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Movie Review: "Blended" (PG-13)

Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) -- You either like Adam Sandler or you don’t. The majority of my brethren don't, hating or even loathing him.  His brand of sophomoric humor, which often plays on stereotypes of everybody and everything, also doesn’t sit well with critics who view him through the same lens they use for Scorsese, Kubrick, Malick or Tarantino. That notion is almost funnier than anything you’ll find in the best Sandler movie, or any comedy you may see this summer.  Sandler, like the Jackass franchise, is practically his own genre.
That said, Sandler's movies are hit or miss.  When he misses, he misses badly, and he's been way off the mark for quite some time.  Perhaps a reunion with Drew Barrymore, with whom he had so much success in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, will improve his aim.
In Blended, Sandler plays Jim, a widower with three girls. Barrymore is Lauren, a single mom with two boys.  She's a professional closet organizer, and he manages a sporting goods store. They go on a blind date at Hooters, where Jim knows all the waitresses by name, and they all know him.  As you might imagine, the date doesn’t go well -- so badly, these two don’t want to see each other again.
The universe (and the screenwriters), however, keeps bringing them back together. Through a silly plot twist, their two families wind up on the same trip to Africa, and an immediate rivalry is formed.  However, because both families are staying under the same roof and eating at the same table in the dining hall, they're forced to blend and get along.  Or try to.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews steals scenes as the very happy lead singer of the resort’s house band, while Sandler’s fellow Saturday Night Live alum, Kevin Nealon, gets laughs as an older man with a much younger bride.
Like The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, Blended at times is oddly sweet, fairly hilarious and kind of heartbreaking. The worst of Sandler’s sophomoric humor is buoyed by his charming chemistry with Barrymore.  Blended isn't better than Sandler and Barrymore’s previous efforts together but it’s more than good enough to satisfy fans of their first two movies, and then some.
Three-and-a-half out of five stars.

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