I love Jennifer Aniston. I have since the early days of “Friends.” Therefore, I make it my business to see any movie in which she stars.
While that isn’t always a good thing, since some of her movies have been less than stellar, I still enjoy watching her. She is like a breath of fresh air. She is likeable, charming, disarming and just plain fun to watch. Consequently, I own a lot of her movies. They make me laugh, ensure I have some fun and make me smile. That is what I want from a movie.
It was obvious that I wasn’t about to miss her latest romantic comedy “Just Go With It”, in which she stars opposite Adam Sandler. Today my daughter and I took a couple of hours to treat ourselves to a $5 matinee. It was great fun!
When it comes to Sandler, he makes basically two types of films. He makes funny films that are fun to watch and not so funny films that are painful to watch. His “50 First Dates” falls in the first category while “Little Nicky” falls into the second. Luckily “Just Go With it” better parallels the first type and not the second.
Sandler plays Danny MacAfee, a plastic surgeon soured on love after hearing his would be fiancee talk about her sexual escapades with another man the night before their wedding was to take place. For 20 years after that, Danny just pretends to be married; easily sweeping up ladies into his clever net of lies.
However, when Danny meets Palmer (played by Brooklyn Decker) at a party, he falls head over heels. They spend the night together and make plans for more dates when she accidentally finds his fake wedding ring in his pant’s pocket.
Rather than tell Palmer the truth; however, Danny freezes and Palmer leaves in a huff. Eventually; however, Danny makes up a story about getting divorced from his wife who has cheated on him. This is where Katherine (Aniston) comes into play.
Katherine is Danny’s assistant and she agrees to pretend to be his almost “ex.” But she blows the whole scam when she takes a phone call from her children during her meeting with Palmer and Danny.
Thinking that kids are also in the mix, Palmer demands that they all get together so that she can see for herself that she isn’t breaking apart a happy family. One thing leads to another and before long the group is taking a vacation together.
There is only one problem, the more Danny learns about Katherine, the less certain he is that Palmer is really the right woman for him. Katherine also gets confused when she sees what a great job Danny does with her children; something her real ex-husband never took the time for.
So who ends up with whom in the end? Obviously, you will have to find that out for yourself. I’m not about the spoil all of the fun.
Aniston is her usual charming self, even when she enters a hula competition against her college arch nemesis, Devlin (played by Nicole Kidman), who also shows up in Hawaii. She easily manages to upstage the drama queen herself.
Sandler is lower key than usual, which I genuinely appreciate. I like this version of him much better than the overly silly, potty mouth version he so often displays. He manages to make you pull for him to win the woman of his dreams, whoever she may be.
Decker is good as Sandler’s dream girl. It is easy to believe that she is as sweet as she seems. She only has one problem. She’s not Aniston.
Kidman overplays her part a bit but I suspect that is due to the direction of director Dennis Dugan. Think “Stepford Wives” and you’ll get the picture. I much prefer a more laid back Kidman myself. This one is just too fake.
Nick Swardson plays Eddie/Dolph (don’t ask), which is Danny’s best friend. The part is too overblown for me. I would have loved to lob softballs at his head to release my own misery at watching him on screen. I don’t find that type of potty humor in the least bit funny. However, that’s just me. I’m sure some people will love it.
Brailee Madison plays Maggie, Katherine’s daughter. Like Kidman and Swardson, she goes a bit too far overboard. On the other hand, Griffin Gluck as Katherine’s son Michael is adorable in more ways than one.
The screenplay written by Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling really isn’t anything new. It has similarities to “The Cactus Flower,” written by I.A.L. Diamond with the stage play by Abe Burrows. It is just kind of updated for the new century.
Dugan over directs his actors, pulling them way too far over the edge in some instances. Only Aniston and Sandler manage to completely escape that pitfall; but just barely.
I liked this film. I thought it was a wonderful way to spend a girl’s day out with my daughter. Therefore, I give it 3.5 stars. That is a bit higher than most critics, but then I’m sure they were looking for some kind of social redeeming value. All I wanted was to be entertained and this film managed that just fine.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.