Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blended Review

It's been a while since I've given an Adam Sandler comedy a shot, being that his recent movies include Grown Ups 2, That's My Boy and Jack and Jill. Yes, it's easy for people to hate on Adam Sandler and avoid all his movies, but there's been several Adam Sandler movies that I've enjoyed and I had reason to believe that Blended could be one of his better ones. First reason is that Adam Sandler teams up with Drew Barrymore for a third time. The other two times he did this were in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. Second, the director of this movie is Frank Coraci, who directed The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy and Click. All of those movies are Adam Sandler movies that I have enjoyed. So despite the awful reviews, I decided that I needed to at least try this one out and see what I think. Turns out that while this movie has a lot of problems, it is better than some of given it credit for. Not Sandler's best work, but not his worst either.

The plot of the movie is pretty predictable. Adam Sandler has recently gone through the death of his wife while Drew Barrymore has gone through a divorce. The movie starts with them on a blind date that goes terrible. Despite wanting nothing to do with each other, one thing leads to another and they find themselves on a trip to Africa with each other with their corresponding children. Have an idea of how the story goes from there? Yup! You'd be right. But that's not the point here. The movie is a comedy. Usually the purpose of a comedy isn't too be deep or unpredictable. It's to be funny. And I can forgive a predictable story if a comedy does a good job and makes me laugh. Did this movie do that? Yes, actually. I was nervous that I would walk out of this movie not having laughed once, but I got some good laughs. The problem was that I didn't get enough of them. For the most part, the movie was your typical Adam Sandler movie humor. Forced humor that wasn't funny. On-going gags that were drawn out throughout the whole movie. Unfunny dirty humor that was awkwardly placed at the wrong moments. A successful comedy is one where the humor flows naturally, and for the most part this movie failed at that.

Looking at Adam Sandler movies, most of them have this same style of stupid humor that I just roll my eyes at. And I expect that type of humor every time I watch one. I don't like it, but I expect it to be there. However, the good Adam Sandler movies are the ones that go beyond this. They don't just drive the stupid humor to the ground the whole time, they add some heart and emotion into it. Yes, the stupid humor is still there, but it's not overbearing to the point where I think the movie is complete trash. Examples of this are Click, 50 First Dates, Happy Gilmore and The Longest Yard. I was hoping that Blended would follow the formula for these movies by adding some heart and emotion that I bought into. And it almost happened. About halfway through, there begins to be times in the movie where the two families start bonding and there are many potentially great moments. But then they get ruined by attempted comedy. The African band keeps showing up. Adam Sandler makes a dumb one-liner. A joke is made about Sandler's oldest daughter looking like a man. And those moments totally killed the scene. It was as if the movie was worried that it was being too much of a drama, so it forced comedy into and thus self-destructed.

I know it wouldn't break your heart if I spoiled this movie, but I'm not going to. I will say, though, there finally comes a time in this movie where the stupid comedy is mostly dropped and the movie lets itself become a drama. The big problem here was that drama didn't flow as well as it could have. The movie was coming to a close and the movie knew that things needed to happen, so they just started happening and it wasn't believable. It tried to take us through a few twists and turns before it resolved itself but it didn't succeed. Finally, the final ten or so minutes of the movie was actually good. It added the heart and emotion that makes for good Adam Sandler movies and left the audience on a happy note. Good chemistry between Sandler and Barrymore helped the cause, but at this point it was too little, too late. Sure, I felt all happy inside, but ten minutes of happy didn't make up for the rest of the movie's antics.

Overall, I would say that if you like Adam Sandler's type of humor, you probably will enjoy this movie. Like I mentioned, I myself did have a few good laughs as well as a few moments where I felt happy inside. Because of this I hold to my statement that I have seen much worse from an Adam Sandler movie and thus the reviews from all around I feel are a little too harsh. At the same time, though, the movie shot itself in the foot too many times, thus preventing it from being as good as other Adam Sandler movies. So no, I can't give this movie a good grade, but you also won't see this on my worst movies of 2014 list because I have already seen plenty that are worse. In a crowded summer, I wouldn't recommend you put this high on your priority list, but if you've enjoyed Adam Sandler movies in the past, it may be worth a shot when it's cheaper and there's not much else to go see. I will give Blended a 6.5/10.

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