I believe it is safe to say that no matter what the story, or who plays opposite him, an Adam Sandler led film is always pleasing for an audience member. Sandler has grown up, but his characters continually remain childlike, and Danny is no exception in Just Go With It. As a man born with a nose impossible to miss he thought he had found the woman to spend the rest of his life with, until he discovered her real feelings on their wedding day. Now many years later he has a new nose, a successful plastic surgery practice, and a wedding ring he uses as a prop to pick up woman in bars and never see again. Danny's fear of rejection from his early trauma has led him to become a man with absolutely no commitments in his personal life. A chance encounter with the young and very beautiful Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) makes Danny reconsider his commitment lacking bachelorhood but there is a slight hurdle to overcome...she discovers the wedding ring. Enter the fiasco that is Danny trying to convince Palmer he is getting divorced. Not easily persuaded, Palmer wants to meet the ex-wife, and the only woman Danny has in his life to play the part is his long standing assistant, Catherine (Jennifer Aniston). The plot thickens as Palmer meets Catherine and only gets more problematic when her two children suddenly become Danny's as well. It is a big complicated mess that leads the entire dysfunctional family to Hawaii for a vacation; with an added bonus, Danny's cousin Eddie (Nick Swardson) posing as Catherine's boyfriend whom she cheated on Danny with while they married. Adding more fuel to the fire is Catherine's college nemesis, Devlin (Nicole Kidman), conveniently staying at the Hawaii resort with her husband as well. Oh my! With so many characters playing other characters and having to keep track of the lies upon lies they tell each other it would have been quite easy for a viewer to get lost in the shuffle. The script is structured surprisingly well that following along goes very smoothly and the film easily settles on you like a familiar romantic comedy has the ability to do.
The real bulk of the plot occurs during the Hawaiian vacation and this is where everything becomes a great deal more entertaining. The simple act of pretending to be divorced goes to hell with the college nemesis afoot. The addition of the Devlin character is what saves the film from having to fall back on very old cliches to get two people together and the film has plenty of the standard formula already. Casting Nicole Kidman in the role was a smart choice with her ability to play the perky, annoying, and oh-so-perfect stepford wife without difficulty. The movie may be extremely predictable but Just Go With It is refreshing with it's final outcome. One must know going in that the ugly duckling assistant (although casting Jennifer Aniston in this role is laughable) will inevitably be the love interest for Danny by film's end; we are dealing with formula after all. Danny and Catherine are two people who are friends and genuinely have a relationship that has endured years. Her children are not a hindrance to their romance but an added bonus. This is more a film about falling in love with the right person, than simply falling in love. Leaving the film you actually believe this is a relationship built to last, not one that would be over in the real world before the credits finish rolling. This honest relationship tied together with family bonding and genuine heart, with a few decent laughs mixed in, makes Just Go With It an agreeable distraction.
If FilmFracture allowed half ratings I would add an extra .5 here. The comedy in this movie actually takes some warming up before you really start to feel the humor. Danny and Catherine are a bantering "friend" couple. Their humorous remarks and jokes towards one another are a tad dry for an outsider. It sometimes feels like they may actually have this type of relationship off-screen because it is natural and has the definite inside joke appearance to an outsider, aka the viewer. As time passes and the children are introduced the laughs come a but quicker and the childish remarks make their appearance. I do not think it is possible for an Adam Sandler film to not focus on one, or many, bodily functions in order to get a laugh. In this movie you get bowel movements, and the jokes really are not very funny. Plus, the topic is completely overused so you lose interest in hearing one yet again quickly. A great deal of fun is found with cousin Eddie pretending to be Dolph Lundgren, but not that Dolph Lundgren, with the worst euro-something accent. The kids have some prime lines as well. This is not an entirely cheap trick comedy movie, it actually has sentiment that it wants to convey, so the laughs may fall a bit to the sidelines but you will get a few that make it worth watching.
Comedy, Romantic Comedy
February 11, 2011