Whenever I hear the name Adam Sandler, the first thought that comes to mind is the upbeat nineties, where everything is ‘cotton candy and rainbows’ and Adam Sandler made the world laugh with films like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and the Wedding Singer. However, the nineties came to an end, the rainbows and cotton candy became less frequent, then disappeared altogether. And the modern day Sandler appeared; an actor/comedian performing in an era that has moved on from appreciating his talents.
The film Blended, however, gives viewers glimpses into the simplicity that enabled actors like Sandler to flourish. His quick humour and lack of concern for political correctness, is present throughout the film. He does a convincing job of playing Jim, a widower with three girls who has been paired up with a borderline obsessive-compulsive Drew Barrymore (Lauren) on a couple’s vacation after the two met on a disastrous blind date. With both being in their forties and carrying “life baggage” including: children, Lauren’s ex-husband and Jim’s emotional ties to his late wife, the story makes for an interesting take on the modern family dynamic compared with wholesome 90’s family films.
Blended does not live up to expectations, when compared with the Sandler-Barrymore classic The Wedding Singer. This new collaboration between Sandler and Barrymore has a more wholesome family feel. It illustrates the day-to-day battles of solo parents and the difficulties of raising children alone. This depth of characterisation was surprising for me, and I found myself thoroughly engaged in several of Sandler’s scenes. This made me realised that although we viewers weren’t absolved of his excessive hooting and hollering, Sandler was able to play a respectable character.
Blended makes for a decent, modern adaption of a family flick with laughs and drama. Many Sandler critics may even be surprised by the performance he gives alongside his longtime on-screen Juliet: Drew Barrymore.