By Candace Salima, Senior Contributor, US Daily Review
Director: Frank Coraci
Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore and Bella Thorne
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rating/Runtime: PG-13 / 117 Minutes
After a really bad blind date, Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) swear to never see each other again. However, circumstances change and they end up on an African trip with their children, the exact same trip.
Her friend was dating his boss and their relationship takes a quick turn south, hence Jim and Lauren ending up at the same resort.
Being an Adam Sandler film there’s no question the humor factor is high, as is the crudity on occasion. However, I found myself really enjoying the movie.
The love story moved along, but was really secondary to the children. Jim is a sports guy, through and through, and he has three girls who have been groomed into being tomboys. The boys, on the other hand, struggle with an absent father and a devoted mother who doesn’t quite get them and is over-the-top organized. Lauren takes his daughters under her wing, and Jim takes her sons under his. Disney’s Bella Thorne joins them as Jim’s daughter struggling to be seen as the beautiful girl she is rather than the boy everyone keeps taking her for. Add in an African “Greek Chorus” that crops up at every opportunity, and you’ve got an element of the ridiculous added to the mix.
With that foundation the hilarity ensues, and this movie ends up being 117 minutes of pure fun. Sandler and Barrymore have good onscreen chemistry, and they make a plausible couple. Everyone who’s seen Fifty First Dates, in my sphere, unequivocally states that Blended is funnier and more engaging and I agree. The story structure is good, the dialogue is witty and the scenarios they find themselves in are plausible enough to be very funny.
All in all, this is a great date night, or family night with children thirteen and older. So grab that popcorn and your drink of choice, and settle in for an entertaining couple of hours.
3 1/2 Stars out of Five
Candace E. Salima is an author, public speaker and popular guest on radio shows across the nation. Learn more about her at www.candacesalima.com.