Valentine’s Day weekend has come and gone, and Hollywood has exploited the holiday of love with yet another Adam Sandler romantic comedy.
Dennis Dugan’s “Just Go With It” seeks to claim the record for most clichés in a single rom-com in an effort that can almost be called inspiring for its sheer putridity.
While it delivers the occasional laugh, it also suffers from a severe lack of character development and what I like to call “Sex and the City” syndrome.
Adam Sandler plays Danny Maccabee, a cardiologist who, after overhearing his fiancée is not only cheating on him but only marrying him for the money, leaves and heads to a bar. There he learns the magical aphrodisiac power of the wedding ring, which he uses to fool girls into thinking he’s an abused husband. The film skips some unknown time ahead to Danny now running a plastic surgery practice with his sassy assistant Katherine Murphy (Jennifer Aniston). At a party Danny meets the beautiful Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) and the two immediately hit it off. The morning after she discovers his wedding ring, the web of lies begins. Katherine is dragged into it along with her kids, and wacky romantically comedic moments ensue.
While I have never had a problem with Sandler or Aniston, it seems that neither ever really read the script, deciding to “just go with it,” which might actually be where the title came from. There were multiple moments throughout the film designed to show off Jennifer Aniston’s body in an attempt to shout “she’s still got it!” to the crowd and maybe some potential suitors.
Meanwhile, Decker makes a decent attempt at acting but had her role diminished by producers who just wanted to show off her body. Sandler plays that same character he’s played since “Big Daddy”: some weird attempt at being suave and funny while also having a tone that says, “I don’t want to be here,” in his voice.
I’m going to call this tone ironic, as Sandler certainly does want to be there (in Hawaii) unless he returned to the location of the disastrous “50 First Dates” because it brought back so many fond memories. There are also some side characters such as the cliché, impossibly witty and manipulative kids who team up with the gay roller-skating prostitute from “Reno 911” (Nick Swardson, who plays Maccabee’s best friend) to provide stabs at comic relief. The acting overall was not bad; it was passable. The real problem was the characters were flat, unoriginal and boring.
“Just Go With It” brings an occasional laugh, but for every chuckle there is a moment that just makes you groan under the weight of all the cheese. Many people saw the ad placed in the Super Bowl with Decker emerging out of the water in slow-motion followed by the line “tell you girlfriend it’s a romantic comedy.”
Well, it definitely is a romantic comedy, laden with all the familiar tropes, punch lines and the ongoing tragedy of Hollywood’s estimation of our taste in movies. No amount of Brooklyn Decker can save this movie from itself.