Just Go with It is the 2011 romantic comedy directed by Dennis Dugan. It stars Adam Sandler as a pathologically lying plastic surgeon named Danny Maccabee who wears a false wedding band to lure women into bed with him. Opposite to Sandler is Jennifer Aniston, who plays Katherine, Danny’s assistant and eventual love interest. Aniston once again reprises a role she’s highly familiar with: the hopeless romantic who can’t find a man. The film also stars Brooklyn Decker as the blond bombshell Palmer, who is Danny’s fallacious true love, and Nicole Kidman makes a small appearance as Katherine’s former college adversary, Devlin.
The film starts by giving us a brief snippet of Danny’s past. On his wedding night, he gets scorned by his future wife and calls off the wedding. Later that night, while Danny is despairing at a local bar, he realizes that he can seduce women by wearing his now-false wedding band and elaborately lie his way right into their beds. The film then skips ahead twenty three years, and we see that Danny still has the same spiel and has not changed his womanizing ways. Through the course of the movie, Danny’s compulsive lying gets him into all sorts of fiascos and finally spirals out of control when he is forced to go on a trip to Hawaii to court his false love, Palmer. During the trip, Danny and Katherine have an unusual meet cute and Danny begins to realize his true love isn’t Palmer, but actually somebody far closer to him.
This film marks Adam Sandler’s return to funniness. After a string of incredibly bad films (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Bedtime Stories, and Grown Ups), Sandler finally makes a return to the farce comedy that launched him to stardom in the first place. And that’s exactly what this movie is: a clownish, nonsense comedy. This films use of mistaken identity makes for some hilarious scenes, including one over-the-top scene that involves an artificial sheep. Sandler is typically funny in this, giving his trademark one-liners throughout the film. The use of reoccurring jokes, especially one involving a hidden meaning of Devlin’s name, adds an especially witty element to this film.
Being a Happy Madison production, the typical Adam’s cast makes cameos throughout. Also returning in a side-role is Dave Matthews, who for a second time (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry), plays a flamboyant homosexual in one of Sandler’s movies. Watching this film, I noticed that it captures the feel of the old Sandler movies which most of us love so much.
Because the film is a Rom Com, the plot here is not expected to be spectacular, but this movie suffers greatly from a mostly nonsensical plot. Parts of the plot are just plain unbelievable, and you can tell that not much thought was put into it—at all. The character of Palmer is tremendously unconvincing. Yes, she’s supposed to be a dumb blonde, but it’s exaggerated to the point of rediculosity. Yet, not all the absurdity in this movie is bad. The botched plastic surgeries in the beginning of the movie are wildly funny because there so beyond belief.
Despite a less-than-stellar plotline, the dialogue is actually very well-written. It’s newfangled and most of it is genuinely funny. This film has various running-gags that run throughout the film and tend to pop up unexpectedly which add to the overall comedic element. This film also has a lot of hidden puns that are not easily picked up on, but serve as sophisticated little pieces when you do catch them.
The directing from Dennis Dugan is what is expected from a Rom Com, it’s pretty straightforward. Although one scene I think should be pointed out is the golf course scene where Danny stages a series of pseudo-family portraits. The scene shows the group preparing for the picture, and then flashes a freeze frame of the completed picture. These stills proved to be a fresh source of laughter in an already highly-clichéd genre.
The music in this film seems to come straight out of Sandler’s record collection. The film features seven tracks performed by The Police, who we can probably guess Sandler is a fan of. It also uses some more recent hits all the way from B.O.B to Bruno Mars. The soundtrack is a peculiar mix of 70’s soft rock peppered with some contemporary top-40 hits. Most of the song placement in the movie goes well with the feel of the scenes, and it is used sporadically to build up tension and is unexpectedly cut off when a plot dilemma comes into play.
Overall, Just Go with It provides big laughs but suffers from a paper-thin plot. But more importantly, it marks Sandler’s return to more light-hearted comedies and hints that he is perhaps moving back towards his roots—a move which nearly all of us would like to see.