I don’t even know where to start with this movie. Adam Sandler has perfected the art of staying within the lines in his films. Said lines include a predictable plot, fart jokes, slapstick comedy, and boobies.Just Go With It has all those in spades. I didn’t hate this movie, I just hated the two hours I spent watching it. Hit the jump and find out what you already know: when someone says Just Go With It, you slap them in their mouth and sleep with their mother.
Adam Sandler plays Danny, a plastic surgeon who had his heart broken twenty-odd years ago, and has spent the time between then and now using his wedding ring to get women to drop their drawers. When he meets the ludicrously busty Palmer (who names their daughter Palmer?), played by Sports Illustrated model Brooklyn Decker (who names their daughter Brooklyn?), he feels an inexplicable connection to her (my guess would be her ludicrous bust) that makes him want to put his lying, promiscuous ways behind him. When she stumbles upon his wedding ring, he enlists his office manager Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his soon-to-be-ex-wife Devlin to help convince Palmer that he’s free to date her. Before long, Katherine’s kids (Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck) and Danny’s cousin (Nick Swardson) are sucked in to Danny’s façade in an effort to keep Palmer’s enormous breasts on lockdown.
Adam Sandler can be funny in that Dane Cook, yelling-my-jokes, gibberish-speaking, tolerable-at-five-beers kind of way. A few of his movies past 2000 are really good, especially ones like Click and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Just Go With It is not even in the same solar system as those films. Sandler must have felt the same way, because a lot of his deliveries felt forced and even phoned in at times. Perhaps he’s finally getting bored of talking as one does to an infant in every film he’s in.
Right down there with Sandler’s mediocre performance was the lovely, well-endowed Ms. Decker. This was her acting debut, so I wasn’t expecting much, but her character was delegated to little more than a set of breasts for people to ogle while constantly reminding Sandler’s character of how young she is. The slow motion bouncing of her breasts, while very much like the mythical siren’s song, really doesn’t offset the fact that she’s not a great character.
Conversely, Aniston, Swardson, and both children performed admirably. They did their damnedest to compensate for the aforementioned lackluster performances of their co-stars, and at times were quite amusing. Watching Nick Swardson do anything, much less resuscitate a clearly fake sheep while screaming in an awful German accent, is always a delight, but he felt otherwise underutilized in the film. Aniston actually surprised me in this film, because I didn’t want to choke her out. She was pleasant, had some of the film’s better lines, and shows that while she might not be able to eclipse Decker’s golden globes, she’s still got what daddy likes. The children stole the show, although I could have done without Bailee Madison’s fake British accent, she and Griffin Gluck are talented kids and I look forward to seeing them get more work. Watching Gluck blackmail his way into a trip to Hawaii to swim with the dolphins is probably the highlight of this film.
The writing in the film had its highs and lows. As I mentioned, it was predictable, crude, and excruciatingly long. The fact that I have almost no recollection of the better lines in the film, much less the worst, speaks volumes for the film’s forgetability. At its best, I chuckled. At its worst, I practically begged my girlfriend to claw my face off. After a brief mention of Katherine’s frenemy Devlin (why with the names, honestly?), that thread isn’t picked up until much later in the film when we’re introduced to the real Devlin (Nicole Kidman) and her husband (Dave Matthews), WHO ALSO HAPPEN TO BE IN HAWAII AT THE SAME RESORT ALSO, BY THE WAY. I get that we’re not supposed to like Devlin, but the film bashes our skulls in with how awful she is. Dave Matthews, on the bright side, provided a few chuckles beyond “Ha, that’s Dave Matthews, I thought he was dead.”
Just Go With It was, while largely predictable, not entirely unlikable as romantic comedies go. I guessed the obvious conclusion of the film the first time I saw a trailer, but it was cute. Cut out a half an hour or so and maybe add some subtlety to it and it could’ve been a legitimately good movie. Sadly, not even a comedic mad man like Nick Swardson, a precocious eleven-year-old with comedic timing, and the nicest breasts I’ve ever seen in a Happy Madison film can save Just Go With It from being overlong, painfully obvious, and lacking in substance.
There are worse ways to spend Valentine’s Day weekend, but there are plenty of better ways. If you’re going to see it, see it cheap. If your significant other complains about you being cheap, buy’m a popcorn.
Matthew Razak: 6.00 – Okay. For a movie that seemed entirely based around the perfectly justifiable want to show Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker and Nicole Kidman in bikinis it’s actually not as bad as it could be. Aniston and Sandler have enough onscreen chemistry to make their awkward romance entirely enjoyable on screen and someone kept Sandler’s baby voice and stupid potty jokes to a minimum thus making the ones present in the film actually funny. Still the film is relentlessly predictable and cliche. It has every type of romance montage possible (sports training, falling in love, people falling asleep, hooking up with multiple women) and doesn’t even attempt to do anything that hasn’t been seen before.
Glenn Morris: 4.40 – Terrible.There’s still plenty to be offended by. Unsubtle product placement, chasm-sized coincidence that demands you “Just Go With It,” a cold fish of a romance, the very notion of dumpy everyman Adam Sandler scoring with not one, but two women that Esquire Magazine named Sexiest Woman Alive, and Dave Matthews just for starters. To my surprise though, it’s more of a Happy Madison production than marketing led me to believe. Never escaping the trappings of a cheap romantic comedy, there’s enough humor shared with Grandma’s Boy and Deuce Bigalow to satisfy fans of those movies. For the record, I’m not one of them, but Just Go With It isn’t the nosedive towards an even lower common denominator that I expected it to be, and that fact is the only reason I’m here with you today and not face down at the bottom of the Empire State Building.