Feb 2011 11

It feels like every time I review a romantic comedy I feel I must explain myself.  I have to explain the fact that formula movies can work, but the fact they stick to such a solid formula automatically brings them down in my case. It is very similar to a fast food burger, it tastes good in the short term, but doesn’t really have any positive long term effects, and you probably aren’t going to go recommending it to people.

Such is the case with Adam Sandler and Dennis Dugan’s latest, Just Go With It.  Once again Dugan and Sandler team up for a by the numbers comedy, with little surprises, but a surprising amount of laughs.  Sandler plays Danny, a plastic surgeon who pretends to be married for a number of one night stands, after opening himself up for love.  After a run in with the stunning Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), Danny has changed his tune and wants to give a relationship a chance. Complicating matters is the fact that Palmer finds Danny’s fake wedding ring, and rather than confess the lie he makes a bigger one. The new lie is a farce that uses his best friend/assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston), as his ex-wife, and after a mix up her two children. In order to win the affection of Palmer, Danny must prove himself to be a good father.

Like every romantic comedy Just Go With It would improve heartily by injecting a bit more honesty, and a splash more of realism. It is hard to understand why Danny continues to propagate a lie that only brings more problems than the original one. Even more disturbing is the fact that others around him believe the lie to be a solid idea. However, in a movie where Adam Sandler is paired with Brooklyn Decker, ones suspension of disbelief has to be pretty high.

Despite the fact that the story itself is beyond ridiculous, the film itself is bolstered by a few strong performances. Strongest of them all is longtime Sandler buddy, Nick Swardson, who in this film gets bumped up to a larger role. Swardson handles the added screen time with ease, and as with Grandma’s Boy, proves that he is one of the most talented comedic arrows in the Sandler/Dugan arsenal.  In fact, I would go as far to say the movie would be two letter grades less if not for the performance of Swardson.

Although, most surprising of all is the natural chemistry Aniston and Sandler have. Despite the romance between the two characters being very force, the two perform admirably, and make it one of Sandler’s more convincing on screen flings. I’m not sure I’d believe it in real life, but compared to the other plot points in the film, it seemed downright realistic.

Decker makes the most out of her first starring role. The actress is used mainly as eye candy, but pulls her role off well enough that she doesn’t distract from the plot. I have trouble believing anyone will be able to focus on her performance when a good majority of the film is spent in loose revealing clothing, and bikinis.

In the end Just Go With It gave me a bit of a surprise. Despite the fact that the plot was something I could readily despise, I couldn’t actually hate it.  Sandler has an effortless charm that has made him a star many times over, and once again Dugan and him prove they can make crowd pleasers as easily as Brooklyn Decker makes heads turn.

Grade: B-


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