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.

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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 StephensSee all reviews

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    Really? I mean, c’mon, really? I actually checked the date to see if it was April 1st when I saw this come up.

    Oohhhkaaayyy, I’m gonna take your word for it that it’s not TOO bad a film….. but if I watch it and find myself slipping a few IQ points….

    Oh, and for the record, The Waterboy is Sandler’s WORST film…. just so you know!

    • Avatar
      Dan Reply

      …I can’t even say I was in an incredibly good mood watching this as I watched it in the same sitting as the appalling Grown Ups. But the film works if you’re in the right frame of mind. I genuinely thought Aniston’s daughter was great – she’s got a career ahead of her.

  2. Avatar
    Anonymous Reply

    HAHA I was going to start my comment the same way as Rodney…Really?

    I have this film in my ever increasing pile to watch. I am sure I will get around to it at some point!

    Nice write up though Dan as ever

    • Avatar
      Dan Reply

      I wouldn’t say – stick it to the top of the pile but I don’t think it’s anywhere near the lacklustre quality of Grown Ups.

  3. Avatar
    Dan O. Reply

    I didn’t laugh at all during this film and I just found the possible romance of Sandler and Decker to be totally strange and something to be brutally honest, would never happen. Good Review!

  4. Avatar
    TheScarletSp1der Reply

    I actually enjoyed this film and Grown Ups. I thought they were decent for a good laugh with a good blend of romantic comedy and drama that got away from the style of Sandler’s earlier work. Yeah it was silly, but that’s still what you get with Sandler. You have to expect that.

    Far better than Bucky Larson, Funny People, Don’t Mess with the Zohan, and Bedtime Stories.

    I actually rated both Grown Ups and Just Go With It as good enjoyable flicks. ha! But that’s just me. You wrote some fun reviews to read Dan! 🙂

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