A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the scope of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore's third romantic comedy pairing (after The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates) has, like its stars, aged a bit: The duo now play hapless single parents rather than hapless singles. But this blended-family story is no Brady Bunch: Like all of Sandler's comedies, there's plenty of sexual innuendo, with allusions to breasts, masturbation, porn, body size, and more. One couple on the vacation often makes out publicly and refers to their sex life, and adults drink socially at dinners and parties. Language includes the occasional "a--hole," "ass," and "s--t," as well as "butt hole," "crap," etc. All of that said, there are some worthy take-aways about parenting here, and step-families may particularly enjoy the positive messages about the importance of strong blended families.
What's the story?
BLENDED starts with a disastrous blind date at Hooters between divorced single mom Lauren (Drew Barrymore) and widower dad Jim (Adam Sandler). After bumping into each other two more times, they both hear news that changes their lives: Lauren's best friend, Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey), has broken up with Jim's boss, Dick (owner of Dick's Sporting Goods), leaving an all-inclusive spring break vacation to South Africa up for grabs. Both Jim and Lauren pay for half the trip without knowing the other will be there. At the resort, Jim and his three tomboyish daughters and Lauren and her tween and teen sons realize that it's a special week for blended family honeymoons, and they'll have to spend the entire trip together. As the week marches on, both of them help each other with their kids and discover that they have more in common than they initially thought.
Is it any good?
Blended is the kind of predictable comedy where all the funniest bits are in the trailer, and the supporting characters are funnier than the leads. The always-hilarious Terry Crews (who uses his muscular body for a unique brand of physical comedy) is the best part of the film as the resort's colorfully dressed singer, Kevin Nealon and trophy wife Jessica Lowe are mildly amusing as the resort's resident sexed-up newlyweds, and the five kids -- including Bella Thorne -- may each make you laugh once as varying stereotypes: the gorgeous girl hiding underneath a terrible unisex haircut and track suit, the adorable youngest girl, the ADHD boy, and his mid-puberty older brother with a thing for the babysitter.
Sandler and Barrymore clearly enjoy working together, but the comedic chemistry they shared in their previous collaborations isn't nearly as charming this time around. They're occasionally "cute" as opposites who attract, but most of the movie is so forgettable, predictable (a few jokes seemed directly cribbed from Modern Family), and broad in terms of the humor (so many masturbation jokes!), that this just isn't the magical reunion that The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates fans hoped to see.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about who the target audience is for Blended. Do you think it's families, or just adults? How can you tell? Is it an appropriate choice for watching as a family?
The movie's sexual humor includes plenty of jokes about masturbation. Is the movie stereotypical about teen boys? What about on other subjects?
This is the third time Sandler and Barrymore have made a movie together. How does this one compare to the others?
- In theaters: May 23, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: August 26, 2014
- Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Bella Thorne
- Director: Frank Coraci
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Brothers and sisters, Wild animals
- Run time: 117 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content, and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.