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Just Go With It movie poster

Just Go With It: Movie Review


Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Dennis Dugan

Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson, Bailee Madison
Released by: Columbia Pictures

In Short: A serving of milquetoast at the movies. While this underwhelming farce about finding true love is likeable overall and even laugh-out-loud funny at times, it leaves us feeling rather bland.

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FARCE OF THE RING

Comedy Without Chemistry

“Just Go With It” is a refreshingly mature take on a rather ridiculous and contrived plot — one based on 1969's "Cactus Flower." In typical rom-com fashion the laugh-out-loud antics of the film’s first half slowly give way to something more serious and dramatic. Telling the truth instead of creating a web of lies is just one of the morals in the story. It’s also about finding true love — where you least expect it.

Danny (Adam Sandler) is a successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. He’s single, wears a wedding ring as an aid to picking up women, and has plenty of one-night stands. In short, he’s not the marrying type. We find out why, in a short opening scene from his past. But that all changes when Danny meets a nubile young teacher named Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) who refuses to have anything to do with a married man. Convinced that he’s in love with Palmer, Danny tries to get her back by hiring his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to fake being his ex-wife. The farce grows and grows, for soon he’s forced to hire Katherine’s children as well, then his brother to fake being Katherine’s lover “Dolph,” and finally to take them all on vacation to Hawaii.

Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler and Brooklyn Decker in Just Go With It Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in Just Go With It

The humor is generally intelligent and tasteful throughout, with lots of wordplay and mimicry. Aniston’s comic turn as a bitchy divorcee starts strong but soon reverts to her usual blandness. Nicole Kidman even appears as a sorority sister out of Katherine’s past. The real comic stars, however, are not Sandler and Aniston, but Nick Swardson (playing Dolph) and Bailee Madison (playing Katherine’s daughter). Both characters have execrable but funny foreign accents.

Palmer, as the much younger woman, is entirely wholesome and likeable, yet far too naïve and gullible. Are we really to believe that she saw through Danny’s lies on the first night they met, but not through the rest of them? Better yet, are we really to believe that both Palmer and Katherine could be in love with Danny? Sure, he has money, he’s funny and he’s good with kids, but there’s no chemistry between him and either of the women. And that’s the film in a nutshell: it’s likeable and it’s funny — better than the average rom-com even — but not a film to fall in love with.

 

Reviewed by Barnaby Hughes

 



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(Updated: 02/15/11 BH)

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