Movie Reviews: Blended




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     Warner Bros. (1hr. 57 min.)
     After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.
     Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Nealon, Terry Crews, Shaquille O’Neal, Wendi McLendon-Covey
Bottom Line:

J.R. Johnson

Almost annually, Adam Sandler has something cooking for the summer box office. But after last year’s “Grown Ups 2’s” poor performance and several films before that, there isn’t much left for moviegoers to anticipate. In “Blended,” Sandler hopes to erase the scars left from his recent disasters, but it looks like he’s riding the same train.

Sandler’s latest outing follows two parents, Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) who are looking to move on from their broken relationships onto new love lives. However, after being setup on a blind date Jim and Lauren realize that they couldn’t be more of a mismatch.

But unbeknownst to them, something good comes out of their date. Jim visits Lauren to return the credit cards they mismatched during their date and overhears a conversation about Lauren’s vacation to South Africa. Predictably Jim and Lauren end up in a family vacation situation where they can’t avoid one another, or there wouldn’t be much of a movie.

“Blended” isn’t too dissimilar from the foundations most comedic films are built on nowadays. It pretty much hit every cliché on the head with the subtlety of a flying mallet – twice in some cases. Between the jesting and flirting between Sandler and Berrymore, and the reckless jokes and gags from the kids, the end result is a horribly distorted version of a National Lampoon flick. Buffed Terry Crews is funny enough as a strolling African singer, but it just isn’t enough to save the film.

The bright spot of the film falls in between the two leads, Sandler and Barrymore. The chemistry between both actors is undeniable and sincere. Their many collaborations have surely built something. However, “Blended” is just surrounded by a wall of cheap jokes and ridiculous physical humor, most of it pointless. “Blended” is something most can anticipate on from an Adam Sandler project – a never-ending improv sketch.

In all honesty, Adam Sandler is still funny. Deep down his spark is still there, and flashes of his wittiness flicker in “Blended.” But his movies have drifted from his SNL roots. When Sandler puts on these big productions, they loose any kind of focus and just follow the blueprint left by his previous projects. “Blended” doesn’t follow every step, but it traces just enough for it to fall in the same category as the rest.

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