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Just Go With It (2011)
Would you date a person that openly lies about being married, in order to get laid?
Another Adam Sandler Romantic Comedy...Oh Joy!
Is it just me, or is Adam Sandler mostly getting typed cast in these types of roles? Granted, he's made a couple of dramas over the years with "Punch Drunk Love" and "Funny People." Hell, he's even had his hand in the action comedy genre too in "Bulletproof." However, his main bread and butter seems to always revert back to romantic comedies. Not that there's anything wrong with it...other than they're all predictable as hell. In fact, you'd have to be a complete imbecile not to see the ending coming from a mile away for each of his films; with sensibilities and logic be damned. To be quite honest, Sandler's films (particularly the romantic comedy ones) tend to be by far the most unrealistic films ever made. Not only does the romance, in most of his films, come off as forced, but they're tragically predictable.
Granted, I know many of his fans will argue that it's just a freaking movie, so who cares about it being realistic? I'll give you that. To be quite honest, I don't really expect any kind of realism from modern romantic comedies, as most of them tend to be unrealistic anyway. However, what I do expect from any romantic comedy is a certain degree of plausibility. What I mean by that is fairly simple. The romance between the two love interests should feel natural, and somewhat believable. It shouldn't feel forced or exaggerated.
Unfortunately, most of Sandler's films often come off that way, as they often come off as rushed. Take his infamous film, "50 First Dates." Don't get me wrong, I know it's supposed to be a romantic comedy, but the premise for his romance with Drew Barrymore is rather unrealistic, when you stop to think about it. One, if she supposedly doesn't have the ability to form new memories, then wouldn't she be a bit more in shock each day being married to Adam Sandler? Plus, I find it hard to believe all it would take is for her to watch a video of Sandler each day, explaining her entire life, and she gracefully just accepts it. Gee, how quaint. In real life, you know she wouldn't be that calm about it. In fact, I'd be damned surprised if she didn't wake up in the middle of the night, and beat him up because she thought he was a burglar.
However, such unbelievability is expected of Sandler's films. However, he has hit a few out of the park with "Big Daddy" and "Wedding Singer"; where the love stories in those films were very plausible. No, the love stories involved in those films came off so authentic that the audience could easily buy into the romance of those films. A lot of that had to do with character developments of each story, as it allowed for the characters to progress. Granted, one could say "I Now Pronounce You, Chuck and Larry" had a believable love story between Sandler and Jessica Biel, but the over top gay and racist jokes kind of killed it. That's another problem that Sandler's romantic comedies suffer from...over the top comedies that feature jokes that often go too far. Don't misunderstand me, I love a good joke as much as the next person. But, if the comedy comes off so borderline offensive that it distracts from the central story line, then it's definitely not a good sign.
What does all this have to do with his latest film, "Just Go With It?" I'll get to that now. For those of you who saw the trailer, then you should already have a strong idea what the film's premise is about. However, for those that didn't see it, I'll briefly explain. Danny (Adam Sandler) is a highly successful plastic surgeon, whom comes up with the idea of tricking women into sleeping with him by pretending to be married. Making up such elaborate lies about how his wife beats him in front of their kids, cheats on him and whatnot. I know, it's pretty shameful, huh? What makes it even more shameful is that many of these women fall for his little story. I guess by now, some of you might think Danny is a bit of a jerk. However, he's actually a nicer guy than this premise makes him out to be.
Anyways, to get back to the story, Danny meets the girl of his dreams named Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), at a party. They both immediately hit it off, and end up having one terrific night together alone on the beach. Only one problem. She discovers Danny's wedding ring, and immediately believes he's using her to cheat on his wife. What's a poor fellow to do? It's not his fault he's a compulsive liar, who can't be honest with women. Oh wait, it is. Luckily, his secretary, Katherine (Jennifer Aniston), whom he confides everything to, gives him the idea to just lie to her again. Katherine tells Danny to just inform Palmer that he's divorcing his wife. Again, there's another problem.
She wants to meet his ex-wife. Thus, Danny decides to bribe Katherine with a two grand shopping spree; just so she'll pretend to be his ex-wife. However, the story doesn't end there, as the lies keep piling up too. During their little get together to put Palmer's innocent mind at ease, Katherine ends up getting a call from her kids. Now, Palmer thinks Katherine and Danny both had kids together, so what's a poor fellow to do now? If you said tell her the truth, then you're crazy. No, no, no, it wouldn't be much of a story if they did that. From there, Danny elects to bribe Katherine's kids too; in which altogether costs him over twenty grand just to make up a fake family. Wow, he must really love this girl to spend that much money on a lie. Although one could argue about the flaws in his scrupulous logic.
Hell, as long as he's in the business of lying to this poor girl, then couldn't he come up with a better lie? I mean seriously. Why couldn't he just say his wife died, and he keeps the ring in his pocket as a memento of her. He could've easily have said that, and none of this twenty grand weekend experience to put up a elaborate lie would've been necessary. Then again, it wouldn't be much of a film if they went that route.
Of course, after the weekend of putting up an elaborate lie is over, Danny plans on lying to Palmer...AGAIN...to tell her that his kids and ex-wife die in some car accident; just so he'll never have to provide proof to validate his lie again. Trust me, he's actually a nicer guy than this premise makes him sound, but I can understand if this causes many people to roll their eyes about that.
Anyways, I won't spoil the rest of the film, as it's fairly predictable anyway. However, the comedy behind the film is typically cheap and generic, as one would expect. Although some of the jokes are amusing, as it pokes fun of the many stereotypes behind plastic surgery, and some of the phonies you'll run into in LA. Making the people who are honest with themselves to be decent and attractive; while the ones that hide behind plastic surgery and lies are portrayed as generically pompous a**es.
To be honest, I didn't completely despise this film, but it wasn't anywhere near as great as I was hoping it would be. At the end of the day, "Just Go With It" is just another run of the mill romantic comedy; where everything works out in the end and everyone is fine. Nobody gets hurt, and Danny never has to confess his lies to Palmer. Gee, don't some of you out there wish it was that easy? Anyways, I'd have to give this film a two out of four. In spite of it's mediocrity, the film does have it's moments, and I'm sure most Sandler fans will come to love this movie too, as it features his usual style of slap stick comedy. However, if you're yearning for something better than Adam's normal flair of films, then I'd pass on this one.