Review: BLENDED (2014) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Friday, 13 June 2014

Review: BLENDED (2014)

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore deliver charming performances together, but the movie itself is nothing more than a typical romantic comedy.

When Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore first teamed up on THE WEDDING SINGER back in 1998, their chemistry truly worked wonders and the movie itself earned its place as one of the best romantic comedies in the late '90s. Six years later in 2004, Sandler and Barrymore reunited again in 50 FIRST DATES. But despite their winning charms, that high-concept romantic comedy was mostly ruined by Peter Segal's lacklustre direction (even though the movie made more money than THE WEDDING SINGER). Ten years later in 2014, the delightful duo returned for the third time in another romantic comedy called BLENDED. Those who are expecting fine chemistry between Sandler and Barrymore will be mostly satisfied here, but too bad the movie itself... not so much.

The movie opens with a disastrous blind date between Dick's Sporting Goods manager Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler) and Closet Queens closet organizer Lauren (Drew Barrymore) in Hooters. Jim is actually a widowed father who has to raise three daughters including Hilary (Bella Thorne), Espn (Emma Fuhrmann) and Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind). Meanwhile, Lauren is a divorced mother with two sons, Brendan (Braxton Beckham) and Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein). Both of them never expected to see each other again but they somehow end up at the same luxury resort in Africa during the spring break vacation. Despite the awkward moments, none of them decided to bail out but forced to enjoy the trip together. Nevertheless, a series of hijinks ensues as you would expect from this kind of romantic comedy.
Frank Coraci, who previously directed Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in THE WEDDING SINGER, manages to pull off a couple of subtle scenes especially during the second half of the movie. Some of the scenes, such as the one where Lauren encourages Hilary to do a complete makeover and subsequent moments where Jim and Lauren begin to realize they are meant for each other, are worthwhile.

Most of Adam Sandler's acting in his past comedies really annoys me. But thankfully, it's nice to see him (mostly) in a wonderfully subdued performance here. He pairs well with Drew Barrymore, who also delivers fine performance as well. In fact, it's always fun to see them either bickering at each other or get romantic during some of their tender moments. The supporting casts are a mixed bag, but I'm kind of impressed with Bella Thorne's radiant performance as the tomboyish Hilary who begins to behave like a girl after she falls in love with a tourist boy Jake (Zak Henri). Her transformation from a tomboy to a beautiful girl in the middle of the movie is especially delightful to watch for. As the lead African singer Nickens, Terry Crews make the best use of his cameo appearance with his amusing performance especially the way he sings a number of offbeat songs with his merry band.

Two separate scenes involving a montage of different pop songs played in the different characters' minds while reacting over the grand appearances of Hilary and Lauren, who both underwent complete makeovers.

Most of the funny parts in this movie are the same old tired physical gags that you've come to expect from an Adam Sandler movie. Such scenes, like Jim bumps into fake crocodiles during his lonely night on a boat and another one where Jim and Lauren witnessed two rhinoceroses humping against each other during their morning breakfast, are just lame. It doesn't help also when a bulk of this nearly two-hour movie slogs along with too much noisy moments involving Jim and Lauren's children, while the romance parts are given less attention here.


With the irresistible chemistry between Sandler and Barrymore, BLENDED could have been a great comeback for them since THE WEDDING SINGER. Instead, they are kind of unlucky to stuck in this haphazardly-written romantic comedy especially after ten years of wait. Hopefully, in the future (if that happens), they can find a better movie worthy of their appearances.


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