A film review by Craig J. Koban February 24, 2011
JUST GO WITH IT
2011, PG-13, 116 mins.
2011, PG-13, 116 mins.
Danny: Adam Sandler / Katherine: Jennifer Aniston / Devlin
Adams: Nicole Kidman / Eddie: Nick Swardson / Palmer: Brooklyn
Decker / Maggie: Bailee Madison / Michael: Griffin Gluck / Ian
Maxtone Jones: Dave Matthews / Adon: Kevin Nealon
descriptor “an Adam Sandler Comedy” is borderline oxymoronic.
To label his comedies as funny would be like saying that
Toyota has a zero defect rate for its brakes.
The more Sandler comedies I watch – scratch that, make that pitifully
suffer through - the more I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s not really
interested in actually being funny.
After all, the genre is (according to the Wikipedia definition) “any
humorous discourse intended to amuse its audience.”
definition excludes Sandler’s efforts, seeing as they rarely, if ever,
adhere to the definition. He is
not interested in making comedies.
could he? He never appears to
understand how unfunny they are. He’s
more compelled with disseminating the "Sandler Brand", which
includes films that are lowbrow, juvenile, grating, desperate, and
unavoidably laugh free where the star slums his way through the same
smirky, mumbling, and smugly one note performances that is just audible
enough to warrant a big fat pay check.
GO WITH it is a new romantic comedy that is, amazing as it seems, based on
the 1969 film CACTUS FLOWER, which in turn was adapted from an earlier
Broadway stage play, which too was based upon a French play FLEUR DE
CACTUS. JUST GO WITH IT involves the re-teaming of director Dennis
Dugan and Sandler, who have previously combined to make five films including HAPPY
GILMORE, BIG DADDY, I
NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY, YOU
DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN, and last year’s GROWN
UPS, and if anyone can find five more mortifyingly putrid comedies
than email me and set me straight. Sandler
and Duggan superficially want to inject the elements of the original
French farce into the romantic comedy genre and the “Sandler Brand”,
but I have my doubts as to whether they have ever seen FLEUR DE CACTUS,
not to mention that they have no grasp on what a true farce embodies.
GO WITH IT involves a screenplay that seems like it was drunkenly written on one
side of a cocktail napkin. Sandler
plays Danny, a wealthy and accomplished L.A. plastic surgeon, so you just
know that we will have as many lame and cheap sight gags involving botoxed
faces (cue Kevin Nealon cameo), breast implants (cue actress with prosthetics
showing one boob bigger than the other), and other horrifically botched procedures to
score would-be big laughs. Danny
is a bachelor that has issues with committing to anyone in a relationship,
but he does manage to bang as many uber hot and shapely women on the side
as possible. How does a dude
that looks like Sandler accomplish this?
He wears a wedding ring to bars and makes women feel sorry for him
based on fake tales of his wife physically abusing him.
sexually promiscuous lifestyle is thrown a curveball with the appearance
of Palmer (former swimsuit model turned actress – now that’s funny in
itself – Brooklyn Decker), who enters his life and, after one night with him,
she finds herself deeply attracted to him. Riiiiggghhht. Danny
feels her to be the love of his life that he’s been looking for, but
before he can commit to her she finds that pesky wedding band in his
pocket and is furious. Now,
here’s where "The Idiot Plot Syndrome" really takes off:
Instead of just given her a simple explanation, Danny tells Palmer
that he is actually married and is filing for a divorce.
She cools off with this news, but is still not entirely convinced. Danny promises her that he’ll introduce her to his wife,
which complicates matters.
order to secure Palmer’s trust, Danny pleads to his assistant, Katherine
(Jennifer Anniston, who has a superhuman ability to barely hold her
disgust for this material will appearing composed and dignified through
most of the film) to impersonate his
wife. While she has a great amount of disdain for Danny’s
lifestyle, she begrudgingly agrees. This
leads to one of those teeth-clenchingly phony and demeaning montages where Danny
needs to take Katherine – who’s super hot, but dresses meagerly and is not
aware of her hotness – on a shopping spree in Beverly Hills, seeing as
he feels that Brooklyn needs to totally believe Katherine as a plastic
surgeon’s wife. Trust me:
if you look like Jennifer Aniston, you don’t need help looking
attractive, but only in the la-la land that is an Adam Sandler comedy does
the schlepy male lead need to take the woman by the hand and show her how
to become a babe.
deception begins over diner, but the situation gets even more complicated
when Katherine’s two children enter the picture, and now Danny lies
about being a father to Palmer. Through
a series of events too tedious and headache inducing to relay, Danny finds
himself taking Palmer, Katherine and her kids, along with his cousin
Eddie (Nick Swardson, not as annoying as Sandler’s usual side kick, Rob
Schneider, but a close second) to Hawaii.
