Heartbroken on his wedding day at having overheard his bride-to-be bragging about cheating on him before the ceremony, Danny (Adam Sandler) drowns his sorrows in a bar, where he meets an attractive woman who notices his wedding ring and he finds the perfect pick-up line. Posing as an unhappily married man, he spends the next twenty years engaging in casual sex with a string of young women until he meets Palmer (model Brooklyn Decker in her theatrical film debut.) Quickly falling in love, he almost blows it when she finds his wedding ring. Before long his assistant at his plastic surgery office (Jennifer Aniston) and her two children are cajoled and bribed into posing as his family in an attempt to convince Palmer that he’s just waiting on the divorce to be finalised.
The concept is more than a little strained. It’s based on the stupid notion that Danny wouldn’t just immediately come clean and be done with it, and the escalation of his predicament doesn’t always convince. It stretches credibility way past breaking point as Danny sinks deeper and deeper into his web of lies, but having said that Just Go With It is consistently amusing, engaging, and occasionally hilarious. It lacks much of the heart that makes Adam Sandler’s best films so successful, but it’s by no means absent. The kids – the adorable Bailee Madison as the precocious, aspiring actress daughter in particular – do fine work, nicely balancing broad comedy with the more challenging emotional moments. Madison’s character may well be an annoying stage school brat, but she’s perfect in the role. Aniston and Sandler – good friends in real life – have decent natural chemisty, but it’s hardly vintage rom-com material for either of them and it never quite feels as effortless as it should. Aniston never fully convinces as dowdy before her transformation, but they’re both at their best during the scenes where their romance inevitably develops. Decker may cut an attractive figure but as an actress she’s limited. Crucially however, she is fun, and that’s all the role requires. The support – including Nicole Kidman and Dave Matthews – are sufficiently well-rounded for this kind of fare and gamely contribute enjoyable performances.
Overall no one involved is at the peak of their talents, but the picture is nevertheless a perfectly enjoyable, likeable romp.
For Sandler fans there is the expected quota of borderline-gross-out, absurdist humour, all of which works very well. And any film featuring CGI-brows has to be worth a look.
Two commentaries: A rather puerile and uninformative – but funny – boys-own track with Adam Sandler, scene-stealing cast member Nick Swardson and director Dennis Dugan, and a second with just Dugan that’s more restrained and offers some decent insights and behind-the-scenes information. Also six making-of documentaries including deleted scenes and gag reels, all of which run to about five minutes. By far the longest and least entertaining is an extended advertisement for the Hawaiian hotel complex used in the film.
Just Go With It is out on DVD 30th May 2011.
Director: Dennis Dugan
Stars: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson, Nicole Kidman, Dave Matthews, Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck
Runtime: 117 min