I’d honestly like to give some honest criticism on this romantic comedy. I’d like to open up the discourse on the acting styles of Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. I’d like to discuss the overall moral to the story to Just Go With It, that being ‘just be honest with people.’ I cannot do any of these. This movie is plain terrible. Not Skyline terrible, as that film just took the lazy way out. Just Go With It is terrible for many, many reasons.
Yes, romantic comedies always follow the same formula, where two people who you would not normally think would be together are forced to interact in a way that makes them be close to another. Over the course of the movie, one or both grow attached and they both have to split. Then there’s a confrontation and the truth finally comes out. Just Go With It did not deviate.
I’m not complaining that this wasn’t some masterpiece of cinema, but rather that is so blatantly followed the formula. Making movies is not rocket science, here. People could at least try to exert some effort here. So where did this film go wrong?
Adam Sandler delivered some excellent observational humor, and in that respect, he still has his edge. He still unabashedly makes fun of Jewish stereotypes (like big noses) and has a way with one-liners. In his acting capacity, Sandler did nothing wrong here.
I want to place blame onto Jennifer Aniston, but in Just Go With It, there is some actual effort to be a decent actress. While there are no blockbuster-worthy dramatic moments, there are one or two serious scenes that were done well. As much as I would like to knock Aniston down a peg, she remains blameless, and is in fact a gem in this movie. Aniston delivers some cringe-worthy dialogue like a champ.
Nick Swardson, whose sketch comedy was just awful, could have been eliminated from the plot without much change at all to the total impact of the movie…was not the reason this film was bad. Brooklyn Decker, the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model-turned Sandler’s love interest, while playing a stupid, attractive blond, did not make this movie terrible. All in all, no actor/actress made this movie terrible.
The film is from Happy Madison Productions (so named from the amalgamation of Sandler’s early films Happy Gilmore & Billy Madison), and shares the same director – Dennis Dugan. The man was twice nominated for a Razzie award for Worst Director. His directorial choices are sub-par at best.
When a film is bad because of bad acting, you blame the actors and director. When the acting is good, but the dialogue and premise are bad, blame the writers. When the acting is good, but the movie is snoozeville, you blame the director…possibly the producers as well. This film was the latter of the three, and deservedly so. Grown Ups, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and others just like it are prime examples of how simply terrible Dugan is. I’m not the only one saying so. Dugan is far past his prime, making films that go to the lowest common denominator in order to appeal to a banal, crass, diminutive nature in the common filmgoer. This results in good profit margins, but terrible films.
Dugan is a throwback to the late 1980s, back when his movies were actually decent. Just Go With It is a disingenuous attempt at filmmaking, with only cleverly delivered pieces of humor thrown in to redeem it. Dugan could be replaced by any hungry film school director and could probably make this film better. This was just sloppy.
FINAL GRADE: F
TRR Movie Revue by Geoffrey Beebe