Blended far from best

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - CARIS BIZZACA

ADAM San­dler’s lat­est of­fer­ing Blended is like one long, bad dad joke. And like all ter­ri­ble dad jokes, it’s very oc­ca­sion­ally amus­ing, but most of the time gags are met with cringey si­lence, or those awk­ward, em­bar­rassed “I can’t be­lieve you just said that” kind of laughs.

Any­thing that ini­tially gets a chuckle is milked for all it’s worth and re­peated sev­eral times through­out over the oh- so- long 117- minute run­time.

In Blended, San­dler continues his streak of dis­as­trous fam­ily come­dies, but ropes Drew Bar­ry­more in for the ride as well.

It’s the first time the pair have ap­peared on­screen since the 2004 rom- com 50 First Dates, and 16 years since they first won au­di­ences over with their adorable charm in The Wed­ding Singer. But this isn’t any­where near the same league as those beloved films.

In Blended, they star as sin­gle par­ents Lauren and Jim, who are paired to­gether on a dis­as­trous first date. Each hop­ing to never see the other again, they find them­selves and their chil­dren stuck at the same African fam­ily re­sort for a hol­i­day.

Lauren has two un­con­trol­lable sons she doesn’t un­der­stand, and Jim has three girls he clue­lessly treats like boys, go­ing as far as giv­ing them page­boy hair­cuts and call­ing the old­est Larry in­stead of Hi­lary. But of course, Lauren and Jim’s moth­erly/ fa­therly pres­ence be­gins to bring the fam­i­lies closer.

This is an awk­ward, silly fam­ily com­edy packed with hor­ren­dous stereo­types, but there are brief mo­ments that work.

When Bar­ry­more sings the three girls to sleep, re­mind­ing them of their late mother, it’s quite touch­ing.

Bar­ry­more her­self is also a plus to the film, her like­able on- screen pres­ence mak­ing it more bear­able. But then they flash to a shot of rhi­nos hump­ing, or an­other scene with Terry Crews pranc­ing about, or yet an­other ju­ve­nile slap­stick com­edy gag. You get the idea.

There’s a cricket ref­er­ence that Aussies will no doubt latch onto and sev­eral nods to The Wed­ding Singer and 50 First Dates.

How­ever, while these are meant to be a lit­tle wink to fans, they in­stead serve as a re­minder of what you’re ac­tu­ally miss­ing out on.

As a fam­ily com­edy, this is lazy, lazy, lazy, but you can see young kids get­ting a kick out of it. For adults, your best bet is to go in with se­verely low ex­pec­ta­tions.

As a movie for fans of San­dler and Bar­ry­more’s de­light­ful Wed­ding Singer/ 50 First Dates combo – just stay at home with those DVDs in­stead. BLENDED Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

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