Genre: Romantic Comedy
Running Time: 117 mins.
Premise: After a disastrous first date, widower dad Jim (Adam Sandler) and divorced mom Lauren (Drew Barrymore) find themselves vacationing at the same African resort with families in tow. Can they stop bickering and fighting long enough for true love to blossom?
Behind-the-Scenes: This is the third on-screen pairing of Sandler and Barrymore after 1998's The Wedding Singer (one of my faves) and 2004's 50 First Dates. Director Frank Coraci previously helmed The Wedding Singer.
The Good: Barrymore still has an innate sweetness and sincerity on screen, and shines in the face of seriously weak and unfunny material. Wendi McClendon-Covey steals a few scenes as Lauren's friend. But, Terry Crews is the cast's MVP as the leader of an African Greek chorus of sorts that pops up and sings throughout the movie. The guy commits to a role, no matter how dumb it might be.
The Bad: Everything else. Sandler sleepwalks through the movie, and, at this point in his career, has apparently all but given up. I'm so sick of his homegrown "comedies" masquerading as excuses for him and his pals to vacation at our expense and lounge around in comfy shorts and t-shirts. I don't begrudge Sandler for doing that. Heck, I would do the same if I were him, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. The script is an embarrassment - I think Sandler put his comedy stamp on a pre-existing screenplay, but what even passes for comedy with Sandler today? CGI rhinos humping is about as witty as it gets. The romance is putrid - Lauren and Jim bond over putting their kids first, not any real personal connection. At 2 hours, the movie is about 40 minutes too long. All of the gags are tired and forced, and the movie veers wildly from crude to saccharine without any real grasp of either tone. The product placement (Hooters, Dick's Sporting Goods) is out-of-hand. We are a long way from the Wedding Singer era, folks.
Should You See It?: No way. Sandler's Jack and Jill is comedic gold compared to Blended.
Star Rating: *1/2 out of 5 stars.
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