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Just Go With It: Surprisingly Funny

Director: Dennis Dugan
Screenplay: Allan Loeb, cardiology Timothy Dowling
Release Date: February 11, 2011
Actors: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson, Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck, Nicole Kidman, Dave Matthews
Based on the play ‘Cactus Flower’

Jennifer Aniston has had some hits and misses in the past year, notably her last film with Gerard Butler and The Switch. She’s a competent actress, but she does not invoke confidence when seemingly cast for another romantic comedy. I’ve been fairly impartial to Adam Sandler’s movies – I’ve liked some, I’ve hated a few, and thought some were okay.

Plastic surgeon Danny (Adam Sandler), after leaving his fiancee at the altar, discovers the power of a wedding ring: it attracts girls. So Danny continues wearing a fake wedding ring when it suits him. One evening, he meets and hooks up with the girl of his dreams (Brooklyn Decker). Unfortunately, Palmer discovers his fake wedding ring, believing of course, that it is real and is furious with him, refusing to have any further contact with him. Danny decides to tell her that he is divorced to save himself, but comes to a road block when Palmer says she wants to meet her. Danny then asks his long time assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to help him out by pretending to be his ex-wife. After the two meet, the lie begins to grow larger and larger until it starts to get out of control.

In a word, I thought this movie was simply: hilarious. If you like to laugh, and don’t take your movies too seriously, ‘Just Go With It’ is sure to make you laugh. It was non stop laughter for me and for everyone else in the lively theatre I saw it in. There were some scenes that induced cringing and groaning. Critics seemed to really hate this film, and as I’ve often thought lately of critics – they don’t know how to have a good time. That’s not to say there aren’t some cheap shots, with the abundance of bathroom humour and low ball quality of jokes, but for the most part, the jokes kept on going, and the laughs kept on rolling.

What I really liked about ‘Just Go With It’ was that the girlfriend was incredibly sweet (usually not the case) which is decently acted by Brooklyn Devlin. Another surprise is the chemistry between Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler – who knew? But the couple works, and works very well at that. The only oddities I felt where the movie pushed way too far was Eddie, Danny’s brother (Nick Swardson). He assigned himself to be Katherine’s boyfriend “Dolph Lundgren” (Yes, you read that correctly), and the character he gave “Dolph” just got annoying and over the top. I’d be amazed anyone could have found his Dolph endearing or attractive.

Nicole Kidman and Dave Matthews (of The Dave Matthew Band) make an appearance here – much more than a cameo, to get under Katherine’s skin as her high school rival/enemy Devlin Adams and her husband Ian Maxtone Jones. The scenes between them are particularly funny, especially one that has both Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston dancing.

Just be warned that it is mandatory to check your brain at the door. The first thing I thought to myself when Palmer asked Danny why he had a ring in his pocket was why he couldn’t come up with a better lie. Why not tell Palmer that he was a widower and it was a way to remember his wife. Or why not come up with a cheesy story that he keeps the ring around him to remind him of who he is – and actually say he was about to get married years ago, and he keeps it around as a lesson? All of which are clearly better lies than the one he came up with. Of course, if there was no dumb moment, there would be no movie. Many times I could hear a little voice in my head telling myself “that’s all he could come up with?” in regards to the kinds of lies Danny told. I’m not much of a liar, but even I could have come up with better stories than that! The kids who play Maggie and Michael, Katherine’s kids are absolutely hilarious. They know how to manipulate Danny to get what they want and they’re not afraid to go for it. Their presence gives a rather charming quality to the film, as does the funny chemistry and banter between the two leads.

Don’t expect to learn anything from this film (though “lying is bad” can be gleaned from the movie … somewhat). For once though, instead of being force fed an idea, the overlying message that “lying is bad” is obvious. After a while, they couldn’t keep their lies straight.

Don’t listen to the critics – if you enjoy silly humor, you will enjoy ‘Just Go With It’. I can’t think of any guy friend of mine who wouldn’t enjoy the film, because the humor matches the somewhat juvenile jokes that are dispersed throughout the film. Some of it however, is a clever, and even quite unexpected, like the one scene where the whole “family” is cooly walking into the Chuck E Cheeses’ restaurant. I will concede though, that the humor isn’t for everyone. It might disgust you and think “This is terrible”. I’m pretty sure though, that the majority of people who watch this movie will be able to enjoy themselves.

Recommended for a light night of entertainment and lots of laughter. 3.5 Devlins / 5 Devlins 😉

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