run time: 117 mins
director: Frank Coraci
starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kevin Nealon, Terry Crews, Emma Fuhrmann, Bella Thorne, Braxton Beckham, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Joel McHale, Abdoulaye NGom, Kyle Red Silverstein, Zak Henri, Jessica Lowe, Shaquille O’Neal, Dan Patrick
movie summary: One night at a Hooters’ bar, Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) have a blind date that goes horribly wrong. They agree to never meet again until fate steps in and they have a chance run in at the local drug store. The store messes up their credit cards so Jim tracks Lauren down to exchange them when they learn a mutual friend has booked a trip to Africa and they now have to cancel. In attempt to become the coolest parents ever, they try to secure the trips for themselves, only to end up in Africa together.
Jim has three daughters Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind), Espn (Emma Fuhrmann), and Hilary (Bella Thorne). He lost his childhood sweetheart a few years prior to cancer, and hasn’t been out on a date since before he was a teenager. Lauren on other hand has two reckless boys Brendan (Braxton Beckham) and Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein) from her previous marriage to Mark (Joel McHale). Together they both have hectic and stressful lives raising kids of the opposite sex all alone. After the horrible blind date, both Jim and Lauren meet at the drug store. Jim needs to buy Hilary some tampons, while Lauren needs to replace her son’s dirty magazines that she discovered and torn to shreds. They agree to purchase each other’s items to avoid embarrassment when their cards gets messed up the check out. The next day Jim goes to Lauren’s house to exchange the cards when he finds her best friend Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey) complaining that she can’t go on a trip to Africa with her boyfriend Dick (Dan Patrick). Jim realizes Dick is his boss so as soon as he leaves the house he calls him to offer to take the trip off his hands, while Lauren begs Jen to give her the other half of the trip.
A few days later Jim, Lou, Espn, and Hilary are walking around the lobby in a beautiful African grand hotel when they run into Lauren, Brendan, and Tyler. The awkward meeting and greet is rushed along by the Mfana (Abdoulaye NGom) who is their trip coordinator and will usher them to their rooms and be their tour guide when they go sightseeing. The group debated over which rooms to take before heading down to dinner where they find out the resort is filled with other blended families. The seven of them sit down for dinner and engage in awkward dinner talk with a couple that is madly in love with each other and not afraid to show it public. Everyone there thinks Jim and Lauren are together when in fact they have grown to hate each other even more since their first blind date.
Over the next two days the pair try their best to avoid each other until dinner time. Through out the day the kids try different activities but always seem to bump into each other, which soon leaves Jim with the boys and Lauren with the girls. Both parents are set in their ways about how they want their kids raised but once the other gets involved the kids begin to have fun but in different ways. Lauren begins to open the girls up while getting Hilary a make over so she can impress a cute boy. Jim meanwhile teaches Tyler to play baseball and Brendan to box. By the end of the week everyone is having a blast together while Jim and Lauren begin to form a romantic spark. On the second to last night of their trip Jim puts together a really special romantic dinner for a chance to do over their first date. Just when the pair are about to have their first kiss Jim pulls back because he’s not ready for a relationship. Lauren is heartbroken because she has come to know that he can be a great dad and actually wants to be with him. The families return home and go their separate ways until Jim realizes his mistake and goes to get Lauren back only that he may be too late.
my thoughts: Does anyone remember back to the 1990’s when Adam Sandler made good movies? One of Hollywood’s funniest guys has had an epic fall from grace over the last 15 years. Whenever one of his new movies come out his best friends fill out the cast and the laughs don’t fill out the movie. I personally loved Just Go With It, but in all honestly it’s not a funny slap stick kinda movie like the Waterboy or Billy Madison. When he teamed up with Drew Barrymore in the Wedding Singer the pair found great success together which prompted a second go at it with 50 First Dates. I personally never liked either one of those movies so forgive me for not having any expectations for their third time together in Blended.
The story is very predictable and pointless. I felt like I was actually watching sequel to Just Go With It because Sandler has to go on vacation to fall in love with someone he could have just been with back home. I don’t like Barrymore all that much so when Sandler was falling in love with her I was just asking myself “why?” Their kids are at different stages of their young lives with their own unique problems. It would take a lot of patience to deal with someone else’s kids let alone these kids. One is extremely jealous, one has anger issues, one is over self-conscious, one is looking for a mother figure, and one still thinks her mom talks to her. Most of us would understand the struggles Sandler and Barrymore go through but the story doesn’t really focus on that, it just decides to paint the picture that when the kids and adults have fun all their problems magically go away and love always wins.
Usually I am thrilled when Sandler releases a movie because his stupidity and wise ass comments will always make me laugh. I did chuckle a few times throughout this movie but in the end I was not impressed with Blended and will not recommend it to anyone.
my star rating: 4 out 10
imdb.com: 5.6 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 15% out 100%