Three Times a Charm for Sandler and Barrymore on Silly Slapstick Safari

115970_galBlended

Film Review by Kam Williams

Three Times a Charm for Sandler and Barrymore on Silly Slapstick Safari

Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler) is a widower who’s raising three daughters on his own. Since the macho man’s man is clueless about girls, he’s been slowly turning them into tomboys, between the Prince Valiant haircuts and referring to them by the masculine nicknames Larry (Bella Thorne), Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind) and ESPN (Emma Fuhrmann).

By contrast, Lauren Reynolds’ (Drew Barrymore) plight is practically the polar opposite. The frazzled, very feminine divorcee is being driven crazy by her testosterone-sodden sons, pubescent Brendan (Braxton Beckham) and hyperactive ‘tween Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein). The former’s hormones are raging, while his little brother’s pyromania has his mother seriously considering starting him on a Ritalin regimen.

Neither Jim nor Lauren had been on a date in ages until they made each other’s acquaintance online. They agreed to meet for drinks, and the prospects looked promising, given how her sons’ need for a father figure conveniently dovetailed with his daughters’ for maternal guidance.

Unfortunately, rendezvousing at Hooters turned out to be a bad idea, due to Jim’s paying more attention to the waitresses and to the basketball game on TV than to Lauren. So, the two chalked the unmitigated disaster up to experience, and went their separate way, never expecting to see each other ever again.

But, through a highly-improbable series of coincidences, both of their families end-up booked on the same flight to South Africa for an all expenses-paid vacation where they’ll have to share a hotel suite at a luxury resort. Will Jim take advantage of his second chance to make a first impression?

That is the quandary established at the outset of Blended, the third romantic romp revolving around an Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore collaboration (along with The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates). But before the audience has an answer, the pair and their progeny must first indulge in the sort of stupid-funny fare that made Sandler famous.

The kitchen sink comedy then proceeds to throw anything up on the screen for a laugh (especially pecs-popping, scene-stealer Terry Crews as the irrepressible local entertainer), regardless of whether or not a skit fits into the plot or furthers the storyline. As dumb as the jokes were (and they are often plenty dumb), I have to admit that I frequently found myself laughing in spite of myself.

Call me bwana, but it’s three times a charm for Sandler and Barrymore on this totally-silly surfin’ safari!

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity, sexuality and crude humor

Running time: 117 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers

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