Director: Frank Coraci
Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Terry Crews, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Bella Thorne
Running Time: 117mins
Synopsis: After a dreadful blind date single parents Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Barrymore) want nothing more to do with one another only to find themselves thrust together on a holiday resort designed to ‘blend’ families together.
With the putrid stench of JACK AND JILL, THAT’S MY BOY, and GROWN UPS still fresh in our cine-noses Adam Sandler reunites with Drew Barrymore for BLENDED with hopes of freshening up the laughs. Not only have the duo returned for third onscreen outing, but also got long time Sandler collaborator and THE WEDDING SINGER director Frank Coraci back behind the camera to recreate the magic of funnier days.
It seems the tried and tested formula has worked…just! Whilst BLENDED’s premise, set-up and lion’s share of jokes are beyond generic its harmless fun that comes good in the end. The film delivers enough chuckles and moments of genuine poignancy to ensure you’ll leave happy. The Sandler/Barrymore dynamic is BLENDED’s real trump card with the pair’s off-screen friendship making for great onscreen chemistry as they knock biting buddy banter back and forth effortlessly. A nod too should go to little-known screenwriters Clare Sera and Ivan Menchell, who’ve shelved Sandler’s usual dick and fart fare in favor of more family friendly observations and quick witted jibbing. Resist the urge to leave in the first 20minutes and you’ll see what we mean as things get cooking during a shopping spree for tampons and porn (it is a Sandler film after all).
BLENDED relies chiefly on comedy and sentiment wrung from the down-trodden single parent shtick. Sandler (the hapless father of three girls) and Barrymore (an over-protective mother of two boisterous boys) are sorely in need of the opposite sex’s perspective, which of course is delivered montage style in the film’s cringingly sappy mid-portion. Whilst the boys provide uninspiring fodder for masturbation and ADHD gags, it’s the young female actors who shine through balancing emotive pangs for their departed mother with tom-boy quips aplenty. The young Alyvia Alyn Lind is particularly impressive; funny, cute and bears an uncanny resemblance to a Gertie aged Barrymore.
Sentiment aside, there is enough here to keep the hardcore Adamites happy; goofy voices, animals dressed as people, Hooters and of course cameos. Terry Crews is shamefully sidelined to jarring musical interludes and though his comedy grin and flexing pecks are guaranteed giggle-jerkers he could’ve added a bit more given a few lines of dialogue. Similarly nonsensical is the appearance of a host of characters from previous Sandler flicks returning in walk-on parts for no rhyme or reason other than to link BLENDED to the Happy Madison canon.
This is a fun, feel good film jam packed schmaltz and though it is by no means a return to form for Sandler BLENDED is a fun family film that parents can take their kids to and give them a flavor of the kind of comedy gold served up by Sandler and Co. some 10-15 years ago. Not great, but not bad either.
(3 / 5) BLENDED is release 23rd May