Adam Sandler’s latest offering reunites him with one of his best co-stars from his long list of comedy hits and misses – Drew Barrymore, marking her third appearance in one of his films after the pretty great ‘The Wedding singer’ (98) and ’50 First Dates’ (04, which I haven’t seen). There is no denying their onscreen chemistry at times, but in this, those sparse incidents are obliterated by many, many cringe worthy moments and extremely lacklustre attempts at comedy. As usual, the human elements of Sandler’s films again work well here, it’s just a huge shame that he regularly doesn’t find writers that can utilise him and his fellow actors to full advantage, or indeed any advantage at all.
The story sees both leads as single parents trying to raise numerous children and the film opens with the pair of them on their first date since they each became single, but it doesn’t go well. Luckily, fate conspires to send them on the same romantic trip to South Africa though, where couples go to ‘blend’. If it was some sort of barbaric Hunger Games scenario whereby the least entertaining or romantically indulgent couple were actually blended together at the end then it might be worth watching. Alas, no such luck. The exploration of the coming of age agendas of the kids, and Sandler and Barrymore’s blossoming romance, do have some merit, just not enough to suffer through the rest of the film for. The discovery that the somewhat berserk character signing and dancing in an almost derogatory way about Africa at every opportunity after they arrive on the continent was played by action and ‘Expendables 2‘ star Terry Crews, was a shock to say the least.
I do love this photo of the main actors, you can see why they wanted to do another film together.