DIR: Dennis Dugan • WRI: Allan Loeb, Timothy Dowling • PRO: Jack Giarraputo, Heather Parry, Adam Sandler • DOP: Theo van de Sande • DES: Perry Andelin Blake • CAST: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker
It’s no secret to movie-goers that Adam Sandler’s band of merry men, Happy Madison, have become suckers for formulaic comedy and this new romantic comedy offering Just Go with It is no different. For them though, it seems to work and you may find yourself laughing more than you might have expected.
Just Go with It follows convoluted plot-line which intends to surprise and thrill with its twists but falls somewhat short as these twists are adhering to an unwritten formula that audiences have experienced on too many occasions. There are some laugh-out-loud moments as Sandler expertly uses his physical comedy and pathos in perfect measure, but these moments are all too few and they do not rectify an audience’s inability to get behind their protagonist.
Sandler plays Danny, a man so apparently bruised and battered by previous love that he re-invents himself in his new position as a plastic surgeon. The problem is (and there’s always a problem boys and girls) that Danny has fallen into a trap of consistently lying to prospective love interests about his marital status in order to garner sympathy. When he falls for a much younger schoolteacher, he enlists the help of his long-suffering assistant to pretend to be his soon to be ex wife in order to be ‘honest’ with his current love. Naturally, hilarity ensues.
Jennifer Aniston plays Katherine, Sandler’s apparently ‘dowdy’ assistant. Aniston plays her role surprisingly straight and cements herself as the undisputed sweetheart of romantic comedy. Here she perfectly times an awkwardly composed scripts and creates one of the few likeable characters in the film. The scenes in which Aniston is ‘revealed’ as being a beautiful woman are unintentionally laughable as it would seem that it’s very hard to make Aniston look anything but gorgeous.
A welcome treat here are Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck who play Aniston’s children who effortlessly manipulate the awkwardness of the situation Sandler finds himself in. Gluck is an especially exciting find here as he completely steals every scene and displays expert comic timing to rival Sandler’s. An odd addition is Nicole Kidman whose presence seems entirely out of place, Kidman completely overstates the comedy in her scenes and over-acts her position to the point of baffling the audience. It almost seems as though her character from Moulin Rouge has wandered onto the wrong set whilst searching for her costumes.
A perfectly competent Valentine’s Day watch, it will garner plenty of belly laughs during the film, but once you’ve left the cinema you may struggle to remember what exactly was funny in the first place. Just Go with It is a watchable comedy which follows an all-too-familiar formula, but the awards ceremonies needn’t be worried.
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Just Go with It is released on 11th February 2011