I’m borrowing a bit from my last review of an Adam Sandler movie because the premise still holds true. The following conversation between Adam Sandler and the movie studio may or may not have happened.
Studio: But Adam, we’ve already sent you to Hawaii (“Just Go With It”), on an ocean cruise (“Jack and Jill”) and to a cabin by the lake (“Grown Ups”). Where else is there to go?
Sandler: Ooh, I know. How about an African safari?
Studio: No way. That’s way too expensive. Out of question!
Sandler: Okay, what if I get Drew Barrymore to go with me and try to recapture some of that “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates” magic?
Studio: Let’s make a movie!
Yes, I made the whole thing up but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was at least some bit of truth in it. Sandler is a very lucky man. He churns out a film every year with barely putting any effort into them, and he gets to hang out with his friends, act opposite a hot actress and basically be himself while shooting. Some films are funnier than others, but they’re all moderate hits, so who could blame him?
In “Blended,” Sandler reunites with his two-time former co-star Drew Barrymore and their chemistry is undeniable. Playing two single parents who have a disastrous blind date, but are forced into vacationing in Africa together with their children, you actually believe that these two could be a couple the way they play off each other. Barrymore is fearless in her pursuit of laughs, and sometimes you feel like even Sandler is amazed at what she’d do to land a punchline. The film also does a good job of creating likable characters for each of their five children in their blended family. So while there are lots of characters to keep track of, the film does a good job of making them all memorable.
To his credit it also appears that Sandler is taking it easy on the bodily function jokes and sticking to more conservative laughs. Of course it wouldn’t be a Sandler comedy without some immaturity, but “Blended” takes the family friendly high road for the most part.
For what it’s worth, “Blended” is one of Sandler’s better films of his recent comedies. Unfortunately, he will be going up against an angry group of mutants this weekend in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” But don’t let the film’s predicted weak box office performance sway you into missing this film. If you’re a fan of Sandler and especially his two former collaborations with Drew Barrymore, you’ll want to catch “Blended.”