The latest pairing of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s playful chemistry aims to please the whole family. Unfortunately, “Blended” is definitely not for tweens and younger, though, because it has a multitude of crude jokes and adult humor. But if you’re looking for a silly movie to see with you teens at the start of summer break, “Blended” won’t be too uncomfortable to share together.
Jim (Sandler) is a widower father raising three girls (Bella Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann, and Alyvia Alyn Lind) while working at a sporting goods store. Lauren (Barrymore) struggles to raise her two boys (Braxton Beckham and Kyle Red Silverstein) dealing with an absentee father (Joel McHale). She manages her own business organizing closets with her friend Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey). Set up on a blind date by friends, Jim and Lauren (Barrymore) appear to have very little in common other than being single. Not planning to ever see each other again, Jim and Lauren find themselves on the same vacation when their acquaintances allow each of them and their families to fill their spots on a trip to Africa. They learn to appreciate each other’s quirks as they help to nurture each other’s kids.
Like most Sandler comedies, especially those directed by his friend Frank Coraci, there is an abundance of over-the-top supporting characters that add an overwhelming amount of silliness and sometimes raunchiness. “Blended” has no shortage of these characters, especially Kevin Nealon and Jessica Lowe as a recently married couple that can’t get enough of each other. Terry Crews plays a performer at the resort, but his character is probably the most annoying.
What works for “Blended” is the charm of Barrymore and Sandler; they make a great team for comedy. Somehow, they even manage to make Hooters a sentimental date restaurant. They also both appeal as parents. Maybe the gender difficulties go too far, too extreme, to progress the story so that their characters will help each other, but there are some heartfelt moments, such as Jim’s middle daughter’s pain at the loss of her mother.
Though this is usually the time of year for big budget special effects films, “Blended” is an adequate escape from the summer heat. It is clearly motivated by family pride for Sandler; his wife and daughters cameo in the film and they have a cute song together during the credits. If you can look past some crude humor and annoyances (never before has a title been said more in its movie), “Blended” isn’t a regrettable watch.
Rating for “Blended:” B-
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
“Blended” is playing throughout theatres in Columbus, including Movie Tavern and Marcus Crosswoods. For showtimes, click here.