CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: Adam Sandler Exploits the Family, More in ‘Blended’
CHICAGO – Trying to understand the psychology and philosophy of manchild Adam Sandler, when it comes to his “middle-age” movies, will perplex film scholars and therapists for generations to come. His latest excuse for a “family comedy” is the insipid and exploitative “Blended.”
There is a strange dichotomy in these Sandler comedies – see also “Grown-Ups,” “Jack and Jill” and “That’s My Boy” – that desires to be warm explorations of family, but at the same time wants to showcase the sixth grade level baby humor that is Sandler’s bread and butter. And make no mistake, despite “screenwriters” and “directors,” the mark on these films is all Sandler, who most likely goes over each line with his staff of sycophants, giggling at every change he makes. If your idea of hilarity is Sandler riding an ostrich, or Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal doing a sex dance, then go to movie alone and don’t subject any others to your folly.
Jim (Adam Sandler) is a widower going on a first blind date with Lauren (Drew Barrymore). The father of three daughters (the oldest portrayed by teen star Bella Thorne) chooses Hooters for that date, which doesn’t go over very well. Lauren is divorced, with two boys, and an ex-husband (Joel McHale) who is not a nice man. Lauren complains about all this to her best friend Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey), who comes up with a solution.
Jen is dating a wealthy man who owns Dick Sporting Goods, and is scared that he is going to propose to her on a South African trip. So she cancels, and gives the room to Lauren and her family. Unbeknownst to that brood, Jim and his three girls have also booked the trip – Jim works in retail for the owner of Dick’s – and they’re also taking the rooms. The families are forced together, “blended” If you will.
Lauren (Drew Barrymore) and Jim (Adam Sandler) Have Their First Hooters Date in ‘Blended’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.