There was a time when the words ‘Adam Sandler movie’ weren’t bad words. Billy Madison was alright. Happy Gilmore was a lot of fun, until it got a little weird. I thought The Wedding Singer came together pretty nicely (Julia Gulia. he he). Even The Waterboy wasn’t too bad. The two movies that changed all that were Little Nicky and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan.
I know that they came out eight years apart but to my mind Zohan finished what was begun with Nicky. It was the mile marker beyond which respect for (or the fear of) audiences stopped meaning anything to Sandler.
So I was uninterested in Just Go With It even though they put it out there, right from the start, that Brooklyn Decker would walk very slowly towards us clad in a very skimpy bikini. I was still not interested.
There are certain actors whose presence in a movie guarantees that I will avoid it at all costs. One such actor is Jennifer Aniston. Coupled with the less than entertaining streak Mr. Sandler has been on lately, I was loathe to sample this film. Until I read this interview with the screenwriter Allan Loeb. He made some interesting points about being a working screenwriter so I decided to check out one of the movies he wrote recently.
Et voila! Bring on the Decker.
I am aware that this is the very definition of broad entertainment but come on! The choices the characters make in this film are just…cuckoo. Beginning with the prologue that gets this party started.
On the eve of his wedding Danny Maccabee (Sandler) finds out that his bride-to-be is cheating on him so he walks out on her, goes to a bar and ends up picking up a total hottie (Minka Kelly) because he tells her some lame story about how bad his marriage is when she spots his wedding ring.
From that day forward Danny uses the ring to pick up chicks. Ooh, see what they did there? Instead of repelling women, the ring—and his sob story du jour—attracts them!
One night, he meets Palmer, the girl of his dreams (the aforementioned, clothing-averse Ms. Decker), spends a magical night with her and in the morning she discovers his fake ring. So he has to make up a series of increasingly convoluted lies involving his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) so that he can continue to bump uglies with this much younger woman.
Ai-yi-yi! My head hurts.
I need to lie down after having typed all that down.
The best way to describe Just Go With It is to call it ‘creepy-weird’. Between the bizarre affectations of Katherine’s kids, the hi-jinks of their truly disturbing nanny, Danny’s weird relationship with his cousin Eddie (Nick Swardson) and the bat-poop insane parallel track involving Nicole Kidman and Dave Matthews (!!) I had no idea what planet these proceedings were supposed to be logical on.
Yes! I know! This is a movie. But Tom Clancy is credited with this quote: “The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense.”
Y’know what Messrs. Sandler, Loeb, Dowling (Timothy, co-writer) and Dugan (Dennis, the director)? Your movie makes no sense. And I don’t care that the title of your movie instructs us on how we are supposed to respond to it.
I could not just go with it.