So Adam Sandler has a new comedy movie, and it's yet another lazy, insulting half-effort from his Happy Madison studios starring several of his friends and "directed" once again by frequent collaborator Dennis Dugan. Just go with it. The movie, Just Go With It, manages to be three films at once: a bad remake (of 1969's Cactus Flower, with a script by I.A.L. Diamond), a bad romantic comedy and another bad Adam Sandler movie. And clocking in at a staggering 110 minutes, it's a lot of bad movie. No easy feat, that.
Just kidding. There's nothing that isn't easy about Just Go With It, from the let's-film-our-paid-vacation approach to the screenplay to the endless jokes about sex and going to the bathroom -- the movie is an insult even to what 12-year olds find funny. It's oddly mean-spirited, too, with a number of ugly and uncomfortable jokes directed at young children: one little girl is pushed face-first into the mud (but it's Sandler doing the pushing; just go with it). A boy who can't swim is thrown into a pool. The same boy defecates on the hand of Nick Swardson (who has his hand trapped in the toilet in an exact repeat of the same horrible joke in last year's Death at a Funeral). When Sandler and Aniston's daughter make their deal, Just Go With It directly references the same scene in Pretty Woman -- only in that movie, the adult was making a deal with a prostitute. To have sex for money. But I should laugh when I'm made to think of that during a scene with a 12-year old girl? I guess so. Just go with it.
Sandler stars as Danny, an L.A. cosmetic surgeon who (after a heartbreak prologue) has spent his life wearing a fake wedding ring as a way to meet women. When he falls for the beautiful young Palmer (Sports Illustrated model Brooklyn Decker) and she thinks he's married (don't ask -- just go with it), he enlists his plucky, single-mom assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to pose as his fake wife as they go through a fake device. Before long, Sandler, Aniston, Palmer, Aniston's two young kids and Sandler's cousin Eddie (Nick Swardson) are jetting off to Hawaii together for lots of lying, lazy jokes and shots of Brooklyn Decker in swimwear. Decker, incidentally, is very convincing as a person who wears a bikini; less so as a person. Just go with it. Oh, and did I mention Nicole Kidman and Sandler favorite Dave Matthews showing up as a super-rich, super competitive couple? Don't worry. They're mostly terrible, too. In fact, anyone who isn't phoning it in (as Sandler does yet again) is actively bad (Swardson), save for Jennifer Aniston. She actually gives a performance and manages to be the best thing in the movie, almost threatening to rescue the scenes she's in. She might do it, too, if not for every other thing she's asked to share the screen with.
Once again, Adam Sandler is going to make millions of dollars cynically underestimating how little his audience asks from him, and they're likely to meet every fart joke of the way. He's helped, once again, by mercenary hack Dennis Dugan, whose direction is somewhere between '90s sitcom and travel commercial (or, more appropriately, Pizza Hut; just go with it). Theirs is one of the worst partnerships in Hollywood, responsible for movies like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Big Daddy, You Don't Mess With the Zohan and, of course, last summer's terrible Grown Ups. The only thing that keeps Just Go With It from being Sandler's newest worst movie is the performance from Aniston, who can at least walk away with her head up. As for Sandler? He'll continue to not try and turn out and endless stream of offensively lazy, awful comedies, because he makes a bunch of money doing it and no one asks any more of him. Did you ever think in your life that you'd see a movie that would make you long for the days of The Waterboy and Little Nicky? This one will. Just go with it.
- Just Go With It is rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual content, partial nudity, brief drug references and language.
- Running Time: 110
- Release Date: February 11, 2011
- Studio: Sony