Blended is a 2014 American romantic comedy film directed by Frank Coraci, and written by Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera. It stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, with an ensemble cast featuring Bella Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann, Terry Crews, Joel McHale, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kevin Nealon and Shaquille O'Neal. It was released on May 23, 2014.
The film marked the third time Sandler and Barrymore co-starred in a film together, after The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. Coraci also previously directed Sandler and Barrymore in The Wedding Singer. It also marked Sandler's first role in a Warner Bros. film.
Divorcee Lauren Reynolds (Drew Barrymore) goes on a blind date with widower Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler) at Hooters; it goes badly. Lauren talks at work to her friend Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey) about the experience. Jim discusses his date with his co-worker. They both agree in the separate discussions that things could have gone better. Lauren and Jim run into each other while on errands to the pharmacy to get a personal item for one of their own children. They attempt to avoid embarrassment by these purchases and switch between themselves. Jim attempts to sort out the mess by going over to Lauren's to exchange. Jen is at Lauren's and has broken up with her boyfriend Dick (Dan Patrick), Jim's boss, although they had already paid for a trip to Africa. Lauren committed to using Jen's portion of the holiday without knowing that Jim intended using Dick's. Also, the hotel accommodation for Jen and Dick was a romantic suite.
The families are put together for a "blended familymoon", where they get together with other couples, including the oversexed Eddy (Kevin Nealon) and Ginger (Jessica Lowe), Eddy's new bride and quite his junior to the chagrin of their teenage son Jake (Zak Henri), whom Hilary develops a crush on at first sight.
The kids make an awkward impression with each other, with Brendan calling his mom "hot," and the others not knowing how to react to Espn acting like her mom is there with her, as she is not ready to let go of her quite yet. Over time though, they begin to bond with each other and each other's parent.
Jim makes the boys happy by helping them with adventurous sports and they slowly warm up to him, ultimately seeing him as a father figure they needed, while Lauren takes care of the girls, and helps Hilary to change her tomboyish look into a more feminine one drawing the attention of Jake, who becomes her boyfriend. Jim is pleasantly surprised by her change of appearance and he and Lauren begin to warm up to each other as time passes. They inadvertently get together for a couples massage and have fun with each other. Afterwards, the girls prove their affection for Lauren, when Lou asks for her to put her to bed. Lauren does so and sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which, unknown to her, was the song Lou's mom used to sing. The other girls pretend to sleep, while realizing how much they truly love Lauren. She returns this feeling when she maternally kisses each girl's forehead as she says goodnight. Jim starts to realize the depth of his feelings for Lauren.
On the last night of the trip, Lauren puts on a beautiful black dress that she admired earlier. She wears it that evening and receives admiration from everyone. While the children are pulled away for a kids-only buffet, Jake briefly smiles at Ginger, causing her to tearfully tell Eddy how truly happy she is, and them to agree that they are ultimately going to be a beautiful family. Meanwhile, Jim and Lauren are sat down for a romantic dinner, which Lauren soon discovers was actually planned by Jim specifically for her. They chat briefly about basic parenting techniques and then pull in for a kiss; however, at the last second, Jim pulls away, apologizing and explaining that he "can't do it".
After returning home, Jim realizes he misses Lauren and that he's fallen in love with her, which he admits to his daughters who are ecstatic with the news. Although Espn is not fully ready to move on from her mother's passing, she also doesn't want her dad, or herself to lose Lauren. She starts to move on by telling her dad that her mom said that she had other things to do in Heaven and wouldn't be around as much (and of course, to increase her allowance). At the kids' behest, Jim goes to Lauren's house to give her flowers, only to find her ex-husband Mark there, pretending to be back with Lauren. Tyler gets excited to see Jim and wants to play ball, but Jim sadly leaves and Mark bails on his son again. Mark later tries to make a move on Lauren, but she refuses because of his continuous failure to be a good father, as well as having an affair with his receptionist during their marriage.
