Reel Reviews: Blended lacks chemistry of Wedding Singer

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler are back together after The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, this time in family comedy Blended. - Warner Bros.
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler are back together after The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, this time in family comedy Blended.
— image credit: Warner Bros.

Blended is the story of Jim (Adam Sandler), a widowed father of three girls, and Lauren (Drew Barrymore), a divorced mother of two boys. Thrust together on a blind date that goes horribly wrong, the two are surprised when fate thrusts them together a second time, on vacation at a resort for blended families in Africa.

At first the couple aren’t happy with the situation, but when their kids start benefiting from their relationship, they begin to find each other more attractive.

We say, “It’s The Brady Bunch in Africa, without a laugh track to tell you what’s funny.”

TAYLOR: This is the third Sandler film we’ve had to review. The two previous reviews were for films that we concluded were slightly amusing, definitely sophomoric and completely inappropriate for youngsters. Blended, on the other hand, is entirely family safe. You could take your six year old to it comfortably and see nothing offensive. It really is like an episode of The Brady Bunch, albeit with higher production values.

Unfortunately, and this is probably more telling of me than of the film, I didn’t find the film funny at all. Oh, it tries to be funny, it just fails.

HOWE: Oh come on, that’s a little harsh. I did laugh two times. OK, maybe once, and a grin, but that’s it. Ever since these two have starred in movies together –The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates – the quality has been steadily dropping. If they keep up at this pace the ratings of their movies will be in the negative and they will end up having to pay people to go see them. We all know that Sandler can act (sometimes) but I wish Barrymore would just step away from her stereotyped character that she plays in film after film and try something a little bit more serious.

TAYLOR: Barrymore proved she is amazing in Grey Gardens, but she’s proving nothing here. I’m not saying it’s a terrible movie, just unfunny and uninteresting. While it’s true one can survive on bread and water, it doesn’t make for a delicious meal, nor nourishing diet. Blended is stale bread with no butter and water at room temperature. However, I couldn’t help but be moved by moments with the kids, (who miss their mother) and I am at least satisfied that, although Mr. Sandler has produced another waste of 90 minutes, at least this one isn’t wilfully stupid.

Take your family if they’re fans of bread, water and movies they’ve already seen on TV a million times.

HOWE: I can’t write anymore. It’s making me angry I wasted 90 minutes on utter tripe.

– Taylor gives Blended 1 trip to the DVD clearance bin out of 5.

–  Howe gives it 1 painted fish out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are film critics based in Vernon, B.C. Their column appears in The Morning Star Friday and Sunday.

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