Third time doesn’t always mean the charm, especially when it comes to films. Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler have teamed up again for the family comedy Blended, and although the pair have an easy-going chemistry, the storyline and flat lining gags fail to bring this movie to the status that their previous partnerships have reached.
Single mum Lauren (Drew Barrymore) is obsessive compulsive and controlling, especially when it concerns her two sons Brendan (Braxton Beckham) and Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein). On the other side of the coin is the widowed sports fanatic man slob Jim (Adam Sandler), who has no idea about the perils of being a woman, despite having three daughters Hilary (Bella Thorn), Espn (Emma Fuhrmann) and Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind). So of course these two are set up on a blind date and immediately hate each other. When a chance opportunity presents itself for both families to head to Africa on vacation, there was never any doubt that they would be forced together. Of course this means hijinks ensue, and both parties realise that maybe their little unconventional unit is just what they needed in life.
It’s clear that Sandler and Barrymore have an effortless banter that goes decades back, and has been met with critical and commercial success in the past. However Blended is definitely their worst endeavour yet, and although it isn’t a terrible film, I have come to expect more from this pairing. What was unexpected though was Sandler’s turn as single father Jim. Yes he was his usual halfwit self that he loves to play so much, but he toned downed the whole dim witted shtick and gave a more heartfelt, almost layered performance that we don’t often see from him as an actor.
The potential the premise presents is endless, yet director Frank Coraci (who directed Barrymore and Sandler in The Wedding Singer) fails to look past the obvious gags and story development. Predicting what is going to happen next can be fun, but it also makes for a boring, tiresome film experience. Add to this almost every single joke failing to get even a smile (naming your child Espn, really?) and all you’re left with is a family comedy that doesn’t make you laugh or surprise you. Blended isn’t necessarily a ‘bad movie’, but it is a movie that is too predictable to be anything other than a one, maybe two-time movie to watch.
From past experience, my expectation level for this movie may have been a tad high. But given the ingredients involved who can blame a girl for thinking Blended at the very least would break a laugh or two. This is by no means the worst movie I have ever seen, but by the same token it is nowhere near the best. Blended lies somewhere in the middle among all the other so-so movies, which is unfortunate because given the right execution, it could’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations.