Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just Go With It - 1 1/2 stars

There are so many things wrong with Just Go With It, but the biggest one is that it isn't very funny. The movie is basically a farce, and director Dennis Dugan has no idea how to direct a farce.

Adam Sandler stars as Danny, a plastic surgeon who wears a wedding ring in order to pick up chicks. The idea is they think he is married, he tells them how unhappy his marriage is, and they jump into bed with him. It kinda reminds me of that Chris Rock routine about how girls never call you when you're single, then once you get married, you get propositioned every Tuesday. You would think a rich plastic surgeon would have no trouble getting women, but I digress. His assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) tells him often how much of a pig he is, but she does it with a smile.

One night at a party when he isn't wearing the ring, he happens to connect with a gorgeous 6th grade teacher named Palmer (Brooklyn Decker). The fact that she looks like she does and teaches 6th grade is the most believable thing in the movie. So anyway, the morning after they hook up, she discovers the wedding ring in his pocket. He can't think of what to tell her, so she leaves in a huff. The problem is, this girl is the one. Even though he has these one night stands all the time, suddenly after one night he is sure that he wants a lasting relationship with her.

What is his scheme to get her back? Does he tell her that he just got divorced? No, that would make too much sense (and we wouldn't have a movie). Instead, he tells her that he is getting divorced. She is skeptical, and wants to meet his soon-to-be ex. So he asks Katherine to pretend to be his wife. Katherine agrees, he spends thousands of dollars getting her clothes and shoes, and she meets the couple for lunch. If he were really going through a divorce, you would think that getting him and his wife together for lunch would be ugly and painful. But Palmer has no problem forcing him to do this.

When Katherine slips up and reveals that she has kids, how do they cover that? Do they tell Palmer that they are her kids from a previous marriage? No, once again, that would be too easy. They tell her that yes, we have kids together. Danny doesn't know Katherine's kids' names (even though they have worked together for years), so he has to make up their names too. This of course means that her kids have to go along with the charade as well.

Here is the biggest annoyance of the movie. The boy is fine, but the girl is the most obnoxious child actor I have ever seen. She is like 12 years old and wants to be an actress. Is there anything more annoying than stage kids? She likes using accents, and during her first meeting with Palmer, she uses a fake cockney accent that would embarrass Dick Van Dyke. This means she has to keep using the accent the rest of the movie.

Another problem with the movie? The kid tricks Danny into agreeing to take them to Hawaii. One scene they are all eating lunch, the next scene they are at the airport ready to go. Are their schedules really so free that they can drop everything and go on a week long vacation? He is a plastic surgeon, Palmer is a teacher, but no matter. The script says they go to Hawaii, so they do. At least they could have put in a line or two about clearing their schedules or something.

Adam Sandler movies are always hit and miss with me. Nothing he has ever done has measured up to Billy Madison or Happy Gilmour, and while I liked You Don't Mess With the Zohan and Grown Ups, I hated Big Daddy, Mr. Deeds, The Waterboy, and pretty much everything else (I am only counting the Happy Madison productions, so Funny People and Punch Drunk Love don't count). This movie tries for big laughs and very few of them work. Overall, it's an embarassment.

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