Thursday, 24 March 2011


Sony Pictures
Now Showing

Neither Adam Sandler or Jennifer Aniston are my favourite film folk. I don't find Sandler funny, and Aniston, for me, emits a sit-com vibe rather than a necessary big screen one; a legacy of her 10 years as Rachel Green on TV's Friends and not helped by her continual poor choice of rom-coms. So colour me surprised to find that I didn't hate Just Go With It (just between you and I, I even laughed).

That's not to say that Just Go With It is champagne comedy – it's not even passion pop – but it has its moments and, not surprisingly, they don't belong to either Sandler, who plays Danny, a plastic surgeon with a penchant for young hotties and an aversion to commitment, or Aniston, his plain Jane (she wears glasses) assistant, Katherine, who has two young kids and a deadbeat ex.

The two become a fakeshift couple when Palmer (Brooklyn Decker aka Mrs Andy Roddick), the young woman Danny has inexplicably attracted, believes him to be married and won't proceed further. Danny convinces Katherine to portray his soon-to-be ex-wife, handing over his credit card to turn her from drab to fab. And Aniston is pretty good playing the shallow “angry ex”, improvising various ailments and inadequacies for her husband at a meeting with Palmer to convince her the marriage is indeed dead.

But then circumstances see Katherine's kids – Maggie (Bailee Madison), who dreams of being an actress and thus speaks in a Cockney accent, and Michael (Griffin Gluck), who wants to swim with dolphins – roped into the charade and Danny blackmailed into flying everyone, including Danny's newly-endowed cousin Eddie (Nick Swardson), to Hawaii.

This sequence, a major piece of product placement no doubt bankrolled by the Hawaiian Tourism Board, goes on far too long before its inevitable conclusion but not before Swardson's Eddie, posing as Katherine's lover, named Dolph Lundgren, speaking with a suspect German accent and a sheep-shipper by trade, gets the most laughs.

Nicole Kidman even makes a cameo as Katherine's college frienenemy, Devlin, the name Katherine and her kids give their number twos and the moniker the soon-to-be ex-Doctor Danny has given herself throughout the charade.

Yes it's a farcical premise (adapted from the 1969 film, Cactus Flower) and stretched beyond breaking point (it clocks in at just under two hours), but it's arguably the best thing Sandler and Aniston have done in quite some time. It's $100 million at the US box office is almost de rigueur for Sandler (he is a genre unto himself with a built-in audience), but Aniston was in desperate need of a hit. She can count Just Go With It a success, which I have no doubt Oz audiences will ratify.

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