Frank Coraci, known for The Wedding Singer (1998) and Click (2006) gets back on the big screen with a new romantic comedy starring habitués Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, this time as single parents struggling to let love back into their lives.
Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Barrymore) have their blind first date at Hooters, and it cannot go worse. Jim is a widow with three daughters, and no clue about femininity (or girl hairstyles), whereas Lauren is a professional wardrobe organizer (!) with two young boys and a cheating ex-husband. And yes, they hate each other’s guts, but fate keeps throwing them together, ending on an all-included family and romance safari in South Africa. There both families are forced to spend time together, always shadowed by lustful couple Eddy (Kevin Nealon) and Bouncy-Breasts, together with emo teenager boy Jack (Zak Henri) and a borderline racist/stereotypical choir that insists on singing the title of the film at every moment, in case we forgot.
Sandler has not done a good movie for some time now, and though Blended has its funny moments (most of them already given away by the trailer, alas), it is not a return to his glorious good shape. The film adds nothing new to the genre, on the contrary – it blends (see what we’re doing here?) several old-trail storylines into one big happy, family-sized Sunday afternoon film, that unfortunately lacks the soul of being a less, er, all-crowd pleaser.
Where veterans like Wendi McLendon-Covey fail (“we need someone to play an annoying friend – who are we gonna call?”), the freshness of Blended comes from one of the youngest actors – Alyvia Alyn Lind, who plays Lou, Jim’s baby girl, and can do the scariest exorcist-style voice. All other characters feel paper thin, under-developed and frankly a bit too cartoonish even for Disney.
An okay popcorn, all family gather together film, but that feels a bit too much like the awkward parental joke to be totally enjoyable.
Blended will be in UK cinemas on May 23rd.