Review: Just Go With It

Posted: February 11, 2011 in Film Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler and Brooklyn Decker in a scene from Just Go With ItAdam Sandler has starred in a wide spectrum of roles, ranging from over-the-top personalities in movies such as Little Nicky and Billy Madison to sympathetic, serious characters in films such as Punch Drunk Love and Funny People. His role in Just Go With It falls somewhere in between these performances, as he is moderately humorous and somewhat serious. Otherwise, it has the predictability of your standard romcom.

Danny (Adam Sandler) is a plastic surgeon romancing a much younger schoolteacher (Brooklyn Decker), but must enlist his loyal assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his soon to be ex-wife to cover up a careless lie. When more lies backfire, the assistant’s kids become involved and everyone heads off for a weekend in Hawaii that will change all their lives.

This movie is not about to have you rolling in the aisles, but it’s good for a well-spaced-out string of smiles and quiet giggles. The scenes that work the least are when Sandler and Aniston are faking hatred for each other, dishing out ridiculous insults and appearing completely immature. On the other hand, they have pretty good chemistry together and play well off of each other when they’re permitted to portray the characters as long time friends and act naturally.

It’s almost too easy to map out the entire film’s trajectory and plot points, but the script adequately maintains the audience’s interest with its amusing dialogue. The first hour is mostly an introduction to the characters and setup for the second hour, which throws all of them together in Hawaii. One of the highlights of this impromptu vacation is a hula competition featuring Aniston, her nemesis played by Nicole Kidman and an ass-grab for a coconut that defies normal human capacities.

Sandler is actually quite charming when he’s not purposely being irritating. In addition, he’s genuinely endearing in several scenes. Aniston is a natural “gal pal” and maintains her great sense of humour and comedic timing from her sitcom days. Moreover, Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck who portray Lauren’s children, are very impressive. They’re funny and entertainingly manipulative as they pull Danny’s strings while struggling with their own issues. Nick Swardson is a Sandler-movie alum and provides the outrageous personality for the film, but for the most part his wackiness is unnecessary.

This movie actually exceeded my expectations, which I tried to keep relatively low entering the theatre and I did not feel the need to reclaim my two hours upon exiting. Overall, this is a subdued win.

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