Just Go With It Directed by: Dennis Duggan Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker Running Time: 1 hr 25 min Rating: PG-13 Release Date: February 11, 2011
PLOT: Danny (Sandler) is a successful plastic surgeon living in Los Angeles, when he meets the gorgeous Palmer (Decker) at a party. Danny thinks she may be "the one," but when she accidentally discovers his fake wedding ring - which he uses to pick up women - Danny makes up a story about an impending divorce. Brooklyn insists on meeting the soon-to-be-ex, and Danny convinces his assistant and good pal Catherine (Aniston) to act like his estranged wife.
WHO'S IT FOR? I think both Sandler fans and Aniston fans will be happy enough with this one.
EXPECTATIONS: Adam Sandler has to work pretty hard to disappoint me, so I figured I'd be mildly delighted. Ever since Punch Drunk Love, Sandler has had my vote.
ACTORS: Adam Sandler as Danny: Danny is a guy who feigns unhappily married in order to pick up women, and yet, you don't dislike him for it. Sandler gets away with it, because he's so inherently sweet. In fact, he makes it look like a victimless crime on par with loitering or speeding - sure, you shouldn't do it, but for the most part, no one's getting hurt. It's strange, because if any other actor tried it, he'd look like a smarmy d*ck; Sandler, however, retains his aura of goofy kindness even when he's lying his pants off. Danny is a likable dude, and you can see why he'd have his pick of beauties. Score: 7
Jennifer Aniston as Katherine: Katherine is a very real, levelheaded character and you will enjoy every minute you get to spend with her. Sometimes the other characters slog in and bore up the scenery, but whenever Aniston is there, it ain't all bad. The movie tries to tell us that she isn't an obvious looker because she wears scarfs and spectacles and loose-fitting clothes, but even if that were slightly true, her fantastic personality would still act like a beacon for Sandler's character. Score: 8
Brooklyn Decker as Palmer: Palmer has an unbelievable, smokin' body and the face of an angel, but she's in Los Angeles to teach the 6th grade! Well, gosh, that's a breath of fresh air! Whenever she ascends from the foamy waves like a golden mermaid in slow-mo, you will remember that she was a swimsuit model before she was an actor. It's jarring, like putting glasses on Marilyn Monroe and then trying to pass her off as a shy librarian. Plus, we never care about Palmer - she's just a convenient device for the ensuing shenanigans. Score: 3
Nicole Kidman as Devlin: It's really odd to see Nicole Kidman as the butt of the joke, but she throws her all into the uber-competitive "frenemy" of Katherine's. Most of it is exaggerated, but it's still fun to see an actor who usually chooses dramas and tragedies step into this kind of role. Score: 6
TALKING: A lot of the dialogue between Sandler and Aniston feels ad-libbed in a good way, like watching two friends chumming around. This adds to the "why aren't these two already together?" conundrum. Score: 6
SIGHTS: Most of the movie takes place in Hawaii, which is certainly beautiful to look at; but the real scenery is the focus on Aniston, Kidman, and Decker in their various shades of beautiful glory. There are a lot of shots of Aniston and Decker striding around comfortably in their equally striking bodies. Score: 6
SOUNDS: The soundtrack is a fantastic blend of classic Sting woven into modern covers. There are also several song mashups, which I've never heard done in a movie soundtrack and it worked really well. The music added to the experience and each song felt like it had been carefully selected for each scene. Score: 8
BEST SCENE: There are a lot of fun scenes, but my favorite was ten-year-old Bailee Madison yelling, "Oh, Palmer! You're not a whore!" in a cheerful cockney accent across a crowded kid romp.
ENDING: Obvious. You know how it ended five minutes into the first trailer you saw for Just Go With It. Also, the whole thing feels belated; Katherine and Danny make such a good pair that there's no reason it should've taken this long.
QUESTIONS: Why is Danny so immediately taken with Palmer? Of course she's stunning, but so are all his other women. Why doesn't Danny recognize right off the bat how beautiful and wonderful Katherine is? Even with scruffy hair and spectacles, Jennifer Aniston still looks wonderful.
REWATCHABILITY: Any of the scenes with just Sandler and Aniston, I could comfortably watch again. I lost interest whenever the movie wandered off after Palmer and Devlin.
Apparently Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston have been good friends for over two decades and it really shows in their easy, familiar chemistry. The rest of the story is just a flimsy excuse to put them together and let them work their magic, which means it has a tendency to get in their way and under their feet.
There are a worthwhile number of funny moments, but intermixed within is the guy giving mouth-to-mouth to a sheep dummy, questionable gay jokes, and Sandler's inconsistent voice-over. So it's a mixed bag, but most of Sandler's comedies are. It's still undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser with two extremely enjoyable actors in a variety of ridiculous situations and that's always good fun.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10