Film Review – Blended
Well, you can’t say he doesn’t know what he’s doing. The audience I saw Blended with broke into laughter and applause at the very appearance of the “Happy Madison Productions” title card. This was gonna be a long night.
As has long been suspected, Adam Sandler confirmed on a recent airing of Jimmy Kimmel Live! that, since 2004’s 50 First Dates, he has purposely chosen movies that send him to exotic locations on the company’s dime. Add to that the constant casting of buddies and speaking lines he gives his real-life wife and children and you’ve got the makings of a world class hero. The trick is worming your way into that treasured inner circle. (Tell me your secrets Kevin Nealon!)
Blended reunites Sandler with the always game Drew Barrymore. Both are single parents who find themselves on a disastrous blind date with one another. Half-baked hijinks ensue and they’re both content to never see one another again. Don’t you worry, though. These screenwriters have an ace up their sleeve! Through a series of convoluted circumstances not even the movie bothers to keep track of, the two end up stuck at the same luxurious African resort together and, wouldn’t you know it, they develop a rapport. See, she has sons in dire need of a father figure and he has daughters who just want a mom to make them pretty and sing songs. Win win!
Coming in at a bloated 2 hours, Blended doesn’t even see fit to get to Africa until approximately the halfway mark. In the interim we learn her ex-husband (an appropriately smarmy Joel McHale) is a bad dude who cheats and neglects his sons. Sandler’s character (who probably has a name but what’s the point) lost his wife to cancer and manages a Dick’s Sporting Goods while emphasizing how great Dick’s Sporting Goods is. This review brought to you by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Describing the plot seems a fruitless endeavor as we’ve all seen this movie before so why don’t I instead highlight the moments that worked for me. I promise it won’t take long..
Kevin Nealon steals every one of his limited scenes as a happy-go-lucky dad with a trophy wife only a few years older than his embittered son. Their very open animal lust for one another managed to elicit a few chuckles the more outlandish it became. We also have Terry Crews pop up to do a song and dance number in every scene that starts to flounder. He could have been fully animated and it wouldn’t have made one shred of difference.
I did not like nor respect this lazy excuse of a movie and the raucous audience laughter left me feeling befuddled and sad. I’ll take my leave of you but first, the two jokes that continue to confound:
1) Her 2 monster children are terrorizing their babysitter while mom is on her date. They douse her with foam from a fire extinguisher, take pictures of it with their phones and say OUTLOUD “Facebook!” and “Instagram!” This is not a punchline. This is not a movie.
2) In Africa, Sandler arranges to recreate their awful blind date as a sort of do-over. Because the original date was at Hooters, a monkey brings them drinks dressed in a Hooters outfit. Are we to assume that Sandler had this tiny outfit tailor made and shipped to Africa overnight? Have I gone insane?
Bonus Atrocity: Shaq riffing[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w168vuhjRo&w=560&h=315]