Of the actors considered respectable in Hollywood only Drew Barrymore has worked with Adam Sandler more than once. In fact, Drew has worked with the King of lowbrow comedy three times, including, arguably,Sandler’s best film “The Wedding Singer,” the way off-beat romantic comedy “50 First Dates,” in which Barrymore plays a woman with a head injury; an all too easy punchline about how she came to work with Sandler again. And now together again in the family comedy “Blended.”
Drew seems to have some magical potion that helps her make Sandler’s brand of idiot humor tolerable. Here are five ways in which Drew Barrymore nearly makes me like Adam Sandler.
1. She’s adorable!
Fact, Drew Barrymore is cute as a button and even starring alongside Sandler can’t dim her shine. Yes, I’m fawning over Drew but she’s earned it; she’s effervescent and while Sandler’s amateurish, pre-teen sense of humor has crushed the likes of Jessica Biel (“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry), Winona Ryder (Mr. Deeds) and Kate Beckinsale (“Click”), Barrymore has managed to come off lovable in TWO onscreen pairings with Sandler. We will see if the gleam in Drew’s eye can weather a third outing in “Blended.”
Adam Sandler rarely has chemistry with someone on screen. If they’re aren’t a bulldog with giant testicles Sandler only seems vaguely interested in his co-stars. For whatever reason however, Sandler has a gentle, genuine chemistry with Drew Barrymore. Sandler seemed downright smitten with his co-star in “The Wedding Singer” and willingly kept his most childish instincts at bay. The same could be said of “50 First Dates” where the ugliest gags tended to happen without Drew onscreen.
Sandler never seems comfortable with physical intimacy on screen; and yet he and Drew connect romantically in both “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates.” It makes sense for Sandler’s man-boy characters to be uncomfortable with intimacy, most boys find girls icky. With Barrymore however, there is an honesty and ease to Sandler’s manner. Just watch the climactic kiss in “The Wedding Singer,” Sandler seems downright relaxed.
4. Comedy Chops
Barrymore is one of the most naturally charming and funny actresses working today. Sure, many of her recent vehicles have failed to capture this trait but check out her work on TV in the animated comedy “Family Guy.” Drew’s recurring character Jillian is the ultimate airhead and it takes remarkable comic chops to pull off sounding that clueless and make it sound so effortless. Opposite Sandler Drew raises her game and makes Sandler better in the process.
5. These aren’t exactly challenging scripts
The typical Adam Sandler joint could be improved by a community theater troop over a weekend so we aren’t talking about challenging material here. With Sandler’s typically simpleminded narratives there is plenty of room for interpretation and Barrymore seems to thrive on the improv vibe and the genuine goofiness that while it’s generally the product of the laziness of Sandler and his crew, nevertheless plays to Barrymore’s strength as a screwball comic heroine.
I’m not writing this to convince you that “Blended” is going to be any better than the typical lowbrow garbage Adam Sandler puts out (“The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates” aren’t comedy classics by any stretch either). But, thanks to Drew Barrymore, the suffering should be kept to a minimum and Sandler himself may not be as grating. One can only hope.