Blended (d. Frank Coraci USA 2014)

Blended (d. Frank Coraci USA 2014)

 

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

 

Entertainment: starfish starfish  starfish

Performances: starfish starfish starfish 

Predictability: starfish  

Technical: starfish starfish

 

Introduction – A ‘Shotgun Comedy’?

A ‘Shotgun Comedy’ is a comedy film where one has a basic premise and then a studio gives it a popular star and goes with it. Examples include Yes Man (d. Peyton Reed USA/Australia 2008) about a man who can’t say no, with Jim Carrey, and Jack (d. Francis Ford Coppola USA 1996) where a boy grows too fast and looks like an adult, with Robin Williams, and The 40-Year Old Virgin (d. Judd Apatow USA 2005) about a 40-year old virgin, with Steve Carell, some are no surprises as it is in the title. They are usually far from original but usually quite entertaining, they just won’t stand the test of time. Unfortunately one of the actors that can be largely associated with ‘Shotgun Comedies’, is Adam Sandler – consider Click (d. Frank Coraci USA 2006), 50 First Dates (d. Peter Segal USA 2004) and Billy Madison (d. Tamra Davis USA 1995). Now, this is not to say the films aren’t entertaining or well made, just that you could consider them to be ‘Shotgun Comedies’. The films are successful largely due to the performance of Adam Sandler. If you don’t get his comedy, chances are, you won’t like the films. Blended is one such film.

 

Acting

As previously stated, a ‘Shotgun Comedy’ relies heavily upon its star actor and so performances are very important. It goes without saying that if you dislike Adam Sandler, this is likely not a film for you. The film deals with two families and so there is the potential for so much more in the performances. However, the script renders characters as bit parts and so are rather 2-Dimensional. They are there for a joke and for the joke alone. Few actors are able to break free from this mould. The exceptions are Adam Sandler as himself and Drew Barrymore as herself and finally a few good moments for Bella Thorne, which are ultimately undermined by the narrative. Many of the other side line characters play stereotypes and this is just like the films use of the location of Africa.

 

Narrative

The narrative is predictable and monotonous, getting us from joke to joke. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore as the same old characters playing the same old song. The narrative is never completely inept but just over used – it creates interest and the leads get us through each point even as we see them approach. Some of the themes of the film feel thrown in as if trying to get the standard points in. Young versus old. If you are good and understanding it will all work out even if the ride is bumpy. Sometimes you have to change to get what you want. SPOILER: A pivotal plot point undermines performance and character, when an initial suggestion ‘Go and talk to him.’ is thrown away in favour of a make over scene. As we all know if you change your hair and clothes you will find love and psychology has little to do with it.

 

Conclusion

When it is all done, we leave the cinema happy and entertained. That was good wasn’t it? But was the film any more than a cheap laugh? Do you remember the film? It’s good to pass the time or fall asleep to. Try not to take the offensive 2-dimensional characters or standard plot points too seriously. This film tries to bring a smile to your face. Just nothing more.

 

Synopsis

Guy meets girl, they hate each other. With opposite families and a holiday abroad they shall soon be blended into one happy family.

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Interview with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore

Interviews with the Cast

Interview with Frank Coraci

Adam Sandler Moments



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