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2:48 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

Reel Watchers: 'Blended' doesn't really mix it up

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in 'Blended.

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in 'Blended.

Adam Sandler leaves nothing to the imagination in this new family-friendly romantic comedy. "Blended" lacks creativity and innovation as the two families plod through nearly two hours of screen time.

The strongest plot elements are the newly widowed Sandler struggling to raise three tomboy daughters and Drew Barrymore dealing with the continual disappointments that her sons experience with their father. These mature moments are not developed and fall into the typical notion that everything will be better when the families combine and go on a free vacation to a South African resort.     

Sandler, who is now a father, should undoubtedly have captivating material to share with audiences regarding the mischief of children. Yet, fans of Sandler's humor may be disappointed that this movie only presents his old bag of easy, predictable tricks. 

There are a few moments that are worth a chuckle or a short laugh, but the film lacks side-splitting moments. Young viewers may enjoy the slapstick humor and South African landscape - complete with giraffes, lions, and monkeys dressed as Hooters restaurant waitresses.

Cameo appearances by Shaquille O'Neal and Dale Steyn do little to help the plot gain momentum. Terry Crews is awkward but confident as the lead singer of the imaginary South African singing group, Thatoo. Gratefully, in every scene, Crews is accompanied by the melodies of South Africa's acclaimed a capella group, Junior Mambazo.

The only solid and consistent performance comes from Wendi McLendon-Covey, who plays Barrymore's trusted friend and business partner.   

Unfortunately, the movie feels like a string of inside jokes between the characters and the audience is left out.

I give this movie 1 bored miner. Are negative miners possible?