We have been inundated with several movies starring Adam Sandler every year and all of them varying in quality. In recent years almost every single one of them feel very similar in tone with the exception of FUNNY PEOPLE and all have the very loose playful humor that has become Sandler’s staple. Dennis Dugan once again stands in as the conductor of Sandler’s shenanigans as he has done time and time again. JUST GO WITH IT isn’t just the title of the film, it’s the motto everyone involved is putting to practical use. Not a one involved puts forth extra effort and all signs point to everyone just kind of going with the flow and set on cruise control but gunning it for a few seconds here and there.
Danny (Adam Sandler) is a single guy who is carrying around some commitment issues that stem from an ex he nearly married. He continues to wear his ring when he goes to a bar to drink his pain away and quickly finds the power that a wedding ring holds when picking up chicks. Years later Danny became a plastic surgeon and continues to use the ring and marriage horror stories as a means to have guiltless one night stands. Danny meets and connects with a young pretty teacher, Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), without the use of a sob story. The next morning Palmer discovers the ring becomes furious which sends Danny in a downward spiral of lies that pins him married to his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) and father of her two children.
The story grows from there and the lies continue to pile on between Sandler and the kids, Aniston and an old high school nemesis. It all becomes extremely bloated once you get to the halfway point of a nearly two hour slapstick rom com. The run time is too long but on the bright side there’s enough going on to not make it drag horribly, but it does slow to a crawl at several moments, especially in the finale. Once we get passed the night of hula dancing and late night sheep rescuing, anything that was interesting and funny almost completely goes out the window.
Being released on the cusp of Valentine’s Day it’s pretty safe to say that there’s going to be a lot of guys being drug in the theater by their better halves. I’m here to tell those guys that this is a rom com that is blatantly selling to the soft and emotional side of the female audience, but more specifically it tries to appeal to a very specific part of the male anatomy. I say this because there is a plethora of scenes with Brookyln Decker stripping off clothes, running around in a bikini and donning wet clothing as well as some bikini moments and hula dancing from Jennifer Aniston. I don’t find it subtle that almost every shot in the film features prominent depictions of the female figure in a bikini or showing lots of cleavage. It wants to be sweet for the ladies and visual Viagra for the dudes.
I have to say that I found myself laughing quite a bit throughout the movie. It’s not lacking in slapstick humor and even some genuine jokes hitting their mark from everyone involved which is more than I can say for Sandler’s previous film, GROWN UPS. I find all the leads charming and sweet more often than not, but make no mistake this is not in any way shape or form a go to for your emotional needs or comedy for that matter. I am married and have built a tolerance for these types of movies over the years so I’ve trained myself to expect nothing and hope to be pleasantly surprised. I did that and I came out laughing a lot more than I ever expected.
Sandler and Aniston are both consistently funny and the two kids are cute and heartwarming, except the little girl’s fake British accent almost made my ears bleed. Brooklyn Decker clearly did not get the part for her acting but she’s not unforgivably bad; in her defense her body was quite obviously asked to do most of the work. The biggest question that should be addressed however is why the hell was Nicole Kidman cast in this movie? She’s barely in the movie, her character is a running joke throughout and when you see her she is a total looney toon. They build her up as a monstrous and judgmental c-word then in a matter of seconds her character is turned completely around. Kidman and the complete lack of a satisfying conclusion make the finale fall completely flat on its face.
It’s easy to sit and dissect every aspect of JUST GO WITH IT and dismiss each section as a recycled element from one of Sandler and Dugan’s previous efforts, but the fact of the matter is that I actually had fun watching this movie. One day I might look back and be ashamed of that statement, but anytime I can go out and have a good laugh with my better half is a good time out for me and that’s all I could ask for in a movie. There’s plenty of slapstick humor and eye candy for the fellas and a good dose of the ooey gooey sap for the ladies to gush over. Oh and one false boob shake and that PG-13 rating would have easily slipped into R territory and the ladies wouldn’t have to drag their guy to the theater, they’d be running zipper down with their lady still locked in the car.