What can I say about Adam Sandler that hasn’t been written already? Once in some outstanding comedy films now has been reduced to star in horrible film after horrible film. From “Grown Ups” to the loud and annoying and painful, “Jack and Jill” to the disgusting and unfunny “That’s My Boy”. This is a really funny man in a string of bad films. His best of this past decade is a dramatic performance in “Reign over Me”. With every passing movie the hope seems to fad that he’ll return to form. But this time, in his brand new comedy, “Blended” he reteams with both “Wedding Singer” co-star and director. This really got me interested, since “Wedding Singer” is one of Adam Sandler best films. In a weekend that includes one of the best superhero movies ever, we have “Blended.” Which is yet another swing and a miss for Sandler. I wanted to love this movie but I really did, but this comedy is too long and the first half drags on to a second half that was a bit more bearable but not enough to save a movie that has almost zero laughs and boring story and plot. Sandler and Drew Barrymore are great together on screen and their romance is well handled however that’s about all the positives this film has.
After a bad blind date, two families find themselves together in Africa having to pose themselves as a couple. After spending more time with one another their attraction grows and their respective kids find themselves benefitting with their growing relationship with both adults.
The first problem is its length. Clocking at just around 2 hours, this movie drags on badly. The first half especially does. It takes a long time to get to Africa. Then when they get to Africa the characters don’t do anything interesting. Neither the plot or characters develop very much in that time span. There is quite a bit that could have been taken out. This is just boring. I hate to use that word because sometimes that can come off as a way of me saying that I don’t have the attention span for this movie. Then again I’ve never heard of someone not having enough attention span for an Adam Sandler comedy.
Which is why this baffles me that I was so bored in this movie. It’s an Adam Sandler comedy, I shouldn’t be bored. Quite recently I’ve been saying that Adam Sandler and his films have been over the top and need to be pulled back a bit. They weren’t just over the top, they were over the top and not funny, plus annoying. To his credit, he did go in that direction, in fact too much in that direction. The movie is so reserved and unsure of itself that it doesn’t take any risks with any jokes, and the ones that are in there feel so out of place. It has no energy and even Adam Sandler seems bored out of his mind in this.
What was the point of using Africa as a backdrop? When I saw that they were going to Africa, I thought that was interesting and a little fresh. So many of these vacation movies end up in some topical retreat or travel to the other side of the country, this is Africa it’s a bit different. Yet they do nothing with it. How? Such a unique place like Africa, and nothing is done with it. You could have set this movie any place and just rewrote a line here and there and the movie would not be different in the slightest. The best the writers could come up is a visual joke of a Rhino humping another Rhino. That’s the best you can come up with a setting like Africa?! I didn’t know something like that could even bother me as much as it does here.
Halfway through this movie I really thought this movie has lost everything there is nothing that can save it and in part that is true. The second half couldn’t save it but it felt like the second was written by someone completely different and was a much stronger second half. There a few better jokes in the second half, not many but more then I was getting before. However in the second half it plays more to its strengths and focuses more on Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s relationship and interplay. These two are pitch perfect together on screen and when the script starts putting an emphasis on their relationship, then the movie becomes more interesting. They have not lost any spark from “Wedding Singer” these two are still amazing together. It’s no wonder why these two have appeared on screen together in three different films now. I wouldn’t mind seeing more with them together. You would think that it would be played out by now, seeing those two together, but it hasn’t. This is easily the best part of this movie they make it more watchable then it should, especially in the second half.
This is yet another Adam Sandler misfire. The more watchable second half and awesome chemistry between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore isn’t enough to save this boring, almost laugh free, nearly two hour romantic comedy. I really wanted to like it. I think Adam Sandler is hugely talented and I’ll keep rooting for him but this one I can’t give a free pass.