I have liked Drew Barrymore ever since I saw her as the little girl in ET, but I can’t stand the monstrous ego and knuckle-dragging ‘comedy’ of Adam Sandler. His CV of lousy movies is second to none, so the depths to which he might sink in his latest disposable Hollywood rom-com was always going to depend on whether the sweet Barrymore could keep it afloat.
They were thrown together with only mildly disastrous consequences in The Wedding Singer and Fifty First Dates, but the odds firmed in favour of this being yet another dud when I saw the name of director Frank Coraci, whose collaborations with Sandler and Kevin James have given dross a bad name.
The setup is as old as the hills. Jim and Lauren, both single parents, meet on a blind date at Hooters – such blatant product placement should be enough to give the game away.
The date goes pear-shaped and, you wouldn’t dream about it … they meet up again when they are on holiday with their kids in South Africa.
Obvious is too subtle a word to describe the bell-clanging certainty with which Jim and Lauren’s inevitable falling for each other is laid out before us.
The scenery, a pleasant distraction, is of the eye-candy variety and the general tone of what is an execrable, deliberately unsophisticated script is more in keeping with the Stone Age.
Sandler’s view of women appears to have been heavily influenced by the Taliban, and how he gets away with the demeaning racial stereotyping that defiles this crock is beyond me.
Unfortunately, the dispiriting truth of the matter is that there is an audience that is regularly amused by it. Ordinarily I prefer not to quote other reviewers, but the New York Times‘s AO Scott hits the nail on the head, viz: ‘Most of Blended has the look and pacing of a three-camera sitcom filmed by a bunch of eighth-graders and conceived by their less-bright classmates’.
What he said.
~ John Campbell