Why Hawaii? Probably
because it meant that Sandler could take all of his buddies to a sunny and
hot resort to hang out and film for several weeks.
With a painful inevitably, Danny’s deception starts to teeter
and, wouldn’t you know it, Katherine starts to fall for the lug in the
GO WITH IT is a disturbingly unfunny romantic comedy where its own vapid mediocrity sticks out like a
middle finger at the audiences.
It’s tough to say what’s most unappealing: that this sour,
egregiously unoriginal, and tediously puerile comedy goes on for the
tortuous running time of nearly two hours (dear Lord!) or that I’ve seen
20 minute TV sitcoms that have had more modest chuckles during their
opening scenes than what I endured during the entirety of JUST GO WITH IT.
What’s definitely demoralizing to see is that during this utterly
witless comic deadzone of despair we are giving a portal into a fantasy
world that could never, ever possibly exist in the real world that I know.
The planet I populate has no human being that behaves and reacts to
as this film’s characters do.
also get the obligatory Sandlerian grab-bag of mercilessly perverse and
desperate gags and jokes: we
see a young boy poop on a man’s hand while its dunked in the toilet
(don’t ask); a scene where cousin Eddie gives CPR to a dying sheep
(definitely don’t ask); a moment involving a man grabbing a coconut with
just his ass (more impressive than funny); and then lots of jokes about,
in random order, gay, obese, elderly, Hispanic, and Jewish people (the
latter who are presented in an opening sequence with grotesquely oversized
I mean, this is the freakin’ 21st Century, people.
Are we not above this now?
please excuse my French, but what the fuck is Nicole Kidman doing in this
She did not appear in the ads at all, and for good reason.
She plays an old college acquaintance and rival of Katherine that
shows up at Hawaii to exacerbate matters more for everyone.
When not overacting to ear-splitting levels, she is forced to
submit to the film’s most offensive moment: a talent competition at the
Hawaiian hotel during which she and Aniston join other female guests (some
of which are grossly overweight and others pushing 80-years) to dress up in hula
bikinis, shake their asses, and have the audience vote their least favorite
The shriveled up elderly woman gets the boot, as does the massively
rotund woman, who screams,
“It’s fixed!!” How
funny. How very, very,
very funny. Kidman and Aniston should be absolutely ashamed of
truly frightened me about JUST GO WITH IT, though, was how many female
audience members laughed all through the film.
The limitless misogyny on display here is repellent.
Here’s a film where an unattainably gorgeous woman like Aniston is
only able to fully harness her attractiveness with the help and money of Danny
(only in this film’s subhuman universe is Danny unable to see how
gorgeous Katharine is from the get go).
Furthermore, what possible attraction do Palmer and Katherine have
for Danny? This man is a complete loser that treats female like wounded
prey. Katherine knows this,
but the mechanizations of the plot require her to fall for him regardless,
and Palmer is just plain moronic if she can’t see through Danny’s lies
right from the get go. Oh,
she is an elementary school teacher, which requires brains, but Palmer has
none. All she has (which is
what all the part requires) is a nice big rack that the camera lingers on
like a horny adolescent voyeur.
One last note: I would like to sincerely congratulate Sandler for one accomplishment: Since 2003 the actor – in one form or another – has participated in films that have made my yearly Ten Worst Lists a staggering six times! I don’t exaggerate at all in saying that JUST GO WITH IT will proudly continue this wall-of-shame legacy for him at the conclusion of this calendar with lucky number seven. Do yourself a favor: just don’t go to JUST GO WITH IT. To do so would be to continue to pad the coffers of the "Sandler Brand".