Monday, February 14, 2011

'Just Go With It': The Reviews Are In!

Adam Sandler fans will surely hit the theater whether critics are into it or not.
By Eric Ditzian

Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in "Just Go With It"
Photo: Sony Pictures

Like the iPhone 4, Adam Sandler movies are basically review-proof. His comedies never engender the sort of critical praise that, say, Judd Apatow's often do, yet crowds reliably show up to watch Sandler do his thing.

So perhaps we shouldn't pay much mind to the often harsh reviews that have greeted his latest laugher, the Jennifer Aniston-co-starring rom-com, "Just Go With It." After all, even in the face of stiff competition from Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never," Sandler's flick is expected to win the weekend's box-office crown.

Possibly, though, you want to know a little more about "Just Go With It" than whose face fills nearly every scene. In that case, read on to find out what the critics have to say!

The Story
"Sandler plays Danny, a plastic surgeon and schlub who marries a shrew but discovers post-divorce (and post-nose job) that the gold band is a magnet for bar chicks. That changes when he meets Palmer (the stunning Brooklyn Decker), which prompts him to shove the ring in his pocket to woo her beachside. Everything's hunky-dory until Palmer discovers the ring in Danny's pocket and naturally assumes he's married. Here's where the film takes its first characteristic step: Instead of explaining himself, Danny concocts a bizarre lie that he's separated from his wife and close to a divorce. To maintain that lie, he persuades his assistant, Katherine (Aniston), to not only play his soon-to-be-ex-wife but to come with her two children to Hawaii to, well, make the movie feature length." — Scott Bowles, USA Today

The Look and the Laughs
"[Director Dennis] Dugan constantly shoots their paid vacation and indeed the entire film like a commercial, and with the rampant product placement, it's hard not to believe that's the case. Cuts are sloppy, dialogue looping is obvious, and although they must've seemed fresh after every take on set, Sandler's perpetual off-the-cuff name checks become a monotonous crutch in scene after scene. The man can't resist ethnic stereotypes, plastic surgery mishaps, shots to the groin or sheep resuscitation gags (a moment any other film would've played off as something funnier said than shown), and the film runs nearly two hours for all its allegedly comedic indulgences." — William Goss, Cinematical

The Chemistry
"[Aniston] has got expert comic timing when all those around her have none; she's got lightness and finesse when everyone else is being indulgently silly. She plays like a grown-up; she looks fab. And she gets a real commitment out of Sandler -- her performance makes him grow up, too. Amidst the wreckage of 'Just Go With It,' Aniston and Sandler have a real chemistry. They should go elsewhere with it." — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

The Dissenters
"Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production team has rarely put much stock in the rules of classical storytelling, but its newest project, 'Just Go With It,' manages to misfire in two seemingly incompatible directions. A puerile kiddie-comedy without the anarchic energy, and a schmaltzy romantic comedy without the sweetness, this Hawaii-set farce is too frantic and too lackadaisical a take on the oft-adapted French play 'Cactus Flower.' Working with longtime director Dennis Dugan, Sandler and the rest of the film's marquee cast could nonetheless steer it toward good returns." — Andrew Barker, Variety

The Final Word
"It had been one of the minor inducements to longevity, this crazy hope of one day actually seeing Jennifer Aniston in a good movie. That day arrives with 'Just Go With It,' a very funny romantic comedy that nicely combines Adam Sandler's acerbic sweetness with Aniston's down-to-earth warmth -- and that finds an excuse for Aniston to both play an average person and yet dress like a movie star. The screenplay has a setup that borders on farce, but the romantic heart of it is strong and expresses something unusual. It's a movie about the romance of familiarity, about the satisfaction and spiritual necessity of actually knowing someone and being known. So much of movie romance is usually about the opposite of that, about going off into the unknown, about adventure in the form of, not physical danger, but emotional danger. 'Just Go With It' makes a feint in that direction, but not enough to fool anybody." — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Check out everything we've got on "Just Go With It."

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