by Ryan Hill
If familiarity breeds contempt, then Adam Sandler has bred enough contempt to fill the whole of Russia with his movies. Through his Happy Madison productions, Sandler has either starred in the exact same movie over and over, or produced – “Grandma’s Boy” notwithstanding – a dumber version of his movies for his friends to star in (“Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” both of the “Deuce Bigalow” movies). It’s pretty obvious that Sandler, now in his mid-40s, isn’t going to change, so everyone should just go with it because it’s not going to change now.
Sandler stars as Danny, a plastic surgeon who uses a wedding ring to pick up younger women so he won’t have to worry about getting hurt. One day he meets Palmer (“Sports Illustrated” swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker) and decides that he wants to give it a serious go with the girl. The problem is, after a tryst on the beach, she finds the wedding ring and Danny has to scramble to come up with a family. Enter his work assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) and her two children.
It’s an interesting plot that’s based off the 1969 film “Cactus Flower” and, if played right, could’ve been a hilarious comedy of errors. Alas, for that to happen, Sandler & Co. would’ve had to actually make an effort to come up with the right scenarios to get the big laughs.
They would have to make it so the entire setup bordered on utter chaos the entire time. They would have to make Palmer not walk around like she had the intelligence of a third-grader, completely oblivious to what’s going on around her, no matter how painfully obvious it is to everyone else. The worst offense Sandler and his cohorts try to pull off is the notion that none of the males in the cast realize Jennifer Aniston is an attractive woman until she dons a bikini. That could only happen on a planet full of blind people. And even then, it’s a big maybe.
Sadly, if “Grown Ups” has taught us anything, it’s that Sandler doesn’t care about making a good movie anymore. He makes movies with his friends so they can all get paid a sickening amount of money to live it up wherever the movie is shooting. He’s so sloppy in “Just Go with It” that, while the majority of the film takes place in Hawaii, a place Danny has supposedly never been, at one point Sandler is wearing one of his old, frayed Maui T-shirts.
As lazy, mind-numbing and pointless as most of the film is, “Just Go with It” actually comes off as one of the better movies Sandler has put out over the last 10 years. There’s a hilarious cameo from Kevin Nealon, Nick Swardson is always a hoot and even some of Sandler’s trademark poo jokes hit the right note.
As painful as it is, at this point in the game it’s clear that Adam Sandler will never have another “Happy Gilmore” or “The Wedding Singer,” as he’s been too preoccupied trying to recreate what made those films successful in the first place, each ensuing entry being lesser and lesser in quality. “Just Go with It” provides a glimmer of hope that things may turn for the better, but considering Sandler’s next film features him as identical twins, one a guy and one a girl, it’s doubtful.
Grade: 2/4 Stars