Blended - review
Directed by Frank Coraci
Things you could do instead of watching Adam Sandler’s latest rom-com include: anything else. Once, a long, long time ago, around the time of The Wedding Singer, Sandler had a fresh-faced promise that felt like it might grow into something exciting.
Instead, and in spite of the absurd, infantile comedy he and his mates are very talented at, almost everything he lends his famous face and wacky voice to fits within a socially conservative, 1950s view of American society.
In Blended, Sandler and Drew Barrymore are solo parents sent on an awkward date who later find themselves thrown together at the same holiday resort. He’s a dad of three girls; she’s a mum of two boys. Even a blind squid can see where this is going, so I am not afraid to spoil it before it spoils you.
Against the weird backdrop of South African super-resort Sun City (I couldn’t stop Steve Van Zandt’s protest song from ringing in my ears), perfectly interesting tomboys are thrust into short skirts; sweet-natured boys are forced to grow some balls, and a highly successful career woman who has thus far managed to avoid nappies will, improbably, become stepmom to five children.
Sandler does have a subversive streak. Let’s call it “Stealth Misogyny”. Here’s an example: when Barrymore’s character, on the fateful blind date, blurts out, “No wonder your wife left you,” Sandler’s character throws down with, “My wife died.” Points to Sandler! We also discover that the reason he knows all the Hooters waitresses by name is that his wife used to be their boss. Awwww. More points to Sandler!
Let it be a lesson for aspiring white-bread comics everywhere: the sympathy card trumps sexism every time, and fucked if he didn’t squeeze a few tears out of me, the clever shit.