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Adam Sandler’s BLENDED Isn’t All Bad – Movie Review

It doesn’t matter how good(ish) or flat out putrid Adam Sandler’s movies are, people still flock to them in droves. No matter the quality, a Sandler movie is almost always profitable. So, why bother with trying to make something watchable? If there’s no incentive to work hard, there’s no reason not to make a movie like Just Go With It, which is little more than an excuse for Sandler to hang out with friends in Hawaii, while getting paid millions of dollars. Or Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2, where Sandler and his friends literally get paid to hang out with each other on film. Now comes Blended, an excuse for Sandler to hang out with his friends in Africa… or is it?

Normally it would be, but when Sandler teams up with Drew Barrymore, good things happen.

The Wedding Singer, and even 50 First Dates to a degree, are a cut above the typical Sandler flick, and with good reason. Sandler and Barrymore have fantastic chemistry together, but it’s more than that. She elevates his game. Blended, a story about two fortysomething single parents who can’t stand each other wind up taking the same vacation to an African resort, looks like a typical Sandler crap fest, but it’s not. Sandler isn’t even funny in it. Everyone else is, especially Barrymore and Terry Crews, who plays the resort’s musical entertainment.

Blended

The usual Sandler tropes are present in Blended. Frank Coraci is still a lazy director, caring only about landing whatever joke is on screen and moving on to the next. The good thing is the jokes come fast and furious, and over half of them actually hit. It’s a shame Coraci’s direction is so paper thin, because Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera’s script would’ve really been something special in more talented hands. Sure, there’s silly things like pointing out Sandler and Barrymore are meant to be together because they drive the same minivan and like their coffee the same way, but there’s no denying the spark between them. Sure, Coraci and Sandler don’t give the more emotional bits a chance to breathe, opting for two CGI rhino’s humping instead, but it’s undeniably present, and that alone makes Blended better than the typical Sandler movie.

There are plenty of cameos from characters appearing in previous Sandler flicks, like Ten Second Tom, but it doesn’t really matter. People go see Adam Sandler movies because…well…I’m not sure why. They’re safe and sometimes amusing, I guess. Or maybe it’s because the one-two punch of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore will forever live in the hearts of humanity for all time, giving him an infinity pass for making bad films. When Drew Barrymore comes around, though, everyone can rest easy, because something about her makes Sandler’s brand of sillyness work.

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The Author

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill used to spend his time writing screenplays into a notebook instead of doing homework. That love of film and all things storytelling led him to spend most of his time writing. He's been a film critic in North Carolina for over five years, and his debut novel, THE BOOK OF BART, is out now. Please buy it. Ryan also feels odd about referring to himself in the third person.