Director: Frank Coraci
Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore
There is absolutely nothing in Blended that you haven’t seen before, from the tomboy who turns into a beautiful swan to the baseball rookie who hits a home run. There’s little new in what Sandler does here, from playing the goofy loving father naturally good at everything to not holding back on anything to extract a few extra laughts. What’s different is Barrymore, who brings such creditable warmth to her role that you want to believe all of it — be it professions such as ‘closet organisers’ in America, or vacations such as ‘familymooners’ in Africa. Barrymore’s Lauren runs a business called ‘Closet Queens (and she sees nothing awkward in that)’ while Africa’s luxury hotels plan out trips where mixed-couple American families can “blend”.
So that’s what brings widowed Jim (Sandler) and his three daughters, in badly cropped hair and tracksuits, together with divorced Lauren’s two unruly sons (a highly sexual 13-year-old, and a younger one with anger issues). Jim and Lauren know each other from a blind date gone wrong, and sparks fly when the two first meet.
Coraci, who has directed the two before in The Wedding Singer, does well in not letting their fights become too unreasonable or blown out of proportion for the warming-up to look too cheesy. Where Blended repeatedly falters is in not resisting the urge for jarring cheap laughs, and at the same time playing out good jokes well past their punch line.