In 1992 I was an awkward and uncultured sixth-grader growing up in a dying farming community in South East Kansas. I can remember considering Adam Sandler to be a genius at that time. However, a lot has changed since then. For starters I’m no longer 11. However, Dennis Dugan, who recently directed Just Go With It seems to be hell bent on aiming towards my 11 year old intelligence. He’s even been quoted as saying “Audiences that go to my movies don’t want a message. They don’t want my soul exposed or my life view. They just want to laugh.”
Well Mister Dugan, as a younger man, I was your audience. However in the last 19 years I’ve stumbled onto films like Amélie, watched television shows like The IT Crowd and discovered that message is what separates artist from hacks.
Just Go With It, Dugan’s sad attempt at a remake of the 1969 Gene Saks film Cactus Flower is a flawless example of how box office America tends to be rewarding the major market hacks. Regardless of the fact that Dugan is ripping off the plot of a far superior film and subbing the original film’s Oscar winning cast with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models who spout two hours of poop and sex jokes, America will come out in droves to support this film. I mean, we are the same country who managed to somehow make R.V. the number one film in America.
To be fair, fans of Sandler’s other films won’t be disappointed with Just Go With It. It fits the format of what he does. Danny (Adam Sandler) cons Katherine (Jennifer Aniston), who is his personal assistant at his plastic surgery practice, to pretend to be his ex-wife. Danny, who has never been married must convince Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) that he is single due to the discovery of a wedding ring in his pocket during a beach front romp. However, Danny is not married nor has he ever been. The ring simply serves as a tool for Danny to manage to score woman without commitment or emotional injury. Throughout the film the lies build on each other, starting at the confessions of getting a divorce to having kids, whom he’d eventually find himself with on a “family vacation.” Yet, through the process of lying Sandler realizes that other options have presented themselves. Throw in a few sub-plots surrounding an extremely annoying Nicole Kidman and Dave Matthews coupling and you’ve generalized the jest of the flick. Now, how this spawned from a Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman and Goldie Hawn film is beyond me. Here’s hoping that Dugan can lock down Rob Schneider and Kim Kardashian for the remake of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The film however is not a complete waste. Take a glance at the movie’s soundtrack which features a few amazing mash-ups by Party Ben. The combination of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars with The Police’s Every Breath You Take is fantastic and almost worth the cost of the film. However, you could buy the single for 99 cents on ITunes, watch Cactus Flower on netflix without leaving your house and still find yourself up 7 bucks at the end of the evening.
Fin. I’m going to go watch Clerks.
I give Just Go With It 1 out of 5 wedding rings.