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Movie Review: “Blended” is Nothing more than a Desirable Trip to Africa

Let’s begin with the real star of this film, Africa!  It is one of the most beautiful locations to visit for either a romantic getaway or a fun-filled family vacation.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about this generic romantic comedy that sadly does no favors for Happy Madison productions.

We’ve grown accustomed to Adam Sandler’s raunchy and outlandish sense of humor, which for a good period of time produced authentic comedies.   Recently, Sandler’s projects have been quite the disappointment.  Obviously it’s hard to top Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore, but among his past flubs there are some truly wonderful classics.  The Wedding Singer is easily one of his greater films.  It’s the first time we got see an enchanting blend of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.  The chemistry was there, and I don’t blame Sandler for wanting to continue making movies with the adorable comedic actress.  Seven years after their first collaboration, they reunited for the off-beat comedy, 50 First Dates.  Given this was such a unique story and their chemistry was slightly apparent, I would categorize 50 First Dates in the “wonderful classics” pile.  Not my favorite, but definitely a memorable romantic comedy.  Now, after nine years since their second film, the two have joined forces once again for their new family rom-com, Blended.

After Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) endure a horrible blind date they hope to never cross paths again.  Jim a widowed father with 3 girls is still grieving his deceased wife.   Lauren a divorced mother with 2 boys just wants to bring romance back into her life.  While dealing with their own personal issues, they make sure to put their kids’ happiness first.  So when they get the chance to vacation in a luxurious African resort, the single parents jump at the opportunity hoping their kids will be thrilled.  Unfortunately they have been suckered into a family “blending” vacation, purposely meant to bring families closer together.  Oh no!  But they hate each other… I think you can already see where this is going.

Blended is not as bad as the trailers make it look, especially if you compare it to movies like Jack and Jill or That’s My Boy.  It’s a cute film. The problem is there isn’t anything special about this story to make it stand out.  In fact, his flubs may stand out more just because they were that bad.  This is a forced love story with the most cliché subplots, and the expected slap-stick moments.  The climax had to be the weakest turning point I’ve seen in any romantic comedy.

I did enjoy seeing Adam Sandler play a loving father for once.  And though he and Barrymore still play off each other well, they seemed to have lost their romantic spark in this film.  All the kids did a nice job.   Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) had some laugh out loud moments as the tomboy daughter desperate to show her feminine side.  Terry Crews (White Chicks) makes for some chuckles as the ultra-exuberant, wide-eyed, muscled lead singer of the resort’s Thathoo Harmony Group.  Also, keep an eye out for some familiar faces you’ll recognize from the stars’ past two films.

Blended is a sweet and at times heartfelt film that is exceptionally fun while watching, but when it’s over you’ll remember the scenery and not necessarily the scenes.

Rating: 2.5/5

Blended hits theaters May 23.

 “Blended” Official Trailer HD

Originally posted on

Movie Review: ‘Barefoot’ Starts With Potential, But Falls Completely Flat

For those of you who enjoyed the film Mad Love (1995) with Drew Barrymore and Chris O’Donnell, don’t get your hopes with this dull knock-off.

Barefoot begins like any classic romantic comedy.  The reckless womanizer, Jay (Scott Speedman) tries to sneak off in the morning to avoid having to buy breakfast for the girl he just slept with.  You know these guys;  they just won’t “ever” commit!  But things take a more dramatic turn when Jay’s real problems get out of hand.   He owes a huge gambling debt to some dangerous men.  Luckily for Jay, his brother is getting married.  This means Jay can have the perfect opportunity to ask his rich parents for money, in the most subtle way possible of course.  Only one problem, his family thinks he has an incredible girlfriend that’s a nurse.  After being rejected many times, Jay meets Daisy (Evan Rachel Wood), a mental patient at the hospital where he works as a janitor.  After a series of events, Jay takes Daisy as his girlfriend for the weekend; only causing more issues for the two further down the road.

I was just so disappointed in this film.  I guess I shouldn’t have expected much, given the title.  By the way, the reason the film is called “Barefoot” is because Daisy hates wearing shoes.  They hurt her feet.  But even if you put that fact aside, this film was just a sloppy mess.  All the problems presented in the film get bounced around.  When they are eventually addressed, they are resolved in a half-ass manner.

Sadly enough, what made this film lose all hope was the complete lack of chemistry between Speedman and Wood.  I mean it’s a love story!  Were the casting directors present during the two’s audition?  I can deal with the ridiculous thought of a playboy changing his ways for a nut job, but I can’t believe he would fall for that nut job when it is apparent that their relationship comes off sibling like.  The character Daisy has to be one of the most annoying female love interests I’ve seen in a long time.  The worst part is the moments she’s meant to be funny, come off random and awkward.  There is not one part in this film where they have a true connection, or pull off a believable romance.  Their relationship is so forced.  Honestly, because I felt more like she was his annoying little sister, it was also creepy.

I love both Speedman and Wood as actors, but clearly not together.  And I know they have managed some great romantic chemistry with a variety of other actors.  The saving grace in this film was the refreshing performance by Treat Williams (Everwood) who plays Jay’s father, and is the only sensible person.

If this movie had provided a passionate love story of two lost souls, completely different and desperate to find one another, the rest of the film would have been tolerable.  Take Mad Love for example.  They addressed the issues of a serious mental condition and included a raw romance that you ached for while watching. Barefoot, unfortunately, missed that mark.

Barefoot opens in select theaters February 21.

Originally posted on