Sunday, July 17, 2011
Just Go With It - DVD Review
Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson, Dave Matthews, Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck, Dan Patrick and Kevin Nealon.
Directed by Dennis Dugan.
I used to be a Sandler fan. And I still hold out hope each time that his next movie will be genuinely funny. Although I would usually wait until The Waterboy or The Wedding Singer to hit the $1 theater, I still had a good time seeing them. But he's been more miss than hit lately, and truly lately, it's been getting bad. And if I see Dennis Dugan's directing, I just have no faith.
But even if the quality's going down, his movies keep making over $100 million. When he stretches himself with other writers/directors (Funny People, Reign Over Me, Spanglish, Punch-Drunk Love) it never makes as much. So as a cold-hard capitalist, Sandler knows what's he's doing, even if it means the movies' quality will be questionable.
So this time around, Sandler plays Danny, a single plastic surgeon who gets a lot of one-night stands out of pretending to be an unhappily married man. Then one day he meets Palmer, a model - I mean, schoolteacher - who really does it for him. She can tell when he's lying. The problem with that is after that first night, she's incredibly gullible and can't tell when he's lying. So it kills the initial hook of her character.
When Palmer finds his prop wedding ring, he reverts to his usual lie about a horrible wife he's about to divorce. Well, his girlfriend wants to meet her. So Danny asks his friend/co-worker Kate (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be this wife. The lie, naturally, snowballs when Palmer learns Kate, and therefore Danny, has kids. Now Kate's kids are brought in to pretend Danny's their father.
So the lies grow and become more and more unbelievable, but Palmer swallows them all. Somehow they all go to Hawaii (even though the magic of green-screen shows they weren't really in Hawaii), and at the 55 minute mark, Kate meets her old high-school nemesis (Nicole Kidman). And the lies continue.
It never really elevates. The easiest joke is always used. For example, at least twice, Danny gets hit in the crotch. It has the other usual Sandler trappings (product placement, former SNL buddies, an Allen Covert appearance), and it's all to lazy minimal effect. At least when Sandler's been in rom-com mode, especially with Drew Barrymore, the romantic part's been sweet. Here, I believed Danny and Kate were buddies, but the part where they fell in love seemingly got skipped. I guess it was when Danny first saw Kate in a bikini. What a message.