Some actor’s serve as their very own warning NOT to watch their movies. Adam Sandler has become that face. You see his face, hear his name, whiff the stench of his latest endeavor and you know already that you probably should walk far, far away. The problem with Sandler is that he hasn’t grown up. He’s still Billy Maddison or Happy Gilmore and the sad simple fact is that he’s not a young man anymore and when you’re pushing 50, fart jokes and gay humor just isn’t funny anymore; it’s embarrassing.
I have noticed something with regards to Sandler, though. When he does a film with his buddies, it’s a disaster, but when he gets an actress to anchor his films, to temper his humor, they don’t wind up being the worst films I’ve seen all year.
‘Blended’ is not a good movie, but it’s not awful either.
The one thing to realize when taking in a movie like this is that it is never, in a hundred years, going to make sense. It just doesn’t have that kind of potential. Nothing about this movie is logical, from the fact that Bella Thorne is mistaken for a boy to the fact that someone practically gave them this amazing vacation to the fact that monkeys play in a band to the fact that these supposedly great parents are letting all five of their kids wander Africa all by themselves. Still, there are moments here that are genuinely hilarious, and while I don’t really care much for Sandler’s humor or the way he constructs a film (seriously, the tonal inconsistencies here are really reaching), Barrymore and the supporting cast (mostly) kind of anchor this film enough to make it sort of work.
It’s nowhere near as effective as the last time these two were together (the surprisingly touching and hilarious ’50 First Dates’), but to say that ‘Blended’ is an awful failure would be misleading.
The story is dumb. Jim and Lauren meet on a blind date after they find themselves single parents. Lauren is recently separated from her cheating husband and Jim lost his wife to cancer. They don’t get along. Jim is slightly insensitive (at times horribly insensitive) and Lauren is really uptight. The date is a disaster, but for some reason they keep bumping into one another, and when Lauren’s business partner Jen winds up breaking up with her boyfriend, who just so happens to be Jim’s boss, the opportunity of a lifetime drops in Lauren and Jim’s laps.
A trip to Africa.
Many scenes don’t work. I can see where Sandler thought “this will be hilarious” but then the execution and horrific overacting causes the scene to pretty much face plant into awfulness. The parachuting scene, the ostrich riding scene, the monkey band. But then there are smaller moments that nudge out a genuine chuckle. The musical choices for the makeover reveals was clever and truly funny. The pure awkwardness of many of the scenes actually pays off, even if not entirely. Terry Crews should probably MC every single party EVER, and Wendi McLendon-Covey’s singular line reading of the word “Walmart” is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in a movie.
And yet, ‘Blended’, regardless of how not abysmal it is, is not really worth seeing either. I watched this because the wife said “that looks funny” and she had no in seeing the new ‘Captain America’ movie and thought ‘Belle’ looked boring. It was this or another night of ‘Friends’ reruns.
And, honestly, I’ve never seen a film so intent on making every kid look absolutely awful. Like, Braxton Beckham really needs a new face.
I give this a C-. See, it's not AWFUL, but whatever, it's not worth seeing. LOL at the idea of any awards prospects, although the Satellites would be forever redeemed in my eyes if they handed out a Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy nomination to Terry Crews. Like, for real, he just GOES FOR IT!