Blended Blu-ray Review
Recent divorcee Lauren Reynolds (Drew Barrymore) is single with two boys. Widow Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler) is single with three girls. They’re set up on a blind date and meet at Hooters, where Jim’s a regular. While she ducks off to the bathroom to tell her babysitter just how disastrous the night is, he chugs what’s left of her beer. When things somehow get worse, he takes a fake emergency phone call and leaves her with half of the bill.
By chance that can only happen in a movie as lame-brained as this, Lauren and her family and Jim and his family end up on the same trip to Africa. And then—would you believe it?—the kids are put together in the same suite and the parents are given the room that has a heart-shaped bed and a stripper pole. There are awkward moments that involve dinners, discos, couples massages, safaris, ostrich fights, bouncy bimbo boobs and the like. All of this, of course, somehow leads to the families bonding and a kiss before the credits roll.
BLENDED is the third onscreen pairing of Sandler and Barrymore, after 1998’s THE WEDDING SINGER and 2004’s 50 FIRST DATES. If you liked those romantic comedies, you very well could enjoy BLENDED, although all of whatever it was those movies may have had for you get obscured by jokes about children with low self-esteem, menstruation, small teenage breasts and all sorts of other topics that are uncomfortable to laugh at. That’s not to mention the humping rhinos, Shaquille O’Neal belly dancing and lion eating an orphaned pig.
THE WEDDING SINGER was quite likeable and 50 FIRST DATES had some sweet moments (looking past the genuinely creepy premise), but BLENDED is completely intolerable. It’s not funny, it’s not cute and it’s not charming, no matter how hard it tries to be all three. (Although it’s hard not to find something endearing about Drew Barrymore spitting up French onion soup.)
BLENDED is directed by Frank Coraci, whose previous credits 1998’s THE WATERBOY, 2011’s ZOOKEEPER and 2012’s HERE COMES THE BOOM. BLENDED is just as memorable as those, in that they’ll only be brought up as warnings the next time Coraci releases a movie.
One of the other issues with BLENDED has less to do with forced romance and a kid speaking like she’s possessed by the devil than it does the length. Clocking in at just under two hours, the movie is entirely too long and really only has enough plot for maybe 80 minutes or so. Clearly the leads are having fun (and getting a vacation to South Africa, which isn’t that bad of a work perk), but as the movie drags and some of the characters betray everything they’ve known for the sake of phony loves, it gets more and more difficult for the audience to find a reason to stick it through the whole trip, especially to see Drew Barrymore crash her parasail and Adam Sandler leave “zebra stripes” in his shorts.
BLENDED BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 1.85:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. This is a clean high-definition transfer that captures some of the beauty of the South African locales, as well as details and textures in clothing, skin and the sets.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitles in English, French and Spanish. The audio is unremarkable but suitable, with clean dialogue and fine sound effects.
Safari (3:13) takes viewers to some of the African locations used in the movie.
Animals (3:34): Featured are elephants, meerkats and more.
Parasailing (2:19) looks at the shooting of the parasailing scene with Drew Barrymore.
Ostriches (1:51) looks at the ostriches, which were really just men in blue costumes that the cast rode.
Dick’s Customer Service (2:27) sees Shaq goofing around on the set.
HerliHoops: Basketball Actor (1:06): Tim Herlihy, who played Basketball Dad in the movie, shows off his “skills.”
Adam and Drew: Back Together Again (2:21) observes behind-the-scenes moments with Sandler and Barrymore, who both offer comments on their relationship.
Bella Thorne’s Makeover (1:58) looks at the Thorne’s character’s transformation from tomboy to girl in dress.
Nickens (1:39) looks at Terry Crews’ character.
Georgia (2:40) takes the location to Georgia, where various scenes were shot.
Deleted Scenes (6:12): Collected here is a small chunk of deleted and extended scenes.
Gag Reel (5:53)