I Saw It So You Don’t Have To: Just Go With It

Although I have never been an Adam Sandler fan, his latest forays in celluloid have been unbearable. The best thing I can say about Just Go With It is that it’s slightly better than Grown Ups, the worst movie of 2010.

The highly improbable premise of Just Go With Itinvolves Sandler as a successful plastic surgeon falling for a stunning primary teacher (supermodel Brooklyn Decker). Because the Sandler character likes to pretend he is married in order to pick up girls (yeah, it doesn’t make sense), he must convince his much younger love interest he is getting divorced. As the pile of lies grows by the minute, Sandler recruites his assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to  play his harpy, soon-to-be ex-wife.

For as long as Just Go With Itpretends to be a farce, the movie is tolerable. Even certain mean-spiritedness regarding plastic surgery has some comedic potential. But soon enough, Sandler tones down the few elements that are actually working and moves to the lowest-common-denominator sense of humor of his (big noses, erectile dysfunction, poop jokes). Not even Nicole Kidman and Dave Matthews in thankless cameos can save this wreck.

I think I get Adam Sandler’s appeal. It gives the impression charmless schlubs can actually score babes of Victoria’s Secret caliber. Sandler romancing Brooklyn Decker gives a creepy Woody Allen vibe, minus the talent. Decker gets the short shift in more ways than one, as she has to pretend to be the dumbest person in the world to swallow all the lies the Sandler and Aniston feed her.

To add insult to injury, the Sandler character ends up realizing the perfect woman for him has been at his side all along. This leads to some hokey romance, but for some reason perhaps related to Sandler’s image, the audience never gets to see the plastic surgeon’s comeuppance, or at least come clean to the impossibly naive teacher. Just as in Grown Ups, there is no climax, just a sequence of unfunny gags with a romantic afterthought shoehorned in the last third. I could nitpick about a dozen equally irritating issues with this so-called film, but you get the idea. (Why all of Sandler movies must be shoot in paradisaical locations? Can Sandler’s favorite director Dennis Dugan look himself in the mirror in the mornings?)

I could predict that a good chunk of the Just Go With It audience may watch this flick because of the many sights of Brooklyn Decker in a bikini. Here is a thought: Buy last year’s Sports Illustrated’ swimsuit edition. It will last longer.

Author: Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Journalist, film critic, documentary filmmaker, and sometimes nice guy. Member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Like horror flicks, long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. Allergic to cats.