Review: Just Go With It
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Written by: Allan Loeb, Timothy Dowling
Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston
Released: 2011 / Genre: Comedy / Country: USA / IMDB
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After the travesty of Grown Ups Adam Sandler needed to rekindle his comic mojo. In Just Go With It, he plays plastic surgeon Danny Maccabee who has built a womanising career out of pretending to be married. When he meets a beautiful girl (Brooklyn Decker) without lying about his fictional marriage he fails to factor in her finding his fake wedding ring. True to his ways he carelessly lies once again, telling her he is about to get divorced. But she wants to meet his soon-to-be-ex-wife before she will commit to him, so he enlists the help of Katherine (Jennifer Aniston), his surgery’s receptionist, to pose as the would-be divorcee. The con quickly gets out of hand as one lie leads to another and eventually the beautiful girl, the plastic surgeon, the receptionist and the kids are off to Hawaii on holiday together.
Just Go With It is another of those conventional comedy-romances with a predictable conclusion and a guaranteed fail grade from uppity critics out to trash mainstream, commercial cinema made for a mass, popcorn munching audience. I hope I didn’t come across as one of these cretins (who, admittedly, I often agree with) when I reviewed Sandler’s 2010 effort Grown Ups (one of the actor/writer/producer’s worst films). Thankfully I can right the ship and rejoin the popcorn queue. Just Go With It is excellent. It isn’t often that I say a film directed by Dennis Dugan and starring Jennifer Aniston has merit. Indeed, this must be a watershed day. But, Aniston is excellent in a Rachel Green sort of way, and Dugan’s limitations behind the camera are hidden, unlike Grown Ups, behind a genuinely funny, warm-hearted script and a Big Daddy-esque, nice-guy turn from an on-form Adam Sandler.
Credit must go to writers Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling for a script brimming with energy. They don’t miss a chance to mock the eccentricities and pitfalls of plastic surgery such as a woman who comes to the surgery after her fake boob bursts, and an older gent with extensive facial enhancements who now only has feeling above his left eyebrow. Loeb and Dowling mix moments of comic joy with the ever-increasing returns of a lie that gets more out of control. But they also find time for the burgeoning relationship between Danny and Katherine’s kids including him teaching her young son how to swim. While the film has an overtly predictable conclusion, it is less of a concern than the haphazard exit of Danny’s twenty-something squeeze. But that doesn’t detract from the likable chemistry between Sandler and Aniston, and a surprisingly amusing performance from newcomer Bailee Madison who plays Aniston’s daughter.
Just Go With It might be a predictable rom-com with a terrible title but its soft centre is filled with enough laughs and warm-hearted characters to keep the Razzies at the door.
Review by Daniel Stephens – See all reviews