Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore make their third appearance onscreen together in the film “Blended,” now in theaters.
News Arts Critic Jeff Simon reviewed the film in Gusto this week and said “You’ll … need to overlook a lot to enjoy what genuine sweetness and humor there is in the film, which is sometimes a likably clichéd little film about blending families in suburban mall America.”
Here is what other critics had to say:
A.O. Scott, New York Times: “… I find myself more bothered by the sheer audience-insulting incompetence of the filmmaking and the writing. …Most of “Blended” has the look and pacing of a three-camera sitcom filmed by a bunch of eighth-graders and conceived by their less bright classmates. Shots don’t match. Jokes misfire. Gags that are visible from a mile away fail to deliver. Two rhinos are seen copulating by the side of a swimming pool, and someone has the wit to say, ‘That’s not something you see in New Jersey.’ Not funny on so many levels.”
Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, gave it 1 1/2 stars or a D-plus): “Every set-up is an eye-roller. Jim (Sandler) and Lauren (Barrymore) stumble into each other at the drug store. He’s cluelessly buying tampons for his teen, she’s replacing a porn mag she ripped up for her teen. Gags and one-liners that would be discarded in a better comedy are trotted out and then underlined here. When Lauren gives the tomboy ‘Larry’ a girlish makeover, she debuts hearing ‘I’m Every Woman’ in her head, her possible new beau hears ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ while her dad panics and hears ‘It’s the End of the World, as We Know It.’ Hilarious. Let’s repeat that musical joke, shall we? They do.”
Rick Bentley, Fresno Bee gave it an F: “If you can get through the first 20 minutes of ‘Blended,’ a nonstop regurgitation of old jokes, annoying characters and unfunny ideas – don’t relax. It gets worse. … The film might not have been such a disappointment if Sandler and Barrymore hadn’t had so much chemistry in “50 First Dates” and “The Wedding Singer.” None of the connections they made in those films are present here. They just muddle through the film, pausing long enough to let Sandler improvise a few jokeless lines.”
Mick LaSalle, San Franciso Chronicle: “Badly made and poorly written, ‘Blended’ is a rehash of Adam Sandler’s 2011 comedy ‘Just Go With It,’ only without Jennifer Aniston and without laughs. It not only gets the big things wrong. It gets the small, easy things wrong. … Every plot detail can be seen from a mile off, but in a romantic comedy that’s never a problem. The problem is that what we see, off in the distance, we don’t necessarily like. The script may be the main culprit, but there is simply nothing in Sandler and Barrymore’s interaction to make an audience want to see them together. Moreover, it’s not even clear who’d be getting the worst of it. Neither of these actors, who have been quite appealing before, are particularly winning here, and blending them (or sticking them into the same food processor) doesn’t help at all.”