Story

Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) meet on a blind date that goes very badly right from the start. Jim is a widower trying to do his best with three daughters – teenage Hilary (Belia Thorne), Espn (Emma Fuhrmann) and cute little Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind). Meanwhile Lauren has two sons – 15-year-old Brendon (Braxton Beckham) and hyperactive Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein). Lauren is divorced from the boys’ father, Mark (Joel McHale), who has left Lauren to raise them on her own.

As it happens, Lauren’s friend and colleague Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey) has started dating Jim’s boss Dick (Dan Patrick) and is very excited about going on a romantic holiday with him to Africa. When Jen discovers this is a package holiday for blended families and she’s expected to ‘blend’ with Dick’s five children, she ditches the holiday and Dick. Lauren is quick to take up the all-inclusive holiday so she can take her boys to an exotic destination. She doesn’t realise that Jim has bought out the remaining four places for his own family.

When both families arrive at the resort and realise they’ll be sharing the accommodation, sparks begin to fly. It isn’t long, however, before Jim and Lauren realise they have a lot more in common than they thought and that their children all benefit from each other’s guidance.

Themes

Stepfamilies; loss of a parent

Violence

There is some mainly slapstick violence and comic accidental injury in Blended. For example:

  • Tyler swings a flaming t-shirt from a pole. Brendan puts the fire out with the extinguisher. In the process, he covers the babysitter with fire retardant.
  • Tyler has a temper tantrum when he strikes out at baseball.
  • Lauren carries a sleeping Tyler and repeatedly bashes his head against walls.
  • Players push and shove each other on a basketball court.
  • A girl at the holiday resort draws a picture of an elephant crushing her stepmother.
  • Jim and Tyler are riding ostriches when Jim goes headlong over the ostrich, crashing into a water trough.
  • A lion and lioness are looking lovingly at a baby warthog and are being shown as an example of a blended family in nature when the lion eats the warthog (not actually shown). Everyone is horrified.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Blended has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example, Jim is riding in a canoe when he thinks an alligator is attacking him. He lunges at the creature with his oar but it turns out to be a fake alligator. 

From 5-8

Children in this age group might be upset by Espn’s reaction to her mother’s death. She is obviously disturbed by it. Throughout the movie she talks to her mother and saves a place for her at the table. She is genuinely upset at thought of losing Lauren as well as her mother. 

From 8-13

Children in this age group might also be upset at Espn’s sadness about her mother. 

Over 13

Some children in this age group could be upset by the death of the girls’ mother. Brendan seems to have a fixation on his mother, which could be confusing to those in this age group. 

Sexual references

Blended has several sexual references. For example:

  • Lauren finds a centrefold under Brendan’s bed with the face replaced by that of his babysitter. The TV is set on a porn station and Brendan is sleeping with a big grin on his face.
  • Jim calls Brendan ‘the masturbator’ a few times.
  • Hilary wants to borrow the car so she can go and get female hygiene products but has to explain to Jim that she has her period. Lou calls it ‘monsterating’. Jim has to go instead and examines the various products on the shelf in confusion. He asks some teenage girls what they use, but they walk away. Jim finds Lauren browsing the girlie magazine section, because she feels guilty for ripping up Brendan’s magazine. Jim helps Lauren find the right magazine. She finds the right products for Hilary.
  • Lauren and Jen have their photo taken together dressing up in their client’s clothes. The photo gets posted online, and they are referred to as ‘closet queens’. Lauren has to state that she is not a lesbian.
  • Brendan calls his mother ‘friggin hot’ and says that she has a ‘rocking body’.
  • The resort owner shows both families into the main bedroom, which has a huge bed in the shape of a heart. He says that this is where they will make more babies.
  • Tyler starts to eat some erotic edible panties thinking they are sweets but Lauren makes him spit them out.
  • The singer at the resort suggestively talks about ‘alone time’.
  • Lou tells Lauren when she takes her to the toilet that her dad always rubs too hard and he doesn’t have a vagina.
  • Mark tells Jim that he will put his flowers on Lauren’s bed where they make love. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Blended shows characters drinking alcohol in various settings. 

Nudity and sexual activity

Blended shows some sexual activity. For example:

  • At the resort a man and his younger wife are always passionately kissing in public. The woman wears low-cut tops and is always ‘shimmying’ at the slightest comment.
  • A pair of rhinos is shown mating.
  • At a couples’ massage session a man rubs his partner’s breasts instead of her shoulders. 

Product placement

Blended has references to Hooter’s diners. 

Coarse language

Blended has some coarse language and name-calling. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Blended is a fairly predictable romantic comedy about stepfamilies.

It has a lot of crude humour and sexual references, in typical Adam Sandler style, and is therefore not recommended for children under 13 years. You might also feel it isn’t suitable for younger teenagers. It’s likely to be quite entertaining for slightly older teenagers and could raise some interesting discussion points for you and your children.

The main message from this movie is that children need both mothers and fathers while growing up.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include understanding, tolerance and the importance of letting children have some autonomy.

You might want to talk with your children about how appropriate some of the movie’s crude humour is – for example, is it OK to make fun of normal parts of development during puberty?

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