It is that time again boys and girls for the movie of the week. This week, we visit a genre that is staler than your grandmother Edna’s cookies: the romantic comedy. *boo* *hiss*. Okay, okay before you start throwing those almond cookies, I think I need to let you know that there is a $5 bill in it for each of you. *whisper from editor* “Do we have that in our budget?” “No silly, just go with it.”. Audience – “What was that?” Why, our movie today is the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston picture: Just Go With It. Roll the film!
Twenty years ago, Danny Maccabee (played by Adam Sandler) ended his wedding day with a big broken heart and an even bigger nose. Man, was that thing huge. Be sure to never invite him to a coke party. Coke party? Yes, this review is brought to you by Cherry Coca-cola. No, you can’t have any because I drank it all. Anyway, Danny goes off to a local bar to drink the night away (not Cherry Coca-Cola) and strikes up a conversation with a hot girl who notices his wedding ring.
When asked about how long he has been married, he lies and says six years. Well, one lie turns into a barrel full of lies (the monkeys aren’t happy) and before you know it, the hot chick (because hot girls are typically gullible and stupid) decides to take him away to hotel for loving until the break of dawn. Danny quickly realizes that this wedding ring is his ticket to sizzling one-night stands with girls that have IQs under their breast size. He quickly changes his major from cardiology to plastic surgery and starts schmoozing.
Twenty years later, he has his own plastic surgery office and a much smaller nose to boot. He serves the best that the city has to offer and has made quite the living for himself. However, he still finds himself in numerous one-night stands where he gets the girl by lying and saying he is married. It saves him heartbreak and keeps him from real relationships. His faithful assistant, Katherine Murphy (played by Jennifer Aniston) helps him best she can but does not approve of his ways.
One night, while at a party with many of his patients he meets the girl of his dreams, a sixth-grade teacher named Palmer Dodge (played by Brooklyn Decker). They spend a frisky night together on the beach. When they wake up the next morning and Palmer goes through Danny’s pants, she finds the wedding ring. Palmer automatically assumes the worst and tells him that she never wants to see him again. Dejected, Danny goes home but tries out to figure a way to see her again.
The next day, Danny meets Katherine’s two children: Maggie (played by Bailee Madison) who aspires to become an English actress and Michael (played by Griffin Gluck) who aspires to swim with dolphins in Hawaii. Later, Danny goes to Palmer’s school and tries everything he can to get her back. Soon, he lies again and this time he mentions that he is going through a divorce. Palmer then says she has to meet the wife first before this goes any further.
Danny thinks it through and asks Katherine his assistant if she will play the part of his wife. She reluctantly agrees and goes with Danny to buy a bunch of expensive clothes to play the part. Later, Danny meets Palmer for lunch, and then Katherine appears. She is no longer her calm, reserved self. She is outgoing, witty and the ultimate trophy wife. Palmer buys the whole argument but then Katherine’s kids are soon accidentally name dropped.
Soon, the kids are in the mix and before we know it, the whole “family” finds themselves in a trip to Hawaii with Palmer in tow. Even Danny’s cousin Eddie (played by Nick Swardson) gets in on the action by acting as Katherine’s love interest: Sir Dolph Lundgren (not the actor and he’s into sheep). Danny hopes he can get some alone time with Palmer but he finds himself thinking about Katherine instead. What will happen? (if you have not figured it out already).
Well, if you watch romantic comedies at all then you know where this one ends up. Actually a fifty year old man who has been under a rock for the last twenty years battling blindness and hard of hearing could figure it out. But along the way, we do get a few chuckles and decent performances from Jennifer Aniston and Nick Swardson especially. Nicole Kidman actually turns in a good small role as Devlin Adams (an old college friend of Katherine’s).
But by and large, we get a large dose of sophomoric humor (which ranges in content from plastic surgery mishaps to a touch of potty humor) and outlandish writing. There is some chemistry between Adam and Jennifer I will admit but most of the time; the script seems to fail them when they really need it to drive a point or laugh home. The ending does the film no favors either and tidies it up with no fallout at all. Seriously, if the ending did go down like that in real life, somebody is losing an eye or limb.
The video is in 1.85:1 widescreen presentation at 1080p resolution. The film benefits from being shot in both Los Angeles and Hawaii which allows for a ton of color and vividness. It probably also helps that the trio of Brooklyn Decker, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman all flash bikinis from time to time. The atmosphere here is certainly pretty, well except for the unrealistic noses and a fake sheep that is choking to death. Things I can not unsee. (Where is that picture of Brooklyn in the yellow bikini again?)
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 DTS-HD track for English (also included is 5.1 DTS-HD track for French, a 5.1 Dolby Digital track for Spanish, and an English Descriptive track). Sound was a lot more robust and Sting (of the Police) influenced than I expected. Most romantic comedies are dialog only but this one again gets some credit from the Hawaiian surf and surrounding areas. Dialog is clear and your speakers will get some work for the right moments. Subtitles are also included for English, English SDH, French and Spanish.
