In 1998, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore teamed up for The Wedding Singer, and it was good. Six years later, they would come together again in 50 First Dates, and it was cute. The Wedding Singer combined good storytelling and performances. 50 First Dates was more about the performances than the story. Now it’s 2014, and we get Blended. It has some of the worst performances and storytelling seen on the big screen this year, not to mention a final product that is not only offensive to people from Africa, but to those who have been there, or even heard of Africa.
This film is offensive on many levels, primarily due to a script that is so contrived it appears the ten people listed as producer (including Sandler), executive producer, supervising producer, and co-producer told writers Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera not to worry about the script; we’ve got Adam and Drew. That’s all we need to steal America’s money.
So, Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Barrymore) meet on a blind date at Hooters. I know! How could this not be comedy gold? They don’t like each other. They end up sharing a vacation package with their children in Africa. Their kids don’t like each other. Jim and Lauren fall in love and live happily ever after.
You might be thinking, “Wait, you’re leaving out the comedy.”
Oh, sorry. Yes, there are comedic vehicles such as Jim’s teenage daughter Hilary being mistaken for a boy even though actress Bella Thorn in no way looks masculine. No worries, we’ll just give her a bad haircut and put her in baggy clothes. Our audience clearly doesn’t care if this tale makes any sense.
SNL-alum Kevin Nealon is along for the ride as, well…it’s an Adam Sandler movie, so Kevin Nealon is along for the ride. In fact, looking for actors from previous Sandler films is one of the more entertaining ways to spend the 117 minutes. Shaquille O’Neal can’t act, but still manages to be one of the best parts of the film. The physical stunts attempted by Barrymore have potential, but director Frank Coraci manages to suck the life out of each one by making them look embarrassingly staged.
This is a bad film.
Recommendation: The DVD will be out soon, and TBS will be running it daily soon after. If it happens to start while you’re in the bathroom following an episode of The Big Bang Theory, stay in the bathroom.