'Just Go with It' (dir: Dennis Dugan, 2011), Cert: 12A
There is just no stopping some actors; a small minority will keep on churning out numerous films annually that rarely break tradition, and one of those actors is Adam Sandler: adored by many, despised by me. But regardless of my feelings towards Sandler, I still watched his latest film ‘Just Go with It’, directed by his favourite partner in crime, Dennis Dugan. The film is an adaptation of the classic ‘Cactus Flower’ (1969) which won an Oscar, and also stars Jennifer Aniston and ‘Sports Illustrated’ model Brooklyn Decker.
Danny (Sandler) is a plastic surgeon who falls in love with the extravagantly beautiful Palmer (Decker) after a brief meeting at a party. Danny uses a wedding ring as a means to lure women in by telling them false sob stories about his ‘marriage’. When Palmer finds the ring, alarm bells go off and she immediately wants to know that he is no longer married. Danny asks his work assistant Katherine (Aniston) to pretend to be his ex-wife and asks her children to pretend to be his too. After a few awkward meetings, the group then head on a bizarre vacation to Hawaii when more outrageous things ensue.
As I said earlier, I can’t stand Adam Sandler, I find his comedy so bland and vacant, and I find him as an actor utterly infuriating so I was hardly the target audience for this film. However, I think even Sandler’s biggest fans will struggle with this one because it is unbelievably terrible. This is not a film, it’s an arrogant parade of attractive people filled with mind-numbingly awful gags about waving beards and being head-butted in the testicles.
The laughs are so few and far between I found myself grinding my teeth throughout. The only remotely funny character is Danny’s friend/relative Eddy (Nick Swardson) who pretends to be German and is causally renamed as ‘Dolph Lundgren’, and even he only made me properly laugh once. The problem with Sandler and his movies is that he doesn’t understand comedy, he just recycles loads of old jokes that might have been amusing the first time around, but surprisingly lose their charm after 30 times. Every film he gets hit in the privates, every film he does a terrible impression of someone and every film he becomes more repugnant and hateful.
The truly horrible thing about ‘Just Go with It’ however is it’s treatment of women. It’s vile and exploitive how Dugan and Sandler put females on the screen. Hurdles of barely dressed ladies stride across the screen because they know many men will be watching reluctantly as their girlfriends have dragged them along so every 10 minutes us lucky lads get a quick Nuts magazine shoot. Worse than that however is it’s treatment of not so perfect women, if they are larger than a size 8, the audience are meant to find them disgusting. In one sequence, Aniston is in a hula competition with Nicole Kidman who makes a random cameo. They are clearly the beautiful ones who we are supposed to look at, but either side of them is an old lady and a large lady who are presented as grotesque. The audience in the cinema were actually verbally expressing their disgust at the fact an older women or a bigger woman was dancing. Not only did this make me feel terribly uncomfortable, but also rather sad.
The performances aren’t worth mentioning because they don’t exist. Sandler is unfunny and hugely irritating, Aniston has as much charisma as toilet paper and needs to stop ‘acting’, Decker is just there with here breasts dancing around for nearly two hours, and Kidman may make some smile but she doesn’t make much of an impact.
So, as you’ve probably guessed by now, I couldn’t stand this movie. These are the type of films that give comedy a bad name, and make all men look like deceitful sex maniacs.
I think ‘Just Go Away and Burn’ would have been a more appropriate title. Dull, pointless and utterly terrible.
By Chris Haydon