Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Just Go with It"

Just Go with It - Directed by Dennis Dugan, written by Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling, based on "Cactus Flower" by I.A.L. Diamond, starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson, and Nicole Kidman - Rated PG-13

Not bad, the Kurgan laughed enough to give it his blessing.

Just Go with It is Adam Sandler’s latest comedy about a lifelong bachelor, Danny, who wears a fake wedding ring to pick up young women (the film is a remake of 1969’s Cactus Flower). Things go smoothly for Danny until he makes a connection with Palmer (Brooklyn Decker). Danny has to make up a reason why he has a wedding ring if he wants to stay with Palmer, so he starts lying to her on a massive scale because all meaningful relationships are built on lies apparently. Danny, who is a very rich plastic surgeon, drags his receptionist/assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) into the mix along with her two children. Of course, the lies get more and more complicated and hilarity ensues.

Well, some hilarity ensues. Just Go with It is harmless in its humor and it is a nice enough and forgettable comedy. The small touches of humor work well, like a note Sandler leaves a conquest thanking her for not beating him like his wife does. The more subdued humor that occurs in conversations in the film works best, while the bigger, louder attempts tend to fall flat. There are just too many crotch hits and Sandler’s goofy voice bit is wearing extremely thin.

The film is saved by its characters. Initially, it could be easy to hate Danny. He’s so well off he can just throw obscene amounts of money away without worry. He’s a habitual liar. He seems to mistreat people around him for his own amusement. But somehow Danny’s still likable. Perhaps it’s the people surrounding him, but by the end of the film it is very easy to root for all involved. If Just Go with It had been a heartless comedy it would have failed miserably. Thanks to the heart of the film, it survives as a passable, enjoyable comedy.

There are still problems with the film. First off, it’s about twenty minutes too long. At nearly two hours, the point was driven home far too many times. Not to spoil anything, but that point was a very obvious one. Just watch the trailer for this film then take a wild guess how it’s all going to work out; odds are you are correct. The plastic surgeon stuff was a bit weak as well. Botched plastic surgeries are not exactly fresh ground for comedy. The messed up boob jobs and ridiculous giant noses were just childish.

The above issues are only issues if you don’t dig the comedy of the film, so all of the gags might work for you. If you have liked Sandler’s most recent work, like Grown Ups, then you’ll probably like this one. But the other issue with the film isn’t comedy related, its character intelligence related. This may be a comedy about humorous lying, but the lies told in this film are just too stupid and ridiculous for anyone, even a character in a comedy, to believe. On top of that, let’s say Sandler’s plan works and Palmer believes he really has children and an ex-wife, how would he explain these kids away once he has her convinced. Is he just going to have sleepovers with somebody else’s children every other weekend for the next decade to really sell the lie? To be fair, he does say he is going to fake their deaths, but as deceitful as he is, it is doubtful that he would be willing to stage a fake funeral for two children.

Once again, this kind of stuff is forgivable because of the players involved. Sandler and Aniston work very well together and Decker does fine since all that’s required of her is to run around in a bikini (she’s good at that). Nick Swardson is amusing as Danny’s cousin who assumes a part in the lie parade: he’s Katherine’s new German sheep-shipping boyfriend Dolph Lundgren. It’s kind of a stupid character, but it was my kind of stupid.

Nicole Kidman inexplicably shows up in the second half of the film and is quite amusing as Aniston’s nemesis. It was just nice to see her in something light-hearted after last year’s deadly serious Rabbit Hole. The rest of the cast is rounded out by odd cameos. Dave Matthews is amusing as Kidman’s husband. Dan Patrick had a funny scene as a hula dance contest emcee, and Kevin Nealon made one of the sight gags of the film work better than the rest. There are more, but listing cameos kind of ruins the surprise of them. The only issue I really had with the casting was that most of the Sandler regulars (like Allen Covert) were relegated to cameos instead of supporting players.

Just Go with It isn’t going to go down as a comedy classic and plenty of people will flat out hate it, but it is just some harmless fun with a little bit of heart. Some of it may be stupid and absolutely ridiculous, but those problems are easily forgiven thanks to a likable cast that works very well together.

Random Thoughts (Spoilers)

Andy Roddick? Heidi Montag? I just found those cameos completely random. And I thought Roddick was Seann William Scott at first…not a big tennis fan.

Dave Matthews as a gay character is a strange running joke in Sandler movies. (He was a gay guy in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.) I wonder what the story is behind that.

The fake sheep was idiotic, but I’m a sucker for obvious fake animals/humans so I loved that scene.

Palmer believes that one of the kids is British? That is ridiculous, and the little girl’s accent was annoying.

After Grown Ups, I think Sandler just makes movies for his own personal enjoyment. Did this film need to be in Hawaii? I have a theory that Sandler just wants to get paid to party on the island.

It’s odd that the climax of the film (Danny leaving Palmer at the altar) isn’t shown, but rather is stated by Sandler. Oddly enough, this element of poor storytelling was refreshing because I didn’t feel like seeing the cheesy scene described by Sandler.

The soundtrack had a lot of Police covers. I would have rather heard actual Police songs, though.

I don’t know any plastic surgeons or anything, but my God, apparently they are multi-millionaires. The amount of money Sandler throws around in this film is sickening.

It is never really explained why there is a connection between Palmer and Danny aside from Danny flat out saying there is one. Not a big problem since it’s a forgettable comedy, but that kind of crap wouldn’t fly at all in a regular movie.

Sigh…oh how I wish Sandler would make a movie that is as funny as his comedy albums.

No comments:

Post a Comment