Adam Sandler movies, you either love them or you hate them. Over the last few years, the crazy comedian has given us plenty of comedies, some great and some not so great. Yet like many stars, Sandler has found his niche and does not seem to veer out of his comfort zone of … comedy. This weekend the latest film in Happy-Madison productions has been released titled Blended, which may raise the question, was this movie worth watching? I'll do my best to answer that question.
The plot of Blended is simple, two families led by Sandler and Drew Barrymore go on vacation together, by accident, and bring their families along. Coincidentally genetics has chosen to give the single parents kids all of the opposite sex, which sets the stage for the repetitive, predictable plot elements. Although stale, the delivery is very cute, showing that happiness can still be achieved despite being thrown a bum rap, (i.e. divorce and death of a spouse). Both characters being single parents have issues with their kids, especially coming to terms with teenage problems that range from simple boy drama, to coping with alone time and some "interesting images". And as you might guess, the predictable transformation into the perfect parent starts to take place, with each family head fulfilling a role the other can't. It's heartwarming, and it gave me goose bumps at seeing true family bonding, but it is done in the same, over dramatized way that borders the line of cheesiness.
Of course in an Adam Sandler movie, the "plot" is not really what many go for, but more for what laughs Sandler and his crew can bring out. Well Blended manages to do just that, blend lots of comedy topics into a formula that was very entertaining. We can start with Sandler himself; the giant kid at heart does the same style he's known for years. He still screams like he's got something in his throat, often falling into what I call his Billy Madison voice to make fans scream with laughter. Other times he is actually delivering some well written quips, emphasizing key words or putting just the right spin to get the point across, like Chandler from friends. And of course what would an Adam Sandler movie be without a funny face or two to keep things even kiddier. All of these qualities are in the mix for this movie that will entertain loyal fans for the entire two hours.
Sandler alone isn't the only thing funny about this movie though, he is merely the medium of a choice to bring a lot of the comedy to life. For me, the funniest aspect of the movie is the writing. Unlike other Sandler movies, and comedy films in general, Blended has decided to spread out the comedy styles and mix them together in a script full of fun and laughter. Awkward conversations about periods, analogies comparing overprotective behavior with that of a prison warden, jabs at character flaws that blow back up in their faces, and well-timed sarcasm. Each of these qualities is seen throughout the movie, integrated into the sentimental plot to keep the mood fun, without taking away from the compassion within the scene. The writing team did a nice job actually using the comedy as relief; instead of just throwing out a storm of comedic gibberish that loses it's edge over time.
We all know that Sandler's latest projects lack a certain balance either being insanely kiddy (Bedtime Stories), uncomfortably focused on inappropriate sexual things (That's my boy), or just a mish mash of stupidity (Grown ups 2). Not the case for Blended, I felt they didn't overdo most of the jokes and found a way to keep me laughing throughout the entire film. Even repeats of jokes retained their humor, except for the head-bashing thing, because they added just a little unexpected extra that kept it fresh. Having the rest of the cast also participate also helped with the humor. I said that Sandler did a lot of the jokes, but the rest of the cast got to put their two cents in for making us laugh. Hearing mispronounced biological processes from an 8 year old's mouth, or seeing the name of lingerie misunderstood as candy are just some of the examples that had me nearly in tears. While some things do go a little over the line for the younger audience members, most of the mature jokes are masked well enough, but still exercise caution before bringing your family.
Despite the balance in comedy though, Blended is something we've already seen. It's a plot line that has been done a million times with a comedy style we've known quite well for years. Haters of Sandler's comedy style, or super predictable endings should stay away from Blended, even though it is one of the better comedies he's put out in a while. It is cute, and while incredibly silly and juvenile, it's a feel good movie that is meant for family outings. Such simplistic films are good to have OCCASIONALLY. So if you are looking for a comedy that will truly entertain you, I recommend this film, otherwise skip the theaters this weekend and get prepped for next weekend.