Tuesday, March 29, 2011

JUST GO WITH IT - Unfunny Sandler Schtick

JUST GO WITH IT (romantic comedy)
Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker and Nick Swardson
Director: Dennis Dugan
Screenplay: Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling, based on the screenplay Cactus Flower by I.A.L. Diamond
Time: 95 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

Aniston, Sandler and Decker

PREAMBLE: This is a remake of Cactus Flower, the 1969 comedy in which Walter Matthau played a dentist who pretends to be married in order to escape 'commitment issues', with his girlfriends. Goldie Hawn won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her
role as his assistant and it pretty much launched her career.

Just Go With It (which sounds like a plea from the film-makers) does not really 'go with it'. It jerks and sputters along with mostly unfunny jokes and lame dialogue - that even the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman could not save it.

THE SKINNY: After years of using a fake marriage to help him score with the ladies, commitment phobe, plastic surgeon Danny (Adam Sandler), finally meets the girl of his dreams. But, when his dream girl (Brooklyn Decker as Palmer) finds the ring in his pocket and notices the tan line on his finger, she demands to get his soon-to-be ex-wife’s permission before moving forward in the relationship. Danny must find a good female friend to play his wife and who knows him better than his own assistant, Katherine (Jennifer Aniston)?

HITS AND MISSES: What seemed plausible in Cactus Flower (yup, I caught it in 1970) looks so phoney here. I am talking about Danny's ruse of getting a woman to bed by pretending to be in a bad marriage. While we could easily sympathise with Matthau as a downtrodden hubby, we can't do the same for the goofy Sandler. And the screenplay, showing him as being mean with children and a conniving bad-ass, does not help things either.

Indeed, as we can expect of most Sandler comedies, the rom-com soon degenerates into a farce when the action goes to Hawaii where 'get-to-know-the-wife-and-kids' stint is to take place. The appearance of Kidman - as Katherine's high school nemesis Devlin Adams - helps to heat things up for a while and then it is back to farcical gags and toilet jokes. Although it is a 'given' that Katherine and Danny are meant for each other and would end up together, we somehow wish that they don't. Sandler's Danny is too full of himself to 'just go along with anyone'. And as if we could not get enough imbecility in this Sandler flick, there is Nick Swardson (who plays Danny's cousin Eddie) to make the film even more ludicrous.

THE LOWDOWN: For Sandler fans, others, just stay away.


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