Danny Maccabe (Adam Sandler, Grown Ups) has a system for getting chicks. Instead of playing the game, flirting and getting shot down, Danny wears a wedding ring, giving the appearance of being an off-the-market guy that girls will come to seeking refuge from the normal pigs. When questioned about his marriage, he spouts out lie after lie about how terribly abuse his cheating wife is. Feeling bad for the good guy with a broken heart, the women always give it up to him.
When Danny meets Palmer (23-year-old Sports Illustrated model Brooklyn Decker), he decides to change his ways. Although much younger than him, they have an undeniably real chemistry together – so we are told (Sandler and Decker share no on-screen chemistry). The morning after their first night together, Palmer finds Danny’s faux wedding band and says goodbye to him, assuming that he is just like all the other pigs. Covering his tracks, Danny claims to be in the middle of a divorce, and from there spools a whole web of lies and deceit that he must fabricate to keep Palmer around.
Pretending to be Danny’s soon-to-be ex-wife Devlin is Katherine (Jennifer Aniston, The Bounty Hunter), Danny’s real-life assistant from work. Katherine is a frumpy 40-something divorcee with two wild children who also end up playing a part in this big lie that takes everyone to Hawaii for the second and third acts. While there, Katherine runs into an old roommate (Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole) and her husband (band frontman Dave Matthews) and starts weaving a second web of lies about her life. As you could guess, while playing their roles, real chemistry becomes apparent between Danny and Katherine. What ever will they do?
Just Go with It has a great idea for a romantic comedy, but it just can’t seem to execute it in a worthy manner. I blame it on the stupid-humor typical of any Sandler flick. Perhaps without those gags, many of which fall flat, it could have succeeded in being one of the great romantic comedies.
Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot stand Jennifer Aniston. Her fake charm bothers me. But just as shocked as I was to enjoy her performance in The Switch, I was even more shocked to enjoy her in Just Go with It. When playing Katherine, Aniston is reserved in a way that we have not seen her. When playing Devlin, she reverts to the typical Friends persona – only not as annoying. And even then, her performance as Devlin justifies that style.
Being the only romantic comedy opening this Valentine’s Day weekend, I recommend Just Go with It for a date movie. It is not the best rom-com ever, but it sure is the best in theaters (unless you can find How Do You Know somewhere on the big screen). For those as disappointed in the last few Sandler flicks as I was, Just Go with It will be a pleasant surprise.
Photo credit: Sony Pictures