There is a lot about the family comedy Blended that reminded me of the Brady Bunch, from the mixed families of boys and girls, to the rampant political incorrectness of the 60s and the 70s. Except Blended takes place now.
Our Rating

Genre(s): Comedy

Director: Frank Coraci

Actors: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Bella Thorne, Kevin Nealon

Year: 2014

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Country: USA

Jim (Adam Sandler) is a single dad of three girls. Lauren (Drew Barrymore) is a single mom of two boys. Jim and Lauren meet at Hooters (har!) for a first date, where they initially bond over the fact that neither have been on a date since the previous millennium. Of course, it all goes dreadfully wrong, and they both leave in a huff.

Through a convoluted series of events, both Jim and Lauren, and their respective broods go to “Africa” on a dream vacation, but have to pretend that they are one of the “blended”-theme (race/divorce/death/gayness) families at the family recreation resort. Since “Africa” has lots of wild beasts, singing-and-dancing black people, and humiliating recreational activities, you can imagine hilarity ensues.

Of course, since Jim and Lauren’s kids are all obviously yearning for an opposite-sex parent, you know it is just a matter of time before they become the Brady Bunch. With the best Brady-Bunch-era values, Lauren’s pride is gussying up Jim’s teenage girl with hair extensions, makeup, and a dress, so she looks like a “real girl”. Jim’s pride is teaching Lauren’s son how to hit a baseball (really) and throw a punch (uh-huh), because that is what it means to be a “real boy”. Jim and Lauren just have to figure out that they actually DO kind of like each other, beyond just loving the other’s kids. (Sing it, the Bra-dy BUNCH…)

Strangely, Blended isn’t as gawd-awful as the trailer implied. Once you get over weird racism and the nuclear-family values combined with adult-style sex jokes, it is vaguely entertaining. I don’t think anyone minds seeing Drew and Adam together in a movie again (previously they co-starred in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates). As their characters warm to each other, you find yourself rooting for these good parents and they massage each other’s ears (yes). Their cute, natural chemistry almost makes up for the wince-inducing ostrich races. Almost.


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