A&E / Reviews

Blended establishes itself as one of the best Sandler-Barrymore movies

304053id1c_Blended_Final_Rated_27x40_1Sheet_5C.inddAdam Sandler and Drew Barrymore have starred in several movies together, and despite what many may have thought when they first saw the previews, this movie was original and heartwarming with the two friends acting together again.

The plot of Blended itself is a new twist for Barrymore and Sandler, as they each play single parents raising their children on their own. Lauren, portrayed by Barrymore, is divorced, and Jim, played by Sandler, is widowed.

After losing his wife to cancer, Jim is left with his three daughters, tom-boyish yet beautiful Hilary, portrayed by Bella Thorne, the odd, middle-child Espn, played by Emma Fuhrmann and sweet little Lou, portrayed by Alyvia Alyn Lind. The four of them together make up a very odd family that may not be entirely believable in real life, but as a whole in the movie, they are comedic nonetheless, which is their purpose.

As far as casting goes for the roles of Jim’s daughters, Thorne, known for her role as Cece on Disney’s “Shake it Up,” does well in the movie and, though Fuhrmann and Lind are lesser known, they establish themselves as worthy of acting with Sandler.

Lauren is left to raise two boys on her own after her dead-beat now ex-husband cheats and she divorces him. Brendan, portrayed by Braxton Beckham, an awkward tweenager and Tyler, played by Kyle Red Silverstein, who struggles with the lack of a good father-figure, are Lauren’s sons that she is trying to raise in the best way possible despite the lack of a strong father-figure in their lives.

In real life Barrymore is the mother of two daughters: Olive who is two years old and Frankie who is two months old. Being the mom of two older children in the film, and boys nonetheless, she does well, though she does struggle with their differences. It is seen in the movie that she says to Jim that she enjoys spending time with his daughters, which indicates her longing for company of the same gender as far as children go.

After a bad blind date, which is set up by Lauren’s best friend/co-worker and her boyfriend–who is also the owner of Dick’s Sporting Goods where Jim works–Lauren and Jim find themselves completely un-attracted to each other because of their differences in personality: Jim being a widower and salesman and Lauren being a prominent professional closet organizer. Thier disgust towards each other is justifiable, especially considering the setting of their first date was at a Hooters. However, these feelings quickly change when they wind up on a wild Spring Break vacation intended for mixed families.

The movie is filled with laughable moments as well as several heart-to-heart scenes. This mix creates a balance between emotions, for example, after Lauren and Lou have a bonding moment in the bathroom, they exit to find Jim and one of her sons having a contest to see who can ride an ostrich longer. This allows the audience to genuinely follow along with what is happening in the movie. Humourous moments include when Lauren goes parasailing and the car towing her runs out of gas and she is forced to do a running landing.

Another aspect the comedy comes from Nickens, portrayed by Terry Crews, who is a hunky African singer at the resort where Jim, Lauren and their children are staying. He always appear just at the wrong moment, with an entire set of backup singers. At one point, the gang of them shows up while Jim and Hilary are playing basketball, but they only appear after Hilary has stormed off, leaving Jim behind to listen to the group sing of his troubles.

Some of the more touching scenes are when Lou asks him what he misses most about his wife and he lists off many of her loveable qualities. Another includes when Lauren sings the song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong to Lou at bedtime, unbeknownst to Lauren that that was the song that their biological mother would always sing to Lou and the other girls.

Ultimately, Blended is a must-see because of its new plot line filled with laughter as well as its stars: the iconic duo that is Sandler and Barrymore.

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