Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Just Go With It: movie review

Director: Dennis Dugan, Screenwriter: Allan Loeb, Timothy Dowling, Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker, Bailee Madison, Running time: 110 mins.
Throughout his career Adam Sandler has gotten away with some very bad behaviour thanks to his boyish charm. He makes a point of it in his latest comedy as Danny, a philandering plastic surgeon caught in his own elaborate web of deceit. His aim is to woo swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker (aka Mrs Andy Roddick), but it’s Jennifer Aniston as his homely assistant who represents his true match. She seems better equipped to tolerate the ridiculous plotting, juvenile temper and endless pooh jokes, but anyone else over 15 years old may find that patience wears thin.
You can measure the broadness of the comedy as proportionate to the huge prosthetic nose that Sandler wears at the start. Somehow, his bride-to-be fails to spot it as he peers around a door on the morning of the wedding and overhears her mocking him. After breaking it off (the wedding and the nose), Danny discovers that the wedding ring has another use, as a chick magnet. Unfortunately for Danny, it has the opposite effect on his latest crush Palmer (Decker) who refuses to date a married man. Rather than confess his pick-up technique, he announces his divorce and asks long-suffering assistant Katherine (Aniston) to pose as the ball and chain.
It is a ludicrous series of events that eventually has Danny, Palmer, Katherine and her kids (now, ostensibly Danny’s own children) flying off to Hawaii for a group bonding session. Sandler’s comedy crony Nick Swardson also blags himself a ticket posing as Katherine’s geeky Swedish lover Dolph Lundgren (nobody mention Rocky…) and convinces Palmer that he’s a sheep farmer, setting up an episode where he must give mouth-to-mouth to said animal. Alas the gag, like the patient, is woolly and lifeless. Apparently, Sandler is happy to let Swardson do most of the grunt work, though he does get his own cheap laughs by abusing Katherine’s children.
Of course Sandler gets away with knocking around the kids because, being so childlike himself, it seems like fair play. Admittedly, he has a genuine rapport with children (in this case Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck), which easily outshines his chemistry with Aniston. Scenes where they negotiate the terms of the agreement to pose as his offspring and later, posing for family photos, are the funniest of the film. Aniston comes across more as a mother than a potential lover, frowning at Sandler’s exploits whilst gently showing him the error of his ways. It’s refreshing to see her play a character with minimal neuroses, but she’s given few chances to be funny.
Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman is given licence to go completely OTT as Katherine’s smarmy college pal Devlin. She happens to be staying at the same resort with her high-flying husband (Dave Matthews), tempting Katherine to spin her own yarn of wedded bliss. With so many lies to keep track of, the comedic possibilities should be endless, but instead there are more pratfalls and pooh jokes. A Hawaiian dance-off between Kidman and Aniston should break the monotony, but instead becomes a showcase for more bodily dysfunction. By this stage, director Dennis Dugan has lost the rhythm as well, dragging the story out with unremarkable twists. You may root for Sandler and Aniston to just ‘go with it’, but only so you can be done with it.

 

Via: digitalspy.co.uk

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