Blended (2014)

(On Cable TV, February 2015) Low expectations are a powerful thing: Given my track record with Adam Sandler’s most recent comedies, my overall lack of affection for Drew Barrymore, my general exasperation at broad family comedies and the rather pointed criticism of Blended as a borderline racist comedy, I really wasn’t expecting much from the time.  But it turns out that once you’re willing to cut a pick of slack to the film, Blended work relatively well as your average Hollywood family comedy.  Sandler of late seems to be settling into an innocuous father-figure comic archetype, not particularly funny but more palatable than his younger angry man-child persona.  Barrymore is unremarkable and there is some truth to the racism accusations (still, signing Terry Crews is hilarious even in his thankless role), but the African scenery is spectacular, the feeling of being in a five-star resort is credibly rendered, and there are amusing character moments here and there.  It’s not much (and Blended does not end on a high note by stretching out its foregone conclusion past the resort experience) but with the power of lowered expectations it’s just enough to be entertaining.

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