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Blended - Review

Blended

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

ADAM Sandler has previously found some of his biggest successes when teaming up with Drew Barrymore in the films The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. His third collaboration sadly fails to recapture any of the ‘magic’ of those movies.

In fact, the best that can be said for Blended is that it marks a minor improvement on his most recent work by virtue of the fact it calls upon him to do some acting and grapples with some heavier issues.

But even then, the drama is negated by the juvenile humour, the lacklustre characters and the awkward sentimentalising it tries repeatedly to inject (often after another crass routine).

The story finds single parents Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Barrymore) hooking up for a wretched blind date, agreeing never to see each other again but then conspiring to end up on the same safari-based African holiday together with their children in tow.

Needless to say, hate gives way to love and each adult also gets to provide something missing in the children’s lives: for Lauren’s boys it’s an absentee dad; for Jim’s girls a dearly departed mother.

If this sounds like there’s a platform for something moving, then don’t be fooled. What emotion there is feels wholly patronising and unconvincing (Jim’s kids don’t even have a photo of their late mum), with the emphasis more on puerile comedy and supposedly feel-good genre staples such as the triumph of the underdog or the ugly duckling coming good.

What prevents this being a totally one-star experience (by Sandler’s extremely low standards) is the fact that Sandler and Barrymore do have a certain chemistry and some montage shots of African wildlife provide a respite from the main story.

But a film that includes throwaway ‘jokes’ about cancer and ruffies isn’t just ill-judged and bad – it’s also bordering on the offensive, particularly when masquerading as a family comedy. And all that’s without taking the extremely indulgent running time into account.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 117mins
UK Release Date: May 23, 2014