WRITTEN BY: Ivan Mechell, Clare Sera
DIRECTED BY: Frank Coraci
STARRING: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Bella Thorne
RATING: 1.5 stars
In the past few years, many critics of Adam Sandler have wondered why he is still making films. His films are often ridiculous and have the same actors and same gags every time. Two of his most beloved films, The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, co-starred Drew Barrymore, so it makes sense that he would try to bounce back by getting his friend onboard for another Sandler-style romantic comedy. He has not written Blended, but his influence is definitely felt when watching the film. It is obvious that Sandler and Barrymore adore each other and by making Blended a film about family it may have a certain appeal to some viewers. But ultimately, most of the jokes seem to be aimed at 12-year-old boys, and with a running time of two hours, most people are sure to lose interest at the half-way mark, if not earlier.
Widower and father of three girls, Jim (Sandler), has a terrible blind date at Hooters with divorced mother of two boys, Lauren (Barrymore). Both parents have no idea how to raise children of the opposite sex. Jim treats his daughters like boys, including their hair cuts and clothes, and is especially struggling with his oldest daughter (Bella Thorne) who is going through puberty. Lauren is overly organised with sticky labels for everything and struggling to raise her out of control sons who miss out on a male presence because their father (Joel McHale) is hardly ever around. In a stupidly convenient circumstance, the pair end up taking their children on a family vacation to Africa and must learn to get along because they have to share accommodation.
The shining light in Blended is Thorne's performance. She is funny, sweet and a delight to watch. The rest of the young cast are mostly likeable but the poor script fails everyone. Barrymore does her best to ground the film but there is only so much one person can do to save a sinking ship. Blended is like a modern day Brady Bunch story that no one wants.