I must be getting old. Back when I first became a film critic a movie like “Blended” would have sent me off on a 1000 word treatise on why would should demand more from our popular culture. Now, I’ve been a critic for well over a decade and watching a movie like “Blended” barely elicits a sad, resigned shrug. I’ve seen too much and Adam Sandler has disgusted me so many times that I just don’t know if I can fight anymore. That’s not to say that I am going to say nice things about “Blended,:” but instead firing my passionate demand for things to be better, I look at “Blended” and think ‘at least it didn’t make me vomit with rage.’
“Blended” is Adam Sandler’s excuse to get a movie studio to pay for him, his family and his friends to go to Africa. Don’t believe me? Check the credits, Sandler’s wife and kids all have cameos. Yes, you’re all paying to send a multi-millionaire on his vacation. Like the grand ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, Sandler makes grand claims of great riches (laughs) to those who indulge his scheme and then he simply runs off with all the money without once making anyone laugh.
“Blended” begins, as a Sandler movie is wont to do, in a bathroom. Lauren has escaped to the ladies room to get away from her awful blind date with Jim. How bad is the date? Jim took Lauren to Hooters. (Hilarious right?). Jim and Lauren have nothing in common and after Jim ignores Lauren to watch sports and drinks his beer and hers, the two part ways and hope to never see each other again.
Oh but we know they will. In fact, their lives become bizarrely intertwined when Lauren’s co-worker, Wendy McClendon Covey begins dating Jim’s boss, the owner of Dick’s Sporting Goods; a business that offers Sandler the rare opportunity for product placement and juvenile snickering. When Covey tries to break up with Dick she ends up breaking off a trip to Africa that she’s then able to give to Lauren while Dick gives his side of the trip to Jim and do you care about the plot logistics? The movie doesn’t, I don’t know why you would.
If you’re wondering whether Lauren and Jim will fall in love on this vacation it may be time for you to seek treatment for that gaping head wound you must have suffered before reading this review. Jim and Lauren along with their respective broods of children, Lauren’s two boys and Jim’s three girls made to look like boys because of his inept fathering, make a perfect ‘Blended’ family for a Blended Family weekend in the South African resort of Sun City.
There are multiple scenes in “Blended” where you can see Sandler is trying to get a scene over with so he can get back to his vacation; as if the film were an inconvenience for him. Yes, there are times when Barrymore seems to remind Sandler there is a movie being made but those scenes are few and far between and even those scenes aren’t funny as much as they are mildly engaged in the act of making a movie.
I’m not telling you anything here you didn’t know, aside from those of you with the massive head wound of course, seriously, get that checked out. “Blended’ is predictably terrible and that likely explains my lack of rage vomit. Sandler made exactly the movie I expected he would make; an execrable, product placement marathon that barely qualifies as a ‘movie.’ But, I didn’t vomit with rage so its got that going for it.