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Ok. Another “review”. If you can call it that.
I won’t go as far to say I am a big fan of Adam Sandler. I don’t think he will be winning any academy awards anytime soon, but I find his brand of entertainment frankly, entertaining. His movies, to me, reflect a certain style that does not rely on the main protagonist to kill you with humor while other characters are forgotten. In the Happy Madison films, pretty much the whole cast gang up on the audience to try to get each and every cinema seat reverberating with laughter.
His latest movie, Blended (and third with co-star Drew Barrymore) is a perfect example of how his films do just that. Also, the title suggests more than just a coming together of two broken families but the mashing up of a number of ingredients from previous films (some more subtle than others) that Sandler’s followers may remember.
**** WARNING : STOP READING BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN “BLENDED” TO AVOID SPOILERS ***
Ok, the warning has been issued, now lets see what made ME like the movie, and what “ingredients” from previous Sandler films were used.
Well, as always, it’s the Happy Madison group of recurring actors that gives his movies a familiar feel. It’s as if you belong to a tight group of friends that just perform different skits for fun whenever you see one of their movies. Blended has its share of recurring actors,
The obvious first mention for this point is co-star Drew Barrymore, who has played Adam Sandler’s love interest in two previous films. Both films also happen to be Box Office Hits. The first one, 1994’s The Wedding Singer even became more famous because of the song “Grow Old with You”, which has been remade and revived the world over. Ten years after, the duo come back with “50 First Dates”, which was also made ten years before Blended.
Other actors from the film who have worked with Sandler before: Kevin Nealon (Happy Gilmore, Zohan, Anger Management), Shaq (Grown Ups 2, Jack and Jill), Terry Crews (Longest Yard, Click). If you’ve seen other Sandler films, you would have seen a number of familiar actors who are almost always there such as Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James and a number of other SNL castmates.
One thing that puts Blended on a different level from other Happy Madison funnies is the return of characters from previous films (or at least very close resemblances). For example, SNL castmate Allan Covert not only returns to another Sandler flick, but actually plays a character resembling another from a previous Sandler-Barrymore RomCom : Tom. Though IMDB says he’s “220 Tom”, There’s no forgetting “50 First Dates”‘ 10-Second Tom. Another character from a previous Adam-Drew hit is the Boy George clone pianist “George (played by Alexis Arquette)” from “The Wedding Singer”, who appears towards the end during the second baseball game.as “Georgina”.
Other items “blended” into the mix:
– Hooters. Sandler almost always has a branded item or company (not-so) subtly promoted in every film he’s done since Happy Gilmore. Hooters was also used in “Big Daddy”.
– Family-Issues : Blended is about the mixing and healing of broken families. Other Sandler films with family issues (in one form or another) were Click, Bedtime Stories, Grown-ups, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, Waterboy, Little Nicky, Chuck and Larry, Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, Hotel Transylvania and Grown-ups 2. That’s a lot of issues.
– Songs : “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan (previously sung by Ving Rhames in the shower in “Chuck and Larry”. Also, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland (the ukelele version was sung in 50 First Dates)
– Easter Egg : Larry. He named his daughter “Hillary” but fondly calls her “Larry”. This, of course, takes from “I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry”.
– Easter Egg : ESPN. He named his other daughter “Espn” after his favorite sports network. This takes from the fact that a lot of Sandler movies have sports scenes or mention sports teams in them. Among these: Longest Yard, Anger Management, Happy Gilmore, Thw Waterboy, Big Daddy and Little Nicky.
– Easter Egg: Jackie Sandler. His wife has appeared (discreetly) in many other films with him.
Photo Credits: http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BNzc2ODI5NjAyMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzIyOTE4MDE@._V1_SX214_AL_.jpg
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