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Just Go with It

A movie directed by Dennis Dugan

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A Movie as Phony as the Marriage it Depicts

  • Feb 12, 2011
Star Rating:

Is there anything more infuriating than a comedy plot that wouldn’t pass muster in a sitcom? Just Go with It – which is, believe it or not, a remake of the 1969 film Cactus Flower – tells a story so contrived, artificial, and unfunny that if it were a television pilot, it would in all likelihood be locked in a studio vault and allowed to disintegrate into oblivion. It’s one of those sad situations in which an engaging premise is all but snuffed out by a plot that’s nothing close to possible, characters who are nothing close to likeable, and filmmakers who are nothing close to talented. It’s really just another excuse for Adam Sandler to say and do goofy things on camera, things that might seem funny on paper but visually come off as little more than desperate. Having seen Punch Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, and Funny People, I know he can apply himself when he wants to.

Sandler plays Danny Maccabee, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. His profession gives the filmmakers license to spend almost the entire first quarter of the film on medical grotesqueries. A flashback to the late 1980s establishes this; back then, his nose was ridiculously large. In the present day, we see fellow Saturday Night Live alums Rachel Dratch and Kevin Nealon, the former as a woman with one eyebrow lifted high on her forehead, the latter as a man who has had so many facelifts, he looks like the Joker without the white greasepaint. We also see a woman with one breast noticeably large than the other, one of her implants having burst. Director Dennis Dugan makes the dread mistake of believing these characters are funny solely on the basis of their appearance. If I’m to laugh, they also have to be given something funny to do. Good luck finding it in this movie.


Maccabee is single, although he continuously attracts women by wearing a wedding ring and making up stories about domestic strife. He then meets and falls in love with Palmer Dodge (Brooklyn Decker), quite possibly one of the sexiest sixth grade math teachers on the planet; although he had no intention of using the I’m-in-a-bad-marriage ploy on her, he’s forced to when she discovers the wedding ring in the pocket of his jeans. His lies and tells her that, although he’s married, he’s getting a divorce. This isn’t good enough for Palmer – she wants to be reassured by his soon-to-be ex. Desperate, Danny enlists his office manager and best friend Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to pose as his wife. She goes along with it, and even takes advantage of the situation by going on designer shopping sprees.
Katherine’s kids enter the picture, which starts a whole new series of lies. The daughter is a wannabe actress named Maggie (Bailee Madison), who insists on faking a British accent so awful, it makes Dick Van Dyke’s vocal performance in Mary Poppins sound professional. The son is an opportunist named Michael (Griffin Gluck). They both manipulate Danny to extremes, and it culminates with an expensive vacation to Hawaii, which, in addition to Danny, Palmer, Katherine, and her kids, will see Danny’s obnoxious friend Eddie (Nick Swardson) in attendance. He poses as Katherine’s German boyfriend, Dolph Lundgren – you know, like the guy from Rocky IV. We will eventually have to endure the sight of him performing the Heimlich maneuver on a sheep. Obviously, the sheep had to be fake. What I don’t understand is why it had to look fake. We live in an age of big budget movies. Are you telling me no one could afford a lifelike dummy sheep?


While in Hawaii, Katherine runs into her college frenemy, Delvin Adams. She’s played by Nicole Kidman, and as I watched her, I had to keep reminding myself that she’s the same woman who won an Oscar for The Hours and is currently nominated for Rabbit Hole, one of the best films of 2010. Her character is competitive and spiteful, and she’s in a phony marriage to the self-proclaimed inventor of the iPod (Dave Matthews).
Every character in this film is astonishingly stupid. I was especially surprised at Palmer; she’s pleasant and apparently smart enough to teach junior high math, and yet she lacks the necessary deduction skills for two unconvincing foreign accents, two people who are going by the same name, and cover stories that would turn any liar into a laughing stock. I was also appalled by Katherine. As a single mom, as a working woman, she does not strike me as someone who would allow herself to be a pawn in a man’s quest for booty. Why would Aniston stoop to this? She has subjected herself to filmmakers who, on the basis of this film, wouldn’t know funny even if it came up and bit them. The title tells me, Just Go with It. I’m telling you, don’t fall for it the same way I did.


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February 15, 2011
Thanks Chris, a friend, with whom I never agree regarding movies, was just going on and on about how hilarious this film was....glad I read your review.
February 15, 2011
There are certain things people, even friends, should never discuss openly. For some, it's politics. For others, it's religion. It sounds like you and your friend shouldn't discuss movies. That's just my two cents.
February 13, 2011
Wow, I was wanting this movie to be better, great review.
February 12, 2011
Great review! So this was a remake eh? You know I feel bad that Sandler seems to go to the usual formulas, he can definitely perform when he wants to; I also enjoyed "Funny People" and "Punch Drunk Love" quite a bit. Aniston has been cursed with roles like this even after she did an indie with "The Good Girl", she has been stuck to rom-coms. This sounds interesting enough for me to grab as a rental on a lazy stormy night. Thanks! I'll be back to check out what else you have....
February 12, 2011
Thanks for the comment. As for a rental on a lazy stormy night, I refer you back to the last two sentences of my review.
More Just Go with It reviews
review by . July 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Half a star out of ****     Here's how things are; I rarely smile - let alone laugh - when I see a comedy these days, because most of them just aren't funny. I believe we are running out of intelligence and genius in this field, and all of the previous masters of the genre are dying. It's difficult to laugh when something isn't clever, but it's OK to giggle. After all, laughter is a gift; it can't come out of our little mouths every time we see a comedy film. But I'd at least …
review by . July 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There are Adam Sandler films that are pretty good (Funny People, Spanglish, Click) and there are others that are among the slew of mindless comedys (Don't Mess with the Zohan, The Backup Plan, Grown-ups and just about any Ashton Kutcher film). This film is among the latter. The only thing missing from this poor excuse of a comedy is Rob Schneider who usually is mandatory in a Sandler vehicle.      The movie opens with Sandler as Danny donning the most fake looking nose this …
review by . April 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   I might be a bit biased about this because I have a personal sympathy for Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler but I found this movie entertaining, simple and relaxing. These are all characteristics that most romcoms these days lack in. They all try too much to be either funny, either too romantic, either too complex and suffer from the storytelling point of view but this film, while it's a typical romcom it still delivers more than expected. But let's go into slicing this bread …
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #2
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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About this movie


Just Go with It, originally titled Pretend Wife, is an upcoming romantic comedy film starring Adam Sandler andJennifer Aniston. Other stars include Nicole Kidman, fashion model Brooklyn Decker, and musician Dave Matthews. Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling wrote the script and Dennis Dugan, who has collaborated with Sandler on most of his films such as Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, You Don't Mess with the Zohan and Grown Ups served as director.

The film is inspired by the 1969 film, Cactus Flower. The film will be produced under Sandler's production company Happy Madison and will be distributed by Columbia Pictures.

This is also the sixth film that Dugan has directed Sandler.

It was shot between Los Angeles and Hawaii on the islands of Maui and Kauai and filming took place between March 2, 2010 and May 25, 2010.

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Director: Dennis Dugan
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Release Date: 11 February 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Timothy Dowling, Allan Loeb
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