Blended
PG-13
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: -2

Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler. Romantic comedy. Written by Ivan Menchell, Clare Sera. Directed by Frank Coraci.

FILM SYNOPSIS: After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families in Africa, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I may have outgrown the rom/com genre, as most entries from this decade have become as alike as the previous ten. But my main problem with this film stems from the coarse material the filmmakers try to put a family-friendly face on. From an abundant use of preteen masturbation jokes to several sexual innuendos, each as subtle as a heart attack, the humor never gets past a mild chuckle. Ms. Barrymore says “oh my God” so many times, you’d think she belonged in a music video featuring Valley girls. And while Mr. Sandler works great with kids, the mixing of tone gives the children’s problems no more depth than found on a Network sit-com.

Kevin Nealon has a supporting role, doing the same gags he does in all of his Saturday Night Live alumni’s movies. And supporting actress Jessica Lowe jiggles her breasts in nearly every scene she appears. Even if you found that bit funny the first three or four times, surely by jiggle number ten it would wear thin for even the most devout mammary fan.

Even if you can only muster lowbrow humor, shouldn’t it at least be funny (Blazing Saddles is a good example)? Here, the jokes and the situations just aren’t that funny.

And for a film set in Africa, where’s Africa?

DVD Alternatives: I understand the sensibilities of moviegoers have changed, so perhaps my aged suggestions will meet with some eye-rolling, but here goes:

Yours, Mine and Ours. Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda. Based on a true story of a widow with eight kids who marries a widower with ten. Lucy is very funny in this film for the whole family.

An Affair to Remember.Corny, yes, but classy. It was nominated for four Academy Awards in 1958 including Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Music: Original Song and Best Music: Scoring. In this poignant and humorous love story, Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr meet on an ocean liner and fall deeply in love. Though each is engaged to someone else, they agree to meet six months later at the Empire State Building if they still feel the same way about each other. But a tragic accident prevents their rendezvous and the lovers’ future takes an emotional and uncertain turn.

The Awful Truth. This classic screwball comedy has Cary Grant and Irene Dunne as a divorced couple sabotaging each other’s new relationships. Grant displays an expert touch with sophisticated agitation and reveals a mastery with comic physicality.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Warner Bros.

Summary
Crude Language: Crude humor sprinkled between heart-tugging moments.
Obscene Language: Two or three uses of the s-word and a couple of minor expletives.
Profanity: “Oh my god” is spoken at least 12 times.
Violence: A couple of slapstick situations.
Sexual Intercourse: The camera follows closely the behind of many a woman in this so-called family film.
Nudity: Brief shot of woman in a men’s magazine.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Other than some wine drinking, there are no drugs.
Other: Other laughs are intended from the guy buying a feminine product for his daughter, kids.
Running Time: 117 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up

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