Monday, February 14, 2011

Just Stop It

For 15 years, we've all been watching Adam Sandler movies. You all know them. They all feature a lead character played by Sandler. These characters are, on paper, amazingly diverse people but, in the end, they're all the same guy. They always feature some socially awkward jerk who becomes less awkward and jerky by committing horrible acts for which he is somehow always forgiven and they all live happily ever after. Mind you, not all of Sandler's movies are like that. There is a difference between Adam Sandler movies and movies that star Adam Sandler. The former are movies that are more or less under Sandler's control. They are produced by him, written by him and his buddies from when he did stand up and SNL and directed by someone he picked. These movies are usually very popular with the general public and hated by film critics. Movies with Adam Sandler (Spanglish, Funny People) usually are higher on the quality food chain and are made by well regarded filmmakers. They're usually pretty good, liked by film critics but aren't as popular or profitable as the first type of movie. Just Go With It is an Adam Sandler movie. It's dumb, offensive, and not especially funny and it came in at #1 in its opening week.

I'm not a fan of Adam Sandler movies. 50 First Dates is the only one I can say I liked. I can't say I liked Just Go With It. Like a lot of comedies, it is dumb and annoying. If you're going to do that, you have to load the movie with laughs to make up for it and Just Go With It fails to do that. That's what I think anyway. It seems the audience I saw it with felt the same way. Still, everyone went to see it anyway.

Sandler plays Danny, a guy who found out on his wedding day that his fiancee hated him. On the same day, he discovered that there is a type of woman who will have casual sex with married men so he wore his wedding ring anyway. This happened in 1988. In the meantime, he became a successful plastic surgeon and also perfected the technique of lying about his marital status to get women into bed. One day, after more than two decades of piggish behavior, he meets a sweet, 23 year old teacher named Palmer (supermodel Brooklyn Decker). In one of those coincidences that only happens in lame comedies, he had taken the wedding ring off and didn't try to use his usual ruse to get her naked. Despite the fact that she looks like the type of girl who could be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and he looks like a chinless melonhead twice her age, she instantly falls for him and they have hot sex on a nearby beach. She then finds the wedding ring in his pocket and thinks he's married. Luckily for him he's already a pig and has no trouble saying that yes, he's married but he's about to get divorced. I should point out that no mention is made of the daddy issues she must be dealing with or the emotional damage she must have suffered in the course of her life that caused her to fall so hard for this douchebag that she's willing to buy all of this and take him back.

Danny also manages to suck his perfectly decent nurse, Katherine, into all this crap by getting her to play his soon-to-be-divorced wife. Katherine is played by Jennifer Aniston, a name synonymous with quality movies yet, surprisingly, she failed to be the film's saving grace. I won't reveal if she turned out to be the true love of Danny's life as there's no possible way you could guess without seeing the movie.

While we march to the inevitable rom-com ending, we hear bad accents, see poor Brooklyn Decker trying to pretend she's the type of shallow twit who would have ever believed any of this and, because it's an Adam Sandler movie, someone falls face first in shit. In this case, that person is a little girl so, yay.

I honestly think Adam Sandler is capable of doing better films that Just Go With It. In fact, he's done so, more than once, but why does he have to? He can keep pumping out movies like this till he dies and you will all keep seeing them. For instance, his next movie is called Jack and Jill. He plays a guy named Jack and his annoying twin sister, Jill. Seriously. You'll all go see it too and both Sandler and I will continue dying a little inside. The difference is that Sandler will make a boatload of money doing it.

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