Director: Frank Coraci
Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore
It's tough to review Adam Sandler films, because they're Adam Sandler films. They exist in another realm. Their fanbase exists in another dimension. And no human is smart enough to understand how or why his films make money. Sandler himself has recently admitted that his films are just paid vacations with friends. So how does one appreciate a film whose lead actor tells you that he didn't put in any effort in making it?
The answer is, you don't.
Sandler's films are like kidney stones. There is nothing you can do to avoid them. They give you pain from time to time, but all you can do is bear the pain and ignore it. Some audiences somehow like crass, unfunny jokes because they're better than their own gloomy lives. Sandler thrives on the misery of these people. The more depressed people get, the richer he becomes. The stupider the human race becomes, the wealthier and happier he becomes.
Such is the predicament of 'Blended', Sandler's latest paid vacation masquerading as a movie.
There is no plot as such. The film reunites Sandler and Drew Barrymore ten years after 50 First Dates. That time, the two vacationed in Hawaii, this time, they go on a trip to Africa. In both scenarios, the narrative is the same – Sandler talks in a funny voice, makes crass cheap jokes on everything under the sun, and the camera cuts to his friends laughing loudly at his lines, validating his comedic genius.
His previous films had siblings (Jack and Jill), brothers (That's My Boy) and children (Grown Ups 2). All of those films made money, so hey presto, in 'Blended', we have all of those three things, and animals in Africa. How fun is that!
When Sandler's 'Funny People' came out, I assumed he suddenly had a wake up call and decided to make good films, much like the wake-up call the protagonist gets in the film. It was not to be because 'Blended' simply joins the assembly line of godawful products 'Happy Madison' continues to churn out.
It's a lame rom-com, a lame melodrama, a lame slapstick and a lame attempt at schmaltz — all rolled into one horribly lame package.
It's shame because the film is directed by Frank Coraci, whose earlier projects with Sandler and Barrymore included the truly hilarious, 'Wedding Singer'. Can't blame these guys though, they just follow a simple norm – why try to put effort when you can get rich without trying. So go ahead, watch 'Blended' and give Sandler some more of your money.