- Automatic Trailers: Sony 3d, Battle: Los Angeles, and Green Hornet.
- Commentary with Adam Sandler, Nick Swardson and the Filmmakers: As expected, this commentary is the more jokey of the two. One of the annoying things about this commentary, everybody or everything is funny. But we get some good stories and the commentary is very lively. Also, we learn an important tip. Never Internet search: Penile enlargement.
- Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan: I was worried that this commentary might not be very good (that is why it was placed second I thought). It was not that bad. Dugan is witty in some of his comments and provides some insight on the making of the film. There is a fair amount of dead space in the commentary, but it is still not a bad listen. However, at one point I think he actually falls asleep. Awkward, it was awfully dry humor.
- Laughter is Contagious 4:39 : This would be the Gag Reel. Lots of good laughter, especially from Sandler and Swardson. This is actually better than the movie, you can feel the laughter (something that is missing from many of the scenes). Not enough Kevin Nealon though.
- Deleted Scenes 16:57 : Sixteen (yes..16) scenes are included here. These scenes are actually not bad, and they extend the experience. Rare, not much fluff here. However, I did notice an occasional drop in volume, odd indeed.
- Adon: Living Plastic 2:30: Kevin Nealon plays the character of Adon and they had some fun with it by giving him a camera and allowing him to walk downtown with his face on. Much hilarity ensues. A couple of Zohan jokes even slide in.
- Along Came a Prop Guy 2:53: Fun with a prop guy and a plastic bug shooting in Hawaii. We really only get a couple of good reactions.
- Decker’s Got Gas 2:18: Brooklyn, hot swimsuit model uses her I-phone fart app to cause mass hysteria in bed.
- Dolph-Not the One From Rocky IV 6:10: Fun with Swardson. We spend some time showing various shots of Nick mixed in with comments from the other actors. There are some great funny shots of one of the best characters in the film. Wait, the sheep was actually real in some of the shots? Color me surprised.
- Kevin Nealon: The Plastic Man 5:30: Kevin Nealon in non-Adon face to start this little piece. 3 hours for makeup, you think he would have showed up more in the movie. The process is really amazing. Ha, he mentions Luvitz or Spade could have done this. Luvitz would be interesting, I admit. But Nealon does steal the show in his limited screen time. That is the most awesome and creepiest laugh ever.
- What’s A Dugan 5:27: We spend some time with the dry wit of the director, Dennis Dugan. It certainly looks like he would be a fun director to work with. Two thumbs up for the Phillies hat.
- Look Who Else Is In The Movie 2:40: All the cameos in the movie. From Rachel Dratch to Heidi Montag (more Nealon love here) to Dan Patrick.
- Sneaky Kiki & Bart the Water Fart 1:30: Two amazing kids, Griffin is wonderfully dry. Actually reminds me of myself as a kid. Too short.
- The Perfect Couple: Jen and Adam 5:51: I was hoping this would focus more on the chemistry between Aniston and Sandler, but it is more here is Jen, here is Adam.
- The Not So Perfect Couple 3:52 : Some fun with Nicole Kidman, and she shows up for a few words. Dave Matthews (her mate in the film) gets some moments as well.
- Decker’s First Role 4:20: Believe it or not, this SI cover girl’s first role is this film. They even go over the slow-motion scene, not slow enough for this dirty old man though. But I appreciate the multiple angles. I will admit that she wasn’t bad, especially for a first timer.
- Shooting Hawaii 5:35: Yes, as mentioned this was shot mostly in Hawaii. Lucky ducks. They took lots of helicopter trips in order to scout out the best shooting spots. We get a bikini showdown too. The bridge was also more perilous than I thought it would be.
- Grand Wailea Promo 7:08: Our final featurette which highlights Grand Wailea (Waldorf Astoria hotel) in a promotional bit for the Hawaiian place of lodging. Yeah, who can afford this sucker besides the people in the movie? It is perfect for those people who burn cash like monopoly money. On some level, this promotional bit is hilarious because it does not try to be at all. If I ever visit Hawaii, after I lose my arm to the airfare, I’m not handing over my leg to this place. Who knew that the hotel was the real star of the show?
The movie is actually based on a 1969 film named Cactus Flower with a very young Goldie Hawn (who actually won an Oscar for her performance). That movie, I would like to see. However, I’m left with a loose remake that does not have too many decent performances in it. The jokes are okay, but with a ridiculously predictable ending, getting there is not half the fun. It should be mentioned that the film had a $200+ million worldwide box office, though we can largely contribute that to Jennifer and Nicole’s involvement. (Nicole is a juggernaut in international box office)
The disc is fantastic. The video and audio are great and the extras are more than any fan could ask for. In some ways, the extras are better than the movie itself. Aniston, Swardson or Sandler fans will probably eat this up and in that I can give this movie a slight recommendation. It is not bad, it just feels at time it could be a lot better. Maybe if they put in more Kevin Nealon and less Adam Sandler. Maybe.