Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Nick Swardson, Brooklyn Decker, Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck, Dave Matthews, Kevin Nealon, Rachel Dratch
Allan Loeb, Timothy Dowling, I.A.L. Diamond (screenplay, "Cactus Flower"), Abe Burrows (stage play), Pierre Barillet (French play), Jean-Pierre Grédy (French play)
Sometimes a Guy's Best Wingman ... is a Wingwoman.
On a weekend trip to hawaii, a plastic surgeon convinces his loyal assistant to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife in order to cover up a careless lie he told to his much-younger girlfriend.
$30.514 million on 3548 screens.
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Video Service
Runtime: 116 min.
Release Date: 6/7/2011
• Audio Commentary with Actor/Producer Adam Sandler, Actor Nick Swardson, Executive Producer Tim Herlihy, and Executive Producer/Actor Allen Covert
• Audio Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan
• “Laughter Is Contagious” Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes
• “Adon: Living Plastic” Featurette
• “Along Came a Prop Guy” Featurette
• “Decker’s Got Gas” Featurette
• “Dolph – Not the One from Rocky IV” Featurette
• “Kevin Nealon: The Plastic Man” Featurette
• “What’s a Dugan?” Featurette
• “Look Who Else is In the Movie” Featurette
• “Sneaky Kiki and Bart the Water Fart” Featurette
• “The Perfect Couple: Jen and Adam” Featurette
• “The Not So Perfect Couple” Featurette
• “Decker’s First Role” Featurette
• “Shooting Hawaii” Featurette
• Grand Wailea Promo
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Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.
Just Go With It [Blu-Ray] (2011)
Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 99, 2011)
After the misery that was 2010’s Grown Ups, I became sorely tempted to abandon Adam Sandler flicks once and for all – or at least those directed by Dennis Dugan. Of those five, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan was pretty entertaining and Happy Gilmore was okay.
Unfortunately, the other three - Grown Ups, Big Daddy and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry - were all thoroughly awful. I barely laughed during any of those three.
2011 brought another Sandler/Dugan collaboration via Just Go With It. Why did I bother to see this one with the painful memory of Grown Ups so fresh in my mind? Simple: I had a free movie pass about to expire, it was free popcorn Tuesday, and the other unseen options looked even less appealing. Seriously, it was Sandler or Bieber, so I went Go.
During a prologue set in the 1980s, we see Danny (Sandler) ditch his cheating fiancée (Jackie Sandler) at the altar. When he goes to drown his sorrows, he wears his wedding ring anyway. As he chats up a gorgeous woman at the bar (Minka Kelly), he senses that the ring makes him more appealing to her, so he concocts a cock and bull story about his fake marriage to entice her to sleep with him.
This works and launches Danny on a life of lies. Burned by his ex-fiancée, Danny decides he never wants to settle down, so he just uses the ring to pretend to be in bad marriages and soak up sympathy sex.
This continues even after he becomes a very successful LA plastic surgeon, but it threatens to backfire when Danny meets stunning young Palmer (Brooklyn Decker). For once, he doesn’t pretend to be married, as he really hits it off with her and senses he might actually be interested in something meaningful.
Alas, Palmer discovers the wedding ring in his pocket and forces him to come clean. Which he doesn’t do: instead, Danny tells Palmer that he’s getting divorced. She accepts this but insists that she meet his (non-existent) soon-to-be-ex-wife. Danny agrees, and forces his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to play the fake spouse.
This goes fine but becomes more complicated when Katherine – working under the fake name “Devlin” – takes a call from her kids. This means that Danny now has to also pretend to be a dad, so he ropes Katherine’s kids Maggie (Bailee Madison) and Michael (Griffin Gluck) into the charade. And the shenanigans don’t stop there, as they eventually involve a trip to Hawaii, Danny’s cousin and Katherine’s college nemesis.
Oh, what a tangled web, and all that! Really, Go often threatens to be all web and little else. The movie aims for screwball comedy but gets snarled in its own idiotic machinations. We can accept a certain amount of illogic in a farce like this, but Go batters down all sense of realism. It nearly becomes buried under its complications and basic stupidity.
