Monday, June 9, 2014

Movie Review: "Blended" (2014)

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Director: Frank Coraci
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Jim (Adam Sandler) is a widower with 3 daughters. Lauren (Drew Barrymore) is a recent divorcee with 2 sons. The two go on a blind date from hell. Jim takes Lauren to a Hooters and prefers to watch whatever is on the television instead of making eye contact with her. She brushes him off as a big jerk. The two are thrown together many times before they both, unknowingly, end up on a romantic getaway at a resort in Africa meant for Jim's boss and his family and Lauren's best friend. The resort's purpose is to help "blended" families come together. Jim and Lauren begin to learn more about each other and become closer despite their seeming dislike for one another.

*double sigh*

Let me reiterate the sentiment from our last Adam Sandler movie post. His old stuff? Hilarious. We LOVE "The Wedding Singer." Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, weirdly, have great on-screen chemistry that works so well.

It almost saves them from this steaming pile of crap.

This isn't the absolute worst Adam Sandler movie in the past 15 years (for our review of said worst movie, click here), but it's still really bad. His feeble attempts at what passes for humor are the same rhinos humping/fart/making fun of girls that look like guys/offending every possible race/gender/sex/country out there that he always throws at audiences. And for some reason, THEY EAT IT UP. It's pretty obvious he is just getting a free annual vacation out of these movies now. This year, he chose Africa.

The only thing that saves this movie in the slightest is a liiiiiiiiiitle bit of schmaltzy sweetness and heart. I blame this on that weird chemistry between Sandler and Barrymore. They are cute together, but this movie is not. And making Sandler a widower is a cheap and lazy attempt at garnering sympathy for his otherwise dolt of a character.

There is a running "joke" in the movie where he treats his daughters like they are and why this is funny, we have no idea. They are mistaken for boys constantly and yet look extremely feminine! Why he thinks gender identity issues are something to poke fun at really puzzles me, and they have been a central theme in the last few of his movies. If I was his daughter and he made such mean jokes to me, I would have filed for emancipation, and not shrug it off as "oh, silly dad, my mom died, he uses air freshener as cologne, I understand!" This is just one of the examples of the many jokes that fall flat in this movie. Terry Crews pops up about a hundred times with a fake African accent and a bunch of singers who insert themselves into situations to create humor, but instead, just stink up the joint. Kevin Nealon and his new younger wife make it a point to always be touching or making out in every scene where they are featured, and it's awkward and forced and annoying. The hotel concierge, played by Abdoulaye NGom, makes it a point to always pronounce Sandler's fake last name wrong....a thousand damn times. WE GET IT, but the repetition of said "humor" into the ground DOESN'T MAKE YOUR CHEAP ASS JOKES FUNNY. Though we may have laughed here and there, the bad FAR outweighs the good.

Barrymore plays the stereotypical overprotective single mother who cannot control her kids and doesn't let them have any fun. She also has a complete jerk cheater ex-husband, played by Joel McHale, who doesn't want to spend any time with his kids. She also has a very stereotypically female job: a closet organizer, whereas Sandler works at a sporting goods store with the macho Shaquille O'Neal. It's all very rudimentary and conforming to set gender roles.

Is the public at large finally getting over Adam Sandler and his same offensive shtick? BigJ and I are not praying folk, but I will drop to my knees in prayer once he realizes that his days as a box office star are finally numbered.

My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 14%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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