Arrested-adolescence wackiness fills Adam Sandler's latest flick
With only a couple of exceptions over the past 20 years, Adam Sandler has made a successful career—in movies like Big Daddy, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Little Nicky and Happy Gilmore—by playing man-child characters who have grown older, but not quite grown up.
Continuing the trend, his leading role in the romantic-comedy screwball romp Just Go With It is a commitment-free plastic surgeon, Danny, who pretends to be married in order to woo his latest female conquest.
Yes, it sounds strange. But just go with it.
Jennifer Aniston plays his long-suffering, divorced-mom office assistant, Katherine, who gets recruited to playact as Danny’s sparring, soon-to-be-former spouse. The ruse quickly grows to include Katherine’s two kids, plus Danny’s skirt-chasing cousin, Eddie (Nick Swardson), all pretending to be someone they’re not.
Where, in this shaky world built on fabrication, can true love take root and bloom?
Modern-day moviegoers probably won’t care that the whole shebang is a remake of another movie, Cactus Flower, a comedy from 1969 starring Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman and Goldie Hawn. Or that Cactus Flower was based on a French play.
Director Dennis Dugan, a frequent Sandler collaborator, packs the screen with giggle and jiggle. The PG-13 rating reins in the raunch somewhat, but there are still plenty of jokes about boobs, butts and erectile dysfunction. Anyone who’s bought a ticket to The King’s Speech will quickly realize they’ve made a wrong turn in the multiplex.
As Parker, Danny’s new love interest, former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker seems to have been cast primarily for the way she fills out her bikini, especially in slo-mo. Her cleavage receives so much camera time, it deserves its own billing in the credits. One scene exists only to provide a reason for both Parker and Katherine to peel out of their clothes for a dip in a lagoon—while Danny and Eddie try to keep their bulging eyes in their sockets.
By this time, the characters have all found their way to Hawaii, a la Brady Bunch, for an extended-pretend-family vacation. Nicole Kidman appears, wiggling her hips in a hula dance! Eddie performs the Heimlich maneuver on a comatose sheep! Danny gets hit in the crotch! Children spout precocious one-liners in funny fake accents!
Sandler’s fellow Saturday Night Live alums Kevin Nealon and Rachel Dratch, rocker Dave Matthews and tennis pro Andy Roddick, Decker’s real-life husband, also plug into the rom-com craziness, if only briefly.
Don’t try to understand it, analyze it, or explain it. If you’re a fan of Adam Sandler’s brand of arrested-adolescence wackiness, as the title suggests, just go with it.