Some problematic casting choices also muck up the works. Palmer is one of the film’s weaknesses both in terms of character and actor. The role itself is essentially a cipher – a really hot cipher, but still, Palmer is such a bland personality that she barely exists. We know little about her and care even less. The movie gives us little reason to understand Danny’s interest in her beyond her obvious beauty, and that’s not enough; he bedded many a babe over the decades, so what makes this one potentially the one?
Because there wouldn’t be a movie otherwise? That’s about the extent of the logic behind Danny’s infatuation with Decker. She has little personality or charm beyond her looks, so she sucks the life out of the film when she appears. (Insert your own crude “sucks” joke here.)
Granted, it’s hard to tell where the script’s flaws end and Decker’s weaknesses as an actor begin. I’ll say it again: yes, she’s very hot. Unfortunately, she can’t act. Or she can’t act much. I’ve seen worse models turned actors – I’ll never erase the painful memory of Jerry Hall’s wooden turn in the 1989 Batman from my mind – but Decker can’t bring any personality or skill to the role. They might as well have had an actual mannequin play the part; Decker is beautiful but free from talent.
Still, bland and beautiful beats what we get from the movie’s young actors. Actually, Gluck seems mostly inoffensive. The kid can’t act and also can’t display an emotion other than mopey, but that’s usually all the film asks of him. It occasionally wants him to deliver a joke, and he fails to display even the most basic comedic timing, but he exists more as a prop and plot device than anything else, so I can live with his non-performance.
Madison, on the other hand, creates a frequent irritation. She comes across as the worst kind of showbiz kid, one who batters us with her loud line readings and broad emotions. Granted, the movie builds some of this into the story, but not enough to allow us to enjoy Madison’s time on screen. I hate to bash kids, but she’s really quite awful and one of the film’s biggest weaknesses; it’s impossible to care about the kid when she’s so darned annoying.
Like every Sandler/Dugan film, Go packs in an abundance of tacky, not-too-funny sight gags, and it also runs awfully long. At 116 minutes, it feels like it never will end. That running time becomes a particular burden given the inevitability of its plot. From very early in the film, it becomes abundantly clear how it’ll end, and the attempts at tension fall flat, largely because the movie just keeps going and going and going. We lose patience and just want it to finish already.
Despite all of these problems and more than I’ve not cited, I must admit that I left Go with a reasonably positive feeling. 99.9 percent of that came from the chemistry enjoyed between Sandler and Aniston. Not since Drew Barrymore has Sandler found a female co-star who so nicely complements his talents.
Yes, Aniston does little more than offer another variant on Rachel from Friends. (The more I see the various Friends actors, the more I doubt any of them can play anything other than those characters, but that’s a debate for another day.) Nonetheless, Aniston covers that role very well and displays fine comedic timing and panache.
And she simply connects with Sandler. He also doesn’t stretch himself, as he plays a kind of character he’s done about 100 times, but when he works with Aniston, he delivers a light touch that lacks from many of his films. It’s a cliché, but they light up the screen when they’re together and threaten to make a messy movie enjoyable.
Though Just Go With It remains muddled and creaky enough that all the chemistry in the world won’t make it succeed on a consistent basis. I give Aniston credit for her ability to make some lemonade out of these particular lemons, though. She and Sandler connect often enough to turn this into a moderately enjoyable comedy; it’s certainly at least 253 times better than Grown Ups.
The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B
Just Go With It appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie boasted a consistently strong presentation.
Sharpness always looked great. Even the widest shots demonstrated fine delineation, so don’t expect to see any signs of softness. The image lacked moiré effects or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to materialize. Print flaws also didn’t show up in this clean presentation.
Like most modern comedies, Go opted for a palette with a mild golden tint. It still demonstrated a nice range of hues, especially when the film went to Hawaii; those scenes offered bright, vivid tones. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows looked clear and smooth. Everything here worked fine.
As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it went with pretty typical fare for a comedy, though the Hawaiian setting allowed it to open up a bit. Those scenes spread out the natural elements and created a nice sense of place. Nothing here really excelled, though, so don’t expect a particularly involving track.
Audio quality was fine. Music seemed full and vivid, and effects showed good replication; those elements demonstrated solid clarity and heft. Speech was always distinctive and concise. Again, this wasn’t a memorable soundtrack, but it suited the movie well enough.
