There are two ways to watch a film like Just Go With It. The first is to look at the characters and situations as if they existed in the real world. Through this lens as with most Hollywood productions the story is far-fetched and trite the characters too stereotypical to stomach. However even if you leave practicality at home and well just go with it it’s hard to find anything to enjoy in Adam Sandler’s new movie about a playboy plastic surgeon that convinces his assistant to pose as his ex-wife in an attempt to woo a new lady friend.
Danny Maccabee is afraid of having his heart broken like it was when he was in medical school so he uses his would-be wedding ring from a disastrous engagement as a chick magnet because you know all single ladies love married men. However when he finally meets and beds the girl of his dreams the tactic backfires as she thinks she’s just wrecked a home. Enter Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) Danny’s ordinary (well ordinary when compared to bombshell Brooklyn Decker) office mule who is lured into an ever-expanding web of lies so that he can win his Ms. Right.
The film’s weakest link is its script from writers Timothy Dowling (Role Models) and Allan Loeb (The Switch). Their simple story relies heavily on Sandler’s tried-and-true formula of physical gags and broad family humor offering the audience nothing they haven’t seen before and virtually no organic comedy. While the premise and principle players are very predictable the supporting cast injects some life into the picture most notably young starlet-in-training Bailee Madison whose cutesiness is the only thing I didn’t get sick of throughout the film. Honorable mentions also go to Nick Swardson as Sandler’s crazy cousin and Nicole Kidman who ought to try her hand at comedy more often.
Unfortunately their charm doesn’t compensate for the film’s uneven pacing. I was incredibly bored throughout the second act which is hampered by scenes that play longer than they should but biggest conundrum is Sandler himself: the main draw in Just Go With It as well as its most unlikable element. His character’s arc not to mention his performance is about as artificial as the breasts he gives his clients. Not only is Maccabee a self-centered liar; his deceptions go unpunished as he coasts through the film’s climax into happily-ever-after territory. Some will accept even embrace the Hollywood ending but the conclusion is a loss for Aniston’s character who is otherwise pleasant to watch. A dignified single mother she’s at first reluctant to help Danny due to the immoral nature of his plan but falls for him because he eventually develops a relationship with the kids. I guess she didn’t see him throw them in the mud earlier in the movie.
Generally speaking the greatest strength a contemporary romantic comedy has is its funny factor but director Dennis Dugan unexpectedly creates a comfortable quixotic vibe in Just Go With It which is surprising considering his past endeavors with Sandler (among them I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Grown Ups). It doesn’t make up for the lack of natural laughs but will sate the target audiences’ appetite for a harmless and forgettable Valentine’s Day snack.
It's been more than six months since Grown Ups hit theaters. Do you know what that means? Of course you do - it's time for more Adam Sandler! The $100 million funny man is back in theaters next month with Just Go With It, a new romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston and Brooklyn Decker at his side. Lucky guy!
Sandler's frequent collaborator Dennis Dugan returns to helm from a script by Allan Loeb (The Dilemma) and Timothy Dowling (Role Models). Today, we're bringing you an exclusive clip from the film, which shows Sandler's lack of ability to properly care for children and Decker's ability to look amazing in a nightgown. The film hits theaters on February 11th, just in time for Valentine's Day, so grab your girl/guy and Just Go With It!
Were The Dilemma made by someone other than Ron Howard it might be easy to dismiss it as just another inert relationship comedy. But the presence of the Oscar-winning director’s name atop the marquee begs further examination. Howard’s artistic credentials may be a matter of some debate but it’s indisputable that he’s got an impeccable eye for engaging audience-friendly material most recently demonstrated in his blockbuster adaptations of Dan Brown’s pulp religio-thrillers The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. What then drew him to something as acetic and unfunny as The Dilemma?
The film stars Vince Vaughn as Ronny an auto-industry entrepreneur tormented by the discovery that his best friend/business partner Nick (Kevin James) is being cuckolded by his wife Geneva (Winona Ryder). Proper protocol dictates that Ronny alert his friend of his wife’s dalliance posthaste but Nick’s a highly nervous fellow and he’s currently immersed in frantic preparations for a make-or-break sales presentation on which the fate of his and Ronny’s company and the fortunes they’ve sunk into it depends. Such a revelation might turn Nick’s ulcerous stomach Vesuvial wrecking their entire enterprise. Can Ronny risk such a calamity? It’s quite the conundrum. Hence the title.
