Given Adam Sandler’s recent attempts at comedy, his latest film, Blended, could have gone a whole lot worse than it did. Directed by Wedding Singers director Frank Coraci, the film reunites Sandler with his rom-com chum Drew Barrymore, their first collaboration together since the popular 2004 hit, 50 First Dates.
After going on a very awkward blind date, Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Barrymore), unknowingly end up stuck together with their respective children at an African family resort. The holiday turns into a painstakingly boring triumph of personal growth for both single parents and their kids as, unsurprisingly, the more time they spend together the closer the bond between them all grows.
Life lessons, ostrich riding and rhino sex is aplenty in a film that its comedy derives from the same fart joke infested pool as the funny man’s most recent shockers, Grown Ups, That’s My Boy, et al. Toned down somewhat due to its intended family-based audience, the toilet humour still lurks in the background as unintelligent, crass and, ultimately, as unfunny as it ever has been – taking the form of gags about porn, roofies and a re-occurring joke about Jim’s daughters being constantly mistaken for boys.
And what is a Happy Madison production without the pointless cameos of the usual suspects, Jonathon Loughran and Allen Covert? The Expendables star Terry Crews also makes an appearance as the singing hotel assistant, Nickens, whilst Kevin Nealon, another Madison regular, plays an extremely cringeworthy, overly affectionate loved-up husband, Eddy. All, I am afraid, as unfunny as the next…
The Sandler-Barrymore partnership has proved fruitful in the past, and an attempt at resurrecting the cinematic romance has, comedically and romantically, fallen flat on its face. The relationship between the pair had no spark, no imagination, with little sign of chemistry, in a film that, for some unbeknownst reason to the rest of the planet, was a mediocre 80-90 minute movie turned into a two hour sleep-inducing slog fest.
It is only in the films final scenes that any sense of life – in terms of the movie itself and the on-screen relationship between the two stars – can be found. In fact, it is actually becomes quite sweet – something that, unfortunately, comes too little too late for anyone to actually care.
As is so often the case with Sandler’s films, little thought, creativity or imagination seems to have gone into Blended. Less painful to watch than the likes of Jack and Jill, for something set in such a beautiful region of the world, it sure is one heck of a boring, characterless affair.