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Regardless of how an Adam Sandler comedy turns out upon full viewing, the trailers for his films continue to promote themselves as comedies that are both bottom-feeding and written by a class of middle school students who don’t like each other. With this in mind, watching Blended was still a shockingly bizarre experience, and I don’t understand how it didn’t say "Based on a Simpsons Episode" after the title screen. I expected the return of Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s on-screen chemistry to be paired up with a lofty concept, but actually seeing "Adam and Drew Go To Africa!" is a hard pill to swallow.
Blended, directed by Click’s Frank Coraci, tells the story of two single parents, Jim and Laura, who meet each other during a disastrous blind date. And we’re not talking a "He’s a liberal, she’s a conservative" bad date; we’re talking "she drank French onion soup from a bowl before spitting it out all over the place as the soggy toast flops out onto her chin" version of a disaster. Before they can both exit each other’s lives entirely, a coincidence leads them both a trip to an African resort, with each family unaware of the other until they arrive, and fireworks soon ensue and everyone gets all lovey dovey. Stop me if you’ve heard th…See what I did there?
The overall plot is far from the most original aspect of this film, because that has to go to Terry Crews’ dancing and singing a cappella tour guide. That certainly doesn’t pop up anywhere. And we don’t often get to see Kevin Nealon and Jessica Lowe breathing into each other’s mouths before making out. And I’ll definitely admit seeing Adam Sandler riding an ostrich is a bucket list item that I never thought I’d get to cross off. But everything else about this movie looks so very stale and redundant.
Beyond seeing two people who don’t like each other fall in love by having to spend more time together, we also get to see children commenting on such adult themes as middle fingers and buttholes, as well as a "Frodo" insult because a kid is wearing slightly nerdy glasses. I’ll admit to chuckling when Sandler gets clocked by that parachute, but that was after a fairly painful two minutes of not laughing. If I’m going to watch a Sandler/Barrymore rom-com, I actually want there to be some romance, and not just a series of misadventures that arbitrarily end in smooching while children groan in the background.
I like that Sandler is actually playing a human being, unlike The Wedding Singer, and doesn’t have any life-altering problems, as in 50 First Dates. But that’s about it. Let’s remember that he pushed back the somewhat interesting-sounding western comedy Ridiculous 6 to make this. Let us know if you think "We’re going to Africa! Yay!" will be the next big catchphrase in the comments.