Friday, 30 May 2014


Smoothie Groovy

Critics scoff and film buffs rage, but in the face of all this vitriol, I remain partial to Adam Sandler family comedies. I have been a fan since Billy Madison, Little Nicky and Happy Gilmore all encountered my curious young mind at the turn of the millennium.

All the haters can drown in their own bile if they wish. Ultimately, Blended is sure to make lots of money and please many people in the process. Indeed, Sandler and chums will laugh their way to the bank with a perfectly clear conscience.

After a torturous first date, control-freak Lauren (Drew Barrymore) hopes to never meet her proposed match, Jim (Sandler), for a repeat rendezvous. Yet the couple are forced to renew their reluctant interactions when they both arrive on the same luxury African holiday accompanied by their motley kids.

Finding the bad aspects of this gentle comedy is easy enough. If you want to read that sort of vicious and pompous deconstruction then go somewhere else. My riposte to those critiques focuses on breaking with the crowd, highlighting the positives and nifty features of a harmless film.

Firstly, the script by Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera is a cheerful blend of ebullient humour and amusing, if childish, hijinks. As an extremely likable screen pairing, the two adult stars get the majority of the best lines but the children are still allowed to relish some enjoyable moments too.

Even a chorus of African soul singers light up the screen with their all-too brief fragmentary periods in the limelight, perhaps in an homage to Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite. Or maybe I am pushing my luck.

Interesting quirks are aplenty around the more obvious jokes. Not only does fast bowling legend Dale Steyn feature but also ‘Ten-Second Tom’ has a walk-on part. Of course, the return of Allen Covert’s character is a reference to the last Sandler-Barrymore vehicle, 50 First Dates.

Otherwise, I am willing to bemoan the movie’s sluggish start and final act. In between its flabby exterior however, Blended is a reasonable romp through affable territory.

To hell with the naysayers, Sandler deserves plenty of credit for repeatedly defying all the self-important culture critics which afflict our society. Grown Ups 2 made $249,984,278 at the global box office; get over it. Let the people decide what they want at their cinemas for themselves.


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