Review of Just Go With It

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Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston team up for this 2011 comedy romance, a loose remake of the 1969 film Cactus Flower. On a weekend trip to Hawaii, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Danny Maccabee (Sandler) convinces his loyal assistant (Aniston) to act as his soon-to-be ex wife in order to cover up a lie he told to his new love interest (played by Brooklyn Decker).
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Rating: PG-13
Length: 116 minutes
Release Date: February 11, 2011
Directed By: Dennis Dugan
Genre: Comedy and Romance

'Just Go With It' is a formulaic Adam Sandler comedy-lighthearted, somewhat crude, and generally enjoyable. Although the movie's far-fetched plot requires the audience to take multiple leaps of faith, its stars are masters of comedic timing and clever one-liners. While 'Just Go With It' won't be on the Oscar shortlist, it promises a pleasant movie-going experience with no shortage of laugh-out-loud moments.

The movie opens on a young Danny (Adam Sandler) as he breaks off his wedding. While drowning his sorrows at a local bar, Danny realizes that the wedding ring and a sob story are a surefire route to female sympathy. Minutes later, the story jumps forward to an older Danny-now a successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon-who is still using his old wedding ring to reel in unsuspecting women. The game loses its luster when he meets the lovely and guileless Palmer (played by swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker). She discovers the wedding ring in his pocket at the end of a romantic evening, forcing Danny to concoct a cover-up story about an ex-wife and a pending divorce.

To mollify the angry and inexplicably trusting Palmer, Danny convinces his long-suffering assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to play the role of his ex-wife. After a series of mishaps and increasingly complex lies, Katherine's two precocious children are pulled into the story. Eventually, the full entourage heads to Hawaii for a resort vacation, where the already-questionable premise is complicated further by the arrival of Danny's friend Eddie (Nick Swardson), who is masquerading as Katherine's German fiancé.

The ensuing chaos is a drawn-out parade of mistaken identity and potty humor, all leading up to the inevitable moment when Katherine and Danny realize they are meant to be together. At times, that moment seems like it will never come.

'Just Go With It' requires that viewers suspend disbelief, almost to the breaking point. It is saved by Aniston's shining performance as the smart and savvy Katherine. Her reactions are believable and her comedic timing is spot on, lending a stable feeling to an otherwise airy plot. Although her character is essentially an older, world-weary version of Rachel from Friends, Aniston provides a solid and likeable foundation for an off-the-wall cast of characters. Her presence keeps the plot together and injects the spotty storyline with a much-needed dose of reality.

Sandler, on the other hand, has highs and lows throughout the movie. He is an overly exuberant Danny, offering bizarre jokes and typically sarcastic delivery. His portrayal of the cad with a heart of gold falls just short of the mark, particularly where the two children are concerned, but carries enough emotional depth to sustain the plot. He and Aniston squeak by with a minimal amount of chemistry, but their combined star power makes for an enjoyable pairing.

In the usual Sandler fashion, 'Just Go With It' is peppered with memorable minor characters. Swardson offers an offbeat humor and unexpected sheep jokes, all with his trademark quirky mannerisms. Nicole Kidman has an extended cameo as Devlin, Katherine's old sorority sister. She is appropriately irritating, and her competitive hula scene with Aniston shows off her underused comedic chops.

In the end, 'Just Go With It' is best watched with a light heart and a non-critical eye. Like most of Sandler's films, it lacks sophistication and polish but makes up for it in sheer ridiculousness. Although the story is far-fetched and the jokes elicit just as many groans as laughs, the movie has a smart, sarcastic edge and enough star power to guarantee an enjoyable experience.