10 Things to Know About..Blended

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After a bad blind date, a man and woman (Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore) find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.
0.5

Adam Sandler lets us get through the worst movie of the summer before June this year and I thank him (for the one and only time in this review) for that. “Blended”, the marketing campaign, and “Blended”, the movie experience, seem to match up fairly well. Both reflect that no one gave much of a crap and really why would they? “Blended” is everything we’ve come to expect from Sandler- lazy, childish, tiresome, it makes lames jabs at easy targets- but it’s also a pretty sickening display of shoving cutesy family stuff down our throats combined with just being outright nasty toward people. It makes you yearn for the days of “The Wedding Singer” or at the very least “50 First Dates.” What sucks most about it is that the Sandler-Drew Barrymore thing was one of the few unsullied portions of the actor’s career. Not anymore. Along with director Frank Coraci (who directed “Singer”) and a truly awful script by Clare Sera and Ivan Menchell, “Blended” makes you want to punch nearly everyone involved with it in the face.

10 to Know:

10. The film is a romantic comedy, and a very derivative one at that. Jim (Sandler) is a Dicks Sporting Goods manager who lost his wife to cancer. Lauren’s (Barrymore) ex-hubby (Joel McHale) is a gigantic asshole. For some reason Jim wanting to take her to Hooters on a first date makes her think he’s different. He seems to be an idiot, she’s abrasive and uptight. Think the script will keep throwing them together though? You betcha. Think we have to go through a long ending of will they or won’t they fall in love? You betcha. This would all be easy to take if the rest of the film weren’t tedious, but Sandler is a pro at being tedious. -1

9. Jim has daughters, the two older of the three he treats as tomboys. The oldest is Hillary (Bella Thorne), who he for some reason calls Larry and seems to deny is even a girl. This is meant to be a joke against tomboyish girls (Sandler, always aiming that razor sharp wit at deserving targets) but it makes Jim look like a worse than Sean Penn in “I Am Sam.” What’s worse is that Hillary exists primarily for a “She’s All That” moment that comes later, where she becomes a beautiful girl and never has to show her talent for sports ever again. Great message! -1

8. Lauren also has two sons, both of which hyperactive. They need a dad to show them how to be men. During their trip in Africa, Jim shows them how to play baseball and suddenly is portrayed as father of the year. Jim’s daughters, meanwhile, miss mom so much that they keep an invisible version of her around at all times. But Lauren sings them “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and suddenly mom is dumped like an acne-faced teenager. The film shamelessly goes for the “awww” moment whenever it can. -1

7. Lauren’s business concerns closet rearranging. She calls her shop “Closet Queens.” That this is one of the better jokes here should make every one very sad. -1

6. Through some happenstance concerning friends who can’t go, the families of both Jim and Lauren find themselves sharing a room together in romantic South Africa. Romantic?- You say. Apparently there is one resort in the whole place for white people looking to ignite some passion and ignore everything else about South Africa. The funniest part is that no one seems to venture very far away from the resort. Less funny is making every South African character into some goofball. -1

5. Terry Crewes unfortunately has to play one of these goofballs, the band leader of a group of crooners who sing about blending and chastise a little fat kid because he got schooled in basketball by a girl. -1

4. There is an ongoing joke where Lauren carries her sleeping, youngest son but continuously neglects to watch out for his head banging into a wall. Seriously, this joke is done like 5 or 6 times. -1

3. Teenage masturbation, humping hippos, sex toys, and camel toe jokes are in high supply basically because Sandler has never stopped being a giggling child. -1

2. There’s a really awful scene where women talk about their bad marriages only to have some of the punchlines be about physical violence being directed toward them. Inexcusable. -1

1. I will give this movie one positive mark for Wendi McLendon-Covey, playing Lauren’s best gal pal. Her performance is so funny that it’s hard to imagine it was influenced in any way by anyone else involved with this movie. +1