That following Saturday, Lauren and Brendan go to support Tyler at his game, along with Jen, Dick, whom Jen has worked things out with, and his kids. Mark, once again, is a no-show. Jim and his daughters arrive to show encouragement, inspiring Tyler to hit the ball. Jim then finds Lauren and they admit to wanting to be together, and they finally kiss, to the happiness of their kids, who realize that they are already a family.
- Adam Sandler as Jim Friedman
- Drew Barrymore as Lauren Reynolds
- Bella Thorne as Hilary "Larry" Friedman
- Emma Fuhrmann as Espn Friedman
- Braxton Beckham as Brendan Reynolds
- Alyvia Alyn Lind as Louise "Lou" Friedman
- Kyle Red Silverstein as Tyler Reynolds
- Terry Crews as Nickens
- Kevin Nealon as Eddy Warnick
- Jessica Lowe as Ginger Warnick
- Zak Henri as Jake Warnick
- Wendi McLendon-Covey as Jen Palmer
- Shaquille O'Neal as Doug
- Abdoulaye N'Gom as Mfana
- Joel McHale as Mark
- Dan Patrick as Dick
- Lauren Lapkus as Tracy
- Alexis Arquette as Georgina (a reference to "George" from The Wedding Singer)
- Allen Covert as 10 Second Tom (a reference to "10 Second Tom" from 50 First Dates)
- Mary Pat Gleason as Pharmacy cashier
- Dale Steyn, a South African cricketer, as himself
- George H. Washington as Busts
Wendi McLendon-Covey joined the cast of the film on July 31, 2013; she played Barrymore's character's best friend, who does not have any children. Chelsea Handler was previously cast in this role. On July 31, 2013, Warner Bros. changed the title from Blended to The Familymoon, before reverting to its original title later that year.
Principal photography for Blended took place in Sun City, South Africa; some scenes were filmed near Lake Lanier, Buford, and Gainesville in Georgia, USA. Warner Bros. co-produced the film with Happy Madison Productions.
Blended received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 14% based on 131 reviews with an average rating of 3.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Lurching between slapstick and schmaltz without showing much of a commitment to either, Blended commits the rare Sandler sin of provoking little more than boredom." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 31 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.
A. O. Scott, chief film critic for The New York Times, complained about the film's "retrograde gender politics; its delight in the humiliation of children; its sentimental hypocrisy about male behavior; its quasi-zoological depiction of Africans as servile, dancing, drum-playing simpletons" and concluded "Parents strongly cautioned. It will make your children stupid."
Hitfix declared Blended is “[Not] Adam Sandler's Worst [film]!" Christy Lemire gave the movie 1.5 stars and stated that while this wasn’t Sandler’s best performance, "That actor is in there, somewhere. Perhaps Sandler will actually challenge himself again one of these days and set him free." The National's Jocelyn Noveck said, “To say that the new Adam Sandler movie is better than some of his other recent work isn’t saying much” and gave the movie a single star.
Defending the film for its strong family values, Graham Young of the Birmingham Mail wrote, "It’s warm, funny, tender, serious and, despite a couple of teenage references, decidedly old fashioned. There’s no swearing, no pandering to repeated toilet gags and the ‘gross-out’ market is all but ignored. Instead, there’s lots of genuinely funny slapstick, singing asides and some great kids’ performances."
As well as being bashed by critics, Blended initially performed poorly at the box office. The film grossed $14,284,031 in its opening weekend, finishing third at the box office behind X-Men: Days of Future Past and Godzilla. Blended is considered to be “one of Adam Sandler’s Worst-Ever Openings" by Cinema Blend.
However, by February 28, 2015, the film had grossed $46,219,290 in North America and roughly $81,800,000 in other territories for a total gross of roughly $128 million, i.e., three times its budget.
|Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Actor||Adam Sandler||Nominated|||
|Worst Actress||Drew Barrymore||Nominated|
|Worst Supporting Actor||Shaquille O'Neal||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Comedy||Blended||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Adam Sandler||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress: Comedy||Drew Barrymore||Nominated|