MRR Review: "Blended"
on 2014-05-22 16:30
Length: 117 minutes
Release Date: May 23, 2014
Directed by: Frank Coraci
"Blended" stars Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler as two single parents entering the dating world. When Lauren and Jim are set up on a blind date, they both arrive hoping for the best. After only a few minutes, the date takes a turn for the worse and ultimately ends in disaster. When the two parents have a chance meeting while on vacation, their kids bring them together, and their relationship slowly begins to evolve.
When recently divorced mother-of-two Lauren is set up on a date with widowed father-of-three Jim, nothing goes as planned. The two single parents initially appear to hit it off, but as the night progresses, they soon decide that they are better off parting ways.
Shortly after their ill-fated date, Lauren learns that her friend, Jen, has broken up with her boyfriend, and plans on canceling their upcoming trip to an African resort. Meanwhile, Jim's boss tells him about his breakup with his girlfriend and mentions that he no longer wants to go on their planned trip to Africa. Unbeknownst to Jim, his boss was in a relationship with Lauren's friend, Jen. Separately, Jim and Lauren decide to take their respective friend's place and leave for vacation during their children's spring break.
At the resort, Lauren and Jim's paths soon cross. When their children end up getting along, Lauren and Jim are forced to spend time with one another. Although their interactions are plagued by disaster just like their first date, things begin to get better over time. As the two families become closer, Jim and Lauren's relationship becomes more serious. However, blending the two families together is not an easy task, and the families must figure out how to live together if Lauren and Jim's relationship is to last.
In "Blended," it is clear that Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore still have the same chemistry as in the blockbuster hits "50 First Dates" and "The Wedding Singer." Barrymore plays the often-bewildered Lauren. While Barrymore highlights her character's habit of sabotaging potential relationships, she also plays off of Sandler's often humorous character. Surprisingly, Sandler — who plays Jim — and Barrymore play similar characters to other movies they have collaborated on, but their roles call for them being parents, which mixes up the roles just enough. Overall, both actors make the film very enjoyable to watch and provide a great balance of providing laughs and reflecting the difficulties of dating as a parent.
In addition to the main characters, the supporting cast add to the hilarity of the film. Wendi McLendon-Covey, Bella Thorn and Joel McHale all have memorable performances. In addition, Shaquille O'Neal and even Adam Sandler's children make brief appearances.
One of the best things about "Blended" is the inventive plot. From the first date, it becomes very clear that Jim and Lauren are both resigned to never seeing one another again. The breakup between Jen and Jim's boss creates the perfect opportunity for Jim and Lauren to have a chance meeting. The surprising element of the plot is that it is the children that bring the two adults together rather than the adults spontaneously falling in love. With the initial resistance of the adults, the relationship develops in a much more natural and believable way.
The focus on the children makes the film enjoyable for both adults and older children. Most of the comedy is situational and not so adult in nature that the film is inappropriate for the whole family. The focus placed on all members of the families also helps the film stay true to its name. In between laugh-inducing scenes, there is just a hint of tension between the families and the initial awkward phases of adults dating and families blending together.
Although the film is a bit lengthy at 117 minutes, the story unfolds well and there is just enough going on to keep the audience engaged. From spontaneous — and hilarious — dancing at the resort to the mishap when Lauren decides to parachute, the film is filled with funny scenes that flow from the opening credits to the end of the film. The minor subplots and supporting characters all play into the story in various ways, which only enhances the comedy.
In "Blended," Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler have the same great chemistry as other films they have collaborated on. The story is very heart-warming and the plot is uniquely different from many other romantic comedies out there. Director Frank Coraci — who also directed "The Wedding Singer" — blends the great acting, funny characters and entertaining story to create a comedic masterpiece.