Review: Just Go With It (2011)

Synopsis: A plastic surgeon (Adam Sandler), romancing a much younger schoolteacher (Brooklyn Decker), enlists his loyal assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his soon to be ex-wife, in order to cover up a careless lie. When more lies backfire, the assistant’s kids become involved, and everyone heads off for a weekend in Hawaii that will change all their lives.

The overall set-up (mooted by Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling) borders on farce, but through short-sharp bursts of comedy, manages to make a commendable attempt to break-free of rom-com conventions and head into surprisingly heartwarming territory.

Still, no matter how hard it tries, it unfortunately remains a desperately uneven film, suffering from Dennis Dugan’s basic, overly glossy direction and a ludicrously bloated, lingering running time.

The two leads, Sandler and Aniston, display a very natural comedic flare and, to the films advantage, combine their strengths – Sandler’s acerbic sweetness with Aniston’s down-to-earth warmth – to reasonable avail, establishing a tenable and charismatic on-screen duo.

It’s a testament to Aniston who, no matter how deadpan her post-Friends career has become, remains one of the best comedic actresses of her generation, wonderfully transferring her glowing off-screen, warm-natured personality, and sizeable womanly assets, into Katherine’s likeable and winning nature, essentially bringing her to life.

Prevailing in a supporting role, Bailee Madison, who plays Katherine’s youngest daughter, delivers a bubbly, witty and energetic preeminent performance.

Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, stars as Katherine’s frenemy Devlin Adams. It’s a somewhat inspired role, and certainly brings a breath of fresh air to the trailing central plot, but Kidman’s performance comes across as forced, unnatural and down right insane. Your never sure whether to laugh or cringe.

Just Go With It is so ridiculously overblown that it’s bereft of any true mentality, with the end wrapped up so hastily it makes the whole ordeal arguably pointless. Yet, through a zealous performance from Aniston and a suitably pushy script, it’s an infrequently entertaining effort.

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