Movie review – Blended: Tired and offensive

2014-07-06 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

So, somehow Adam Sandler thought it would be a good idea to make a movie in 2014 about Africa in all its wild, untamed and tribal splendour.

Yes, his latest flick, Blended, throws all the cringeworthy punches you can imagine.

From the jazz hands and fake “African” accent of American actor Terry Crews to a supporting character called Mfana, it is a shameless sequence of tired stereotypes made for a seemingly ignorant, borderline unconscious audience.

When asked about his role, Crews said he wanted to express the more “cultural side of Africa”. He did this by gyrating wildly and ridiculing Africa’s choral tradition. He might just be as ignorant and borderline racist as his white counterparts.

The plot follows the same line as your usual cookie-cutter romantic comedy. Adam Sandler plays Jim, a widower with three daughters who embarks on his first blind date since the death of his wife. Also getting back on to the scene is divorced mother of two boys, Lauren, played by Drew Barrymore.

The first date goes terribly wrong, but even though the town they live in is probably bigger than Joburg, they run into each other over and over again, and eventually land up on the same family vacation in the vague mass that is Africa. Somehow, hate turns to love. Screenwriting genius at work here, obviously.

Oh wait, did I mention that the Africa we’re talking about is Sun City? It’s completely divorced from any urban or rural reality in this country. There is ostrich-riding and elephant-feeding, and large herds of giraffe and wildebeest walk gracefully across the “savannah”.

Similarly, the “native” people are divided into three categories: oversexed and leering, bumbling and inarticulate, or just bone lazy.

The film also strays into misogynistic territory, with one of Jim’s tomboy daughters transforming herself into a flesh-baring, eyelash-fluttering lady – and in seconds gaining the attention of her (admittedly gorgeous!) love interest.

Barrymore also becomes the apple of her cheating ex-husband’s eye again when she starts dressing up and is pursued by another man (Sandler). And all of this nonsense is played out without a glimmer of irony! Talk about vom.com.

While I had a few giggles at some of Sandler’s cheesy repartee and the series of unfortunate (but comical) events that befall the newly blending family, for the most part, this film made for some seriously uncomfortable viewing.

The South African extras all seem to have been given terrible one-liners, gossiping about the Americans in isiZulu (because all South Africans speak isiZulu, even in a Setswana region) or joking about rhinos in the throes of passion.

Of course, it is altogether possible that I missed the memo, and that flagrant racism and sexism is trendy on the film circuit. But somehow I didn’t think so. I think Sandler just got it horribly wrong.

http://youtu.be/8MuWt2X59fo

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.