Let’s not pretend that this movie is anything other than a 110-minute commercial for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, which as luck would have it, hit newsstands five days after the opening of Just Go With It. It’s also February, the worst movie month of the year, a.k.a. go-time for the latest Happy Madison film featuring Adam Sandler and no less than six former Saturday Night Live alumni. Surprisingly, Sandler also managed to cast two A-listers, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman, and arguably the hottest woman on the planet – and Sports Illustrated’s bikini clad human billboard – Brooklyn Decker.
Ladies…unless you are a lesbian or love Adam Sandler, you will not like this film. Sandler and his staff make no attempt to escape his trademark stupid, childish humor. As an added insult, he manages to portray women as completely stupid and easily snowed, even when they are teachers (Decker) and surgeon’s assistants (Aniston). He doesn’t even have the decency to try to distract you by throwing some beefcake into the film for you to gawk at, making sure to surround himself with men uglier than himself and casting Dave Matthews as a gay man.
For years, we’ve tolerated ridiculous movies out of Sandler, partly because the movies still contain fragments of humor, but mostly out of nostalgia. Up until Just Go With It, his past films were absurd, but consistent. Just Go With It doesn’t even try to remain coherent, giving up roughly fifteen minutes into the film. Sandler plays Danny, a plastic surgeon who wears a fake wedding ring to trick women into sleeping with him. While attending a party filled with plastic freaks (Heidi Montag makes a cameo), he meets Palmer (Decker) after fixing a boy’s leg injury. I guess this is supposed to make him endearing, but the bigger question is what she is doing at this party in the first place; she’s a sixth grade math teacher with no history of plastic surgery. She can also tell when Danny is lying, as proven when she calls him on a lie he tells her. They have sex on the beach and Palmer discovers Danny’s ring in the pocket of his pants the next morning. She storms off, but Danny eventually convinces Palmer to give him another chance by telling her he is getting divorced. Danny convinces Katherine that Palmer “could be the one,” and Katherine agrees to pretend to be his wife. Katherine points out the obvious flaw in Danny’s plan, asking “What happens when Palmer comes to the office and finds me working there?” She’s all but daring us to walk out of the theater, bluntly stating that the premise of this film is stupid.
The lies become more unbelievable as the film plods along, sucking in Katherine’s kids, Danny’s cousin, and an old college rival of Katherine’s. He even lies about things that don’t need to be lied about – names, relationships, jobs, you name it – yet somehow, Palmer has lost her magic polygraph ability. She briefly questions the lies, then casually accepts them after more lies are told to explain them. Fortunately, Danny takes them all to Hawaii, where Palmer loses most of her clothes, keeping the male portion of the audience happy.
The film continues on like this, throwing in oodles of cheap sight humor to try to induce laughter. The gags range from a variety of botched plastic surgeries – uneven eyebrows, lopsided breasts, Heidi Montag – to mouth-to-mouth on a sheep and Dave Matthews picking up a coconut with his ass. There’s even a couple blows to the nads thrown in to make sure we remember that Sandler and his pals have yet to mature past age twelve. What’s worse is they had ready-made plastic surgery jokes by casting Montag and Kidman, yet didn’t seize the opportunity.
Besides Decker spending the entire movie in tight clothing, bikinis, and stretching out under waterfalls, she managed to deliver a solid acting performance. Granted, she didn’t have to do much, but she showed personality and outdid Kidman. Even more surprising, Aniston didn’t look like the big-fat-friend when in the same room with Decker. She has a bikini scene and a hula dancing scene that cause you to forget to blink while proving that Brad Pitt is a fool.
With all of that, it’s easy to see what the title of the film really means. If you want to enjoy two hours of Decker and Aniston showing off their bodies, you have to accept the rest of the bullshit that rounds out the film. For all you straight ladies…ah, who I am kidding? There’s no way you accept anything about this film. You’re just glad your men are there instead of the strip club.
Rating: Ask for eight dollars back. That’s one dollar each for Decker and Aniston taking their clothes off. The rest is for the Swimsuit Issue.