Posts Tagged ‘Blended’

Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence & onscreen couples who fizzle in reel life

00_05_scene_serenarichard_md_lizBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence first paired off in Silver Linings Playbook — he was a divorced substitute teacher, jailed for beating his wife’s boyfriend half to death; she was a troubled widow who needed his help to win a dance competition — and sparks flew.

Next they shared scenes, but no romance, in American Hustle. And, this weekend, they make it a trifecta with the release of Serena. Based on the novel by Ron Rash, Cooper and Lawrence play husband and wife lumber barons whose marriage becomes strained after she suffers a miscarriage. Despite having shared love scenes in movies, Cooper says they have kept the romance onscreen.

“I mean, first of all, I could be her father,” he says.

The re-teaming of Cooper and Lawrence in Serena proves that lightning does not always strike thrice.

The “it” couple had chemistry to burn in their previous pairings but fail to set off sparks here. As George and Serena they are ruthless and selfish, which should be the stuff of interesting characters, but the story throws so many hurdles their way that eventually it becomes one big, boring blur.

Some onscreen couples, however, have managed to keep the flame alive through several films.

After a 16-year separation, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan — the pre-eminent cinema sweethearts of the 1990s — will reunite in the World War II drama Ithaca.

The three rom coms that made them superstars, Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, were fuelled by the platonic chemistry they share in real life.

“He makes me feel less alone,” says Ryan.

Kate Winslet and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio are so close in real life that her children refer to him as Uncle Leo. As Titanic’s star-crossed lovers Jack and Rose, they defined romantic tragedy for a whole generation before recoupling 11 years later in the feel-bad love story Revolutionary Road.

Despite what fans thought, their friendship never turned romantic off-screen. “He always saw me as one of the boys,” said Kate.

Despite falling in love over and over again in movies like The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates and Blended, Drew Barrymore says she and Adam Sandler have exchanged nothing more than a “church kiss.”

“That’s probably why we’ve been able to stick together all these years,” she says, “because there never was that awkward moment.”

The lesson learned is that chemistry off-screen often leads to good results on the screen, but not always. Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe fogged up the lens in Some Like It Hot, but reportedly did not like one another.

“It was like kissing Hitler,” said Curtis.


Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.36.57 AMFilm critic Richard Crouse reviews ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, ‘Blended’ and ‘Fading Gigolo’.

Watch the whole ting HERE!

BLENDED: 3 STARS. “reunites ‘cinematic soulmates’ Sandler & Drew Barrymore.”

trailer-for-adam-sandler-and-drew-barrymores-blended“Blended” reunites “cinematic soul mates” Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Of course, this is a romantic comedy, so even though they hate one another in the first couple of reels, they end up thrown together on an exotic vacation to Africa. From the first time they mention the journey you know it is just a matter of time until they put their acrimonious feelings aside and someone says, “It’s great we came on this trip.”

So how do Sandler and Co. spice up a predictable story? Easy, they add a dash of “The Brady Bunch,” some beautiful scenery and an all monkey show band.

Sandler is Jim, a widower with three girls (Bella Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann and Alyvia Alyn Lind) who manages a sporting goods store when he’s not missing his late wife. He’s a guy’s guy who named one of his daughters after his favorite network, ESPN.

Barrymore is Lauren, a single mom with two rambunctious boys (Braxton Beckham and Kyle Red Silverstein) who miss their deadbeat dad (Joel McHale). She’s the buttoned-down owner of a closet reorganization company called Closet Queens.

A blind date brings them together but is so disastrous it almost keeps them apart forever. That is until circumstances conspire—it’s too “meet cute” to detail here—to place them both at a ritzy African resort for a Blended Family retreat.

“Is this a sick dream?” Jim says when he first sees Lauren. “What is happening here?”

“We’re here for the zero romance package,” she informs anyone who’ll listen.

Feelings of disgust and hate between the two melt away as their kids do cute things and they learn not to rely on first impressions.

“Blended” is one of Sandler’s sweet family comedies. Well, it’s as sweet as a comedy with Tampax gags can be, but it is a step up from the gross out tone of “Jack and Jill” and “That’s My Boy.”

A small step up, but a step nonetheless.

It’s a heartfelt dose of humor with slightly less vulgarity than Sandler’s recent movies. Add in a few wide-eyed kids with mommy and daddy issues and you have a slightly off-kilter version of “With Six You Get Egg Roll” filtered through Sandler’s juvenile sensibility. He’s a bigger kid than the children in the film and never met a bathroom joke he didn’t like, but he has good chemistry with Barrymore and “Wedding Singer” fans—I’m still trying to expel “50 First Dates” out of my memory—will enjoy seeing them reunited.

The usual Sandler crowed also appears. Shaquille O’Neal brings some awkward charm to lines like, “When she gets flappin’, things happen,” and Kevin Nealon does some enjoyable double-speak, but the scene stealer here is Terry Crews as the leader of a singing group who acts as the Greek Chorus at the resort. His performance lends new meaning to the term over-the-top, but his brand of unbridled silliness is an antidote to the sentimentality the movie occasionally finds itself moving toward.