The disc includes a reasonable number of extras, and we find two separate commentaries. The first comes from actor/producer Adam Sandler, actor Nick Swardson, executive producer Tim Herlihy, and executive producer/actor Allen Covert. All four sit together for a running, screen-specific chat. At least I think it’s just the four of them; annoyingly, they never introduce themselves, so I had to figure out who was there as the track went along.
If you’ve heard prior Sandler commentaries, you’ll know what to expect here. He and his buddies joke around a lot and give us minor notes about cast and crew, sets and locations, editing, and other production tidbits. Few of their remarks give us much insight into the production, and the joking is hit or miss. Like the earlier Sandler commentaries, this one’s a moderately enjoyable listen but not anything especially useful.
For the second commentary, we find director Dennis Dugan. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at locations and sets, cast and performances, action and stunts, effects, and a few other areas.
Dugan’s recorded quite a few commentaries, and they tend to be similar – so similar that I can simply duplicate the comments I made for his Grown Ups track and not need to alter them at all. Dugan offers a decent examination of the film, though he tends to sag as the track progresses. He jokes too much and doesn’t give us a ton of great facts, but he covers the movie in an acceptable manner.
Called Laughter Is Contagious, a gag reel runs four minutes, 39 seconds. Should you expect anything other than the usual goofs and giggles? Not really; it throws out a few improv bits but most of the reel sticks with the standard silliness.
16 Deleted Scenes last a total of 16 minutes, 57 seconds. We see more at Danny’s first aborted wedding, and many of the clips give us more of Eddie. Other scenes provide more banter between Danny and Katherine, and there are a smattering of random comedic bits like some with bad plastic surgery victims. We also see Danny try to explain to Palmer why the kids will go bye-bye before long.
The wedding sequence probably should have stayed in the movie, if just because the final flick gives us such an awkward transition. The scene about Danny’s kids going to boarding school also would’ve been useful exposition. The other pieces were pretty good cuts just because the movie’s already so long; it didn’t need more of the same kind of comedy, though I do kind of like a post script in which Palmer turns into the new Danny. Anyway, it could have lost some of its existing shtick to put those expository elements in the movie.
12 Featurettes follow. We find “Adon: Living Plastic” (2:30), “Along Came a Prop Guy” (2:53), “Decker’s Got Gas” (2:19), “Dolph – Not the One from Rocky IV” (6:11), “Kevin Nealon: The Plastic Man” (5:31), “What’s a Dugan?” (5:27), “Look Who Else is In the Movie” (2:40), “Sneaky Kiki and Bart the Water Fart” (1:31), “The Perfect Couple: Jen and Adam” (5:51), “The Not So Perfect Couple” (3:52), “Decker’s First Role” (4:20) and “Shooting Hawaii” (5:35). Across these, we hear from Dugan, Sandler, Swardson, prop man Tim Wiles, production designer Perry Andelin Blake, and actors Kevin Nealon, Brooklyn Decker, Jennifer Aniston, Bailee Madison, Griffin Gluck, Rachel Dratch, Heidi Montag, Dan Patrick, Nicole Kidman, Andy Roddick and Dave Matthews. The featurettes cover makeup and effects, cast and performances, Dugan’s work on the set, and locations.
Even a jar of Fluff doesn’t have as much fluff as this collection of featurettes. Will you learn some movie-making facts? Sure, but not many, and they tend to be incidental. We get lots of joking around and happy talk but not a lot of concrete material. Though the featurettes aren’t unpleasant to watch, they don’t tell us much of use.
The disc opens with ads for Battle: Los Angeles and Green Hornet. These also appear under Previews along with clips for Elektra Luxx, Beastly, Barney’s Version, Grown Ups, 50 First Dates and Click. A promo for the Grand Wailea Hotel shows up as well. No trailer for Just Go With It appears here.
No one should expect consistency from Adam Sandler, and Just Go With It provides another in his long run of erratic flicks. However, it benefits from nice chemistry between Sandler and Jennifer Aniston so it provides decent entertainment. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals, decent audio and a reasonably positive set of supplements. The movie comes with flaws but delivers acceptable charm in the end.
Viewer Film Ratings: 1.8333 Stars|| Number of Votes: 6|