and dining accommodations. Once in Africa, any sense of a believable plotline is tossed away, and the film becomes a string of set pieces that have less in common than Lauren and Jim, and are loosely tied together by the at first amusing and later annoying presence of Terry Crews as a combination singing-dancing emcee and Greek chorus.
    There are really no surprises as far as where the story is going. You know that the kids will all turn out OK, and that Lauren’s jerky ex (Joel McHale) is going to try, then fail, to get between her and Jim. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with a simple story for audiences who go to Adam Sandler movies because they have simple stories. But this one is told too unevenly and too manipulatively. Gently raunchy humor is mixed in with saccharine sweetness. Things continually go wrong, then go right, then go wrong again, with no rhyme or reason. And near the end, some dismal drama is added, making an already overlong movie even longer.
    Page 2 of 2 - Things could have been saved here, as they sometimes have in past Sandler projects, with the right background characters making things palatable. But the resort vacationer played by Sandler’s real-life pal Kevin Nealon has no relevance to anything else in the film, and the cutesy babbling from Jessica Lowe, as his buxomly, far-too-young wife gets stale right in the middle of her first sentence. There’s also the grating presence of Lauren’s business partner Jen, played by Wendi McLendon-Covey who, if put on trial for scene stealing, would be found guilty and sentenced to acting school, with no chance of parole.
    If you want to see a great movie about a blind date that eventually works out, try “Hannah and Her Sisters.”
    Ed Symkus covers movies for More Content Now.
    BLENDED
    Written by Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera; directed by Frank Coraci
    With Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Nealon
    Rated PG-13

        calendar