Sandler has been hit-and-miss lately—mostly missing with big laugh-free comedies—but the goodwill he and Barrymore bring to “Blended” puts it a notch above his recent work. Although much of the humor is Sandler boilerplate stuff but a musical montage when Sandler realizes his daughter isn’t just a tomboy anymore is funny and worth a look.

Metro: From The Brady Bunch to Blended: Hollywood loves a family story

sandlerBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

The Brady Bunch is pop culture’s most famous blended family.

The story of a “lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls,” and a “man named Brady with three boys of his own,” who “would somehow form a family,” ran for fives seasons on TV, endlessly in reruns and even spawned two movies.

“The Brady Bunch is a live-action modern fairy tale of family,” says Christopher Knight who played Peter Brady on the original show. “In this context it’s less odd that it’s lasted for over 30 years; and why it may last in some respects as long as Mother Goose!”

He may be optimistic on the eternal appeal of his show, but he’s not wrong to imply that the idea of blended families could remain the subject of stories and movies for years to come.

This weekend “cinematic soulmates” Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler reunite for a third time, following The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, for Blended, a romantic comedy about the mixing and mingling of two families.

Hollywood has been blending screen families for years. The grandfather of these blended family stories has to be Yours, Mine and Ours.

Based on the memoir Who Gets the Drumstick? by Helen Beardsley, this 1968 Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda film sees a widow with eight kids and a widower with 10 children (including Mike, played by Tim Matheson 10 years before he found fame in Animal House) become one big (almost) happy family.

The film was produced by Ball, who became so friendly with the Beardsleys she treated all 20 of them to a trip to Disneyland. ABC and Paramount Studios were so impressed with the film they gave the green light to the similarly themed The Brady Bunch show.

The same year, movie legend Doris Day made her final big-screen appearance in With Six You Get Egg Roll, a blended family story about a widow with three sons who marries a man with a daughter. The kids don’t see eye to eye, but soon figure out a way to live together. Released so soon after Yours, Mine and Ours, Eggroll got good reviews, but, as Roger Ebert wrote at the time, “would probably seem funnier if it didn’t suffer by comparison.”

Finally, Step Brothers is an R-rated look at extreme Peter Pan Syndrome. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play 40ish men who become bunkmates and reluctant stepbrothers when their parents (Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins) marry. The familiar reprimand “Grow up and act your age” fell on deaf ears with these guys. It’s like watching two overweight, foul-mouthed 10-year-olds with thinning hair going at each other, but it is good vulgar fun.

Kevin Nealon on the early days of his comedy career, and making it as an actor

nealonBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

People in the Niagara Falls area have two chances to see Kevin Nealon next week. He’ll be on the big screen co-starring with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in Blended, or for a more up-close-and-personal look, they can check him out on stage at the Fallsview Casino Resort on May 24.

Best known for his nine-year stint as part of the ensemble cast of Saturday Night Live where he introduced audiences to characters like Subliminal Message Man, the muscle-bound Austrian jock Franz and Mr. No Depth Perception, he was encouraged to make people laugh at an early age by watching comics on television.

“I loved stand-up growing up,” he says. “I used to follow all the stand-ups on TV. I’d highlight when they were going to be on in the TV Guide. Ultimately I decided that would be a great job because I liked telling jokes and I felt kind of an ease with it.”

While honing his craft at legendary Los Angeles comedy club The Improvisation — “I pretty much lived there,” he says — he was encouraged to try acting.

“One of the co-owners said to me, ‘You ought to take acting lessons because one day a casting agent will come into the back of the room, see you and want you to read for their show.’ I had (considered acting) but was embarrassed to say so. I didn’t have any training or anything, so I took acting classes.”

These days he’s a SAG Award ensemble nominee for his work on Weeds, and can be heard doing voice-work shows like American Dad, but his early performances weren’t always so high-profile.

“There was a commercial I did that didn’t require a lot of acting. It was for Nabisco Country Crackers with (country singer) Lynn Anderson. I just had to play the banjo next to her while she fed me crackers. I remember Jay Leno saying, ‘Yeah, saw your commercial. Good for you.’

Then a week later they found copper dust particles in the crackers and had to recall them all so they took the commercial off the air.”

The family comedy Blended is his latest outing with Adam Sandler, whom he has previously appeared with in Little Nicky, Anger Management and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, among others.

“Usually you’re on board if he’s doing something,” Nealon says of his frequent collaborator. “There was one movie I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to be a part of. It was called Grandma’s Boy. It was so lowball and crass. I thought it might be a little embarrassing to be in that one. So

I told Sandler I’d probably pass on it and he called me and said, ‘I really hope you do this because if you don’t do it and it’s a big hit I’ll feel bad, but if you do it and it’s not a big hit, no one is going to see it anyway.’ So I said, ‘All right, I’ll do it.’”