Movie review: Sandler-Barrymore reunion “Blended” a mixed match

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From the May 22, 2014 edition

There is perhaps no one in Hollywood better at what they do than Adam Sandler. And I mean that (although you know a backhanded compliment is coming, right?).

Adam Sandler makes basic comedies for basic people that basically make him a ton of money. And they make him a ton of money because people enjoy watching his movies.

So, yeah, I’m one of those critics who thinks Sandler’s vein of comedy isn’t particularly funny, but what I’m saying is, I get it. And the Sandler crowd is going to get his new romantic comedy “Blended” a lot more than I do.

“Blended” marks Sandler’s third teaming with Drew Barrymore (following “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates”). It delivers pretty much what you’d expect, so if you expect you’ll like it, you probably will, and if you expect not, you’re probably me.

We meet Lauren (Barrymore) on a bad blind date with Jim (Sandler) — at a Hooter’s, because Hooter’s is a hilarious and ironic place to take a first date. Get it?

Though their date goes awry, Jim and Lauren do have a lot in common. Both are single parents (Jim’s a widower, Lauren is recently separated). Both are cautious about opening up to a new relationship because they put their kids first. Both are obviously going to get together because this is an Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore movie.

Through an appropriately ridiculous setup, Jim and Lauren find themselves on the same all-inclusive vacation at a resort in Africa (with their families in tow). Hilarity — and love — ensues.

If you’re looking for an Adam Sandler date-night movie, well, “Blended” is an Adam Sandler date-night movie. It’s got all the lowbrow humor and predictability you crave.

Of course, the single-parents-fall-in-love setup means you get more family-oriented Sandler humor — lots of cute kids used as props moments. And, to be fair, Sandler and Barrymore do work their onscreen chemistry.

Sandler’s shtick isn’t my thing, but I found “Blended” only sporadically worth cracking a grin (Old Spice pitchman Terry Crews as an energetic resort singer got most of them).

Sandler continues to preach to the choir, and if you’re in it, “Blended” will leave you saying “amen.” I’m still on the outside looking in.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures