Adam Sandler doesn’t care about you. He does not make movies to entertain you. He doesn’t make movies to enlighten, educate, or amuse you. He does not give two sh*ts about whether you enjoy his movies or not. All he cares about is that you buy tickets to go see them, and that he is paid handsomely to put in as little effort as possible.
Adam Sandler does not make movies for you. He makes movies for himself. They are paid vacations for Adam Sandler (literally, according to his own statements). He goes to an exotic location, throws on a pair of baggy shorts and a T-shirt, and he hangs out with his friends while a camera crew follows him around. Occasionally, he delivers a line (probably while reading it from a cue card) and it seems fairly obvious from his performances that he only gives one take.
It’s an incredibly shitty, cynical thing to do to an audience that has made Adam Sandler obscenely wealthy. He’s like the baseball player with a 10-year $200 million contract who pulls himself out of a game because he’s tired and has a hangnail. But that crowd continues to show up because, back in the day, he hit .300 with 40 HRs and 120 RBIs every year, and they just want to see if he’s still got it in him. Maybe he does, but who would know because all Adam Sandler does is stick his head out of the dugout, wave to the crowd, sit back down and collect his paycheck. He’s like a trust-fund kid, and his last ten movies are the interest being paid on the principal of his better work.
It’s not just frustrating; in a way, it’s mean-spirited. He takes our money, and gives us nothing in return. “Here’s a turd,” he seems to be saying. “Choke on it. I’ll give you another one in six months if there’s time in my busy schedule of not giving a shit.”
Blended is no better or worse than his last decade of efforts (with the exception of Jack and Jill, in which he actually seemed to be putting in an earnest effort to make it even more terrible than the rest of his films). He plays a widower who meets a divorcee on a blind date; they don’t like one another; and through a preposterous contrivance, they and their families end up on a family vacation together in Africa. Surprise: They blend into the perfect family.
There are five kids between them, each of which is accountable for one running joke a piece. Adam’s character, Jim, has three daughters: Larry spends most of the film being mistaken for a boy; another daughter, Espn (yes, after the sports network), continues to have a relationship with her invisible dead mom; and another daughter, Lou, is five and does cute things. Drew Barrymore’s character, Lauren, has two sons. One masturbates to pictures of his babysitter and makes inappropriate comments about how hot his mom is, while the other one is bad at baseball and frequently falls asleep in such a way that his mother ends up repeatedly banging his head while carrying him to bed.
Drew Barrymore’s character has two characteristics: She works for a closet organization company called Closet Queens, which allows Sandler to make a few terrible lesbian jokes, and she has comically broad shoulders, which isn’t even true. Sandler’s character, meanwhile, is defined by the fact that he doesn’t shower and he’s painfully oblivious to the needs of his daughter. Ha.
There’s another couple on the African vacation, too. Kevin Nealon and some blond busty woman named Ginger — whose one joke is to jiggle her boobs occasionally — spend the entire film making out in as many disgusting ways as possible. Add in Terry Crews — the only actor in Blended who puts in any effort, even if it is as a comically offensive African stereotype — plus Joel McHale playing that douchebag character he frequently plays in bad movies, and that’s what Blended is: Five or six jokes repeated over and over with slight variation until the f*cking credits finally roll.
It’d be easy to dismiss Sandler as a dumb guy who makes dumb movies, but that’s not what’s happening. If he actually cared about his audience enough to sit down and work on the script, or bother to put in a remotely decent performance, or hire a competent director instead of one of his hangers-on, Sandler is capable of making a passably watchable film. But Sandler doesn’t care enough to bother. He doesn’t think enough of his audience to put in any effort. He just sits back, rolls around in his money, and laughs at the dumb saps who continue to show up out of some sick sense of loyalty. That’s more than lazy. It’s evil.