Blended (2014)

Starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore
Directed by Frank Coraci

by Joshua Simpkins

Adam Sandler is known for comedies. Occasionally, he slips in a romantic comedy. Or, you could say that most of them are the same romantic comedies over and over again. Two of his previous romantic comedies have costarred Drew Barrymore. First comes The Wedding Singer (1998), then comes 50 First Dates (2004), then comes Blended (2014) in a baby carriage. Who ever thought they would see a Sandler/Barrymore Trilogy. I know I sure didn’t, but hey trilogies equal dollar signs these days. Why not?

Blended is a blend (see what I did there) of previous Adam Sandler comedies and classic chick flick, (I know, I know, its romantic comedy) clich├ęs. You know the ones. Boy meets girl on a blind date to hooters, girl and boy end up going to Africa on a thin, far-fetched plot device, monkeys play instruments in Hooters outfits to boy and girl, Boy and girl fall in love. We’ve seen it all before. Seriously, we’ve seen it all before. Well, everything except the monkeys which I really enjoyed. Monkeys win.

Adam Sandler plays Jim, a widowed Dick's Sporting Goods manager with three daughters who goes on a disastrous blind date with Lauren (Drew Barrymore).  Lauren is the organized single mother of two boys who runs a closet organizing business called "Closet Queens".  At first, they hate each other, but after falling into a cheap trip to Africa where both of their families must "blend" they both start to see each other's good qualities.

Blended really is a blend. And, if you pay close attention you might find the hidden surprises and cameos, aka easter eggs, hidden with the film from Sandler and Barrymore's earlier films. "Hi, I'm Tom." But, slipping in a few cameos doesn't hide the fact that their is some rather lazy story telling going on. Is it a horrible film? No. But, some of it does seem a little phoned in. Hey, I've got an idea. Africa seems like a fun place, right? Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s make a movie and then everyone can go. Hurry, somebody write a script! (Sandler voice) Ahh, Let’s go!

Now, don't get me wrong. I like Adam Sandler movies. I grew up with Sandler. Literally. No, that's a lie. But, I'm the age that was his demographic. Although, I'm not sure if I still am. It just seems his past five (or 10) attempts have been an excuse for him to have fun with his friends and get paid for it. I’m not a stick in the mud, I’m all for fun. But, it’s a shame when we’ve seen him make hilarious movies, as well as, take great dramatic acting turns.

Now, should you force the boyfriend to watch this? It's probably the other way around. While on paper it appears to be a chick flick, it never really decides whether it wants to be a classic Sandler comedy, or allow us to engage emotionally with the characters. Every time things turn emotional it is quickly undermined by a gag (some really bad stereotyping going on) or a stunt. It really doesn't allow itself to stay as sweet as The Wedding Singer, or 50 First Dates.  Drew Barrymore is great as Lauren.  It is funny at times, though (Be sure not to make fun of a Mom's kid).  And, a little sweet in others.

FORCE THE BOYFRIEND:  5 out of 10 (Who's Forcing Who)

Beer Pairing Recommendation
Nothing says summer vacation more than a delicious summer ale. 
And, Blue Point makes a good one.  Some enjoy a few this summer on
while out on vacation with Adam Sandler.  Oh, he won't return your 
voicemails or emails or texts or when you drop by for a quick
visit?  Well, drink one anyway.  Stalker.

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