Vaughn’s charm and improv skills are considerable but he’s never been able to carry a film on his shoulders which is essentially what Howard asks him to do for much of The Dilemma’s overlong running time. And Vaughn certainly gives it his best shot laboring all too desperately to extract blood from the stone of Allan Loeb’s script. He gets covered in sores dances awkwardly with his male co-star concocts ludicrous alibis for his suspicious fiancé-to-be (Jennifer Connelly) references Kurt Russell's inspirational speech from Miracle at least twice and offers to spar comically with just about anyone within earshot. But there aren’t many takers and the laughs are few and far between.
This is a film that should have been made as a broad irreverent farce by someone like Todd Phillips or a dark subversive dramedy by someone like Noah Baumbach. Howard himself appears inclined toward the former – there are copious sports metaphors and jokes about burning urination butt tattoos the emasculating effects of electric cars* and lady wood** – but his comic instincts have atrophied since the days of Splash and Parenthood. Moreover as the story lumbers along he invests The Dilemma with a gravity undeserving of any film involving Kevin James.
The Dilemma does start to show signs of life at around the one-hour mark when Ronny stakes himself outside the apartment of Nick’s wife’s lover an inked-up rocker named Zip (a surprisingly funny Channing Tatum) in the hopes of capturing photographic evidence of the illicit affair. He gets caught of course and a chaotic struggle ensues involving two men who clearly have little experience with physical confrontation. It’s by no means hilarious and its comic absurdity clashes with the film’s increasingly serious tone but it at least provides a glimpse of the potential Howard et al saw in the project. At any rate it arrives too late because soon thereafter Howard must get to the business of resolving matters.
And resolving matters takes a surprisingly long time. There are arguments an intervention a separation a number of damaging revelations some fisticuffs and at least a dozen utterances of “I’m sorry” involved in The Dilemma’s prolonged denouement an emotion-drenched span in which the film is at its most recognizably Howardian. Which is to say very dramatic — and not very funny.
* Vaughn's character at one point actually refers to the vehicles as "gay " which caused a (somewhat overblown) controversy when it was first heard in the film's trailer. It might qualify as the film's most interesting moment if only for the palpable awkwardness of watching the character played by Queen Latifah long the subject of speculation about her sexuality and something of a gay icon absorb the comment with nary a wince.
** Which is pretty much exactly what you think it is. Incidentally it's what Latifah's character claims to have gotten while listening to the aforementioned electric car speech.
Jennifer Aniston is in talks for Columbia's romantic comedy Pretend Wife, a project being developed as an Adam Sandler vehicle.
The Happy Madison-produced film has Dennis Dugan as the lead contender to direct, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Columbia is looking at a shoot early next year for a February 11, 2011, release just in time for Valentine's Day.
The script, written by Allan Loeb and Tim Dowling was once known as Holiday in Hawaii. Plot details are being kept under wraps.
Sandler next appears in the ensemble comedy Grown Ups, which Dugan directed.
Aniston has romantic comedies The Baster with Jason Bateman and Bounty with Gerard Butler set for release next year.
Has Jennifer Aniston's dream of becoming a baby mama finally come true? Close ... but not quite.
Jason Bateman will impregnate Aniston this spring in The Baster. The fertility-themed romantic comedy from Mandate Pictures and Blades of Glory directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon will shoot later this year in NY from a screenplay by Allan Loeb.
Adapted from a short story by Jeffrey Eugenides which was published in The New Yorker, the film centers on best friends Wally and Kassie. When Wally learns that Kassie is planning to get pregnant via artificial insemination, he replaces the donor's semen with his own and must live with the secret that he is the father of her child.
READ: Baster, The New Yorker, June 17, 1996
Bona Fide Productions' Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa will produce. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce along with Aniston and her Echo Films partner Kristin Hahn.
As Variety points out, the project marks the second artificial insemination comedy to get the green light in recent weeks. CBS Films is moving forward with the Plan B starring Jennifer Lopez. Last year's Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Baby Mama, also about a fertility-challenged woman, was a box-office success earning $64.3 million worldwide.
CHECK OUT: Hollywood Wiretap
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