As with every Happy Madison Production, there are both upsides and downsides to Just Go With It. After finding out his soon to be bride had cheated on him, Danny Maccabee (Adam Sandler) goes on to become a successful surgeon in Los Angeles. To keep from getting his heart broken again, he’s developed a system to wear his wedding ring when he’s out picking up women. That way he can enjoy a one-night stand without any attachments or expectations. And then he meets Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), a gorgeous, young teacher.
They share an intimate night together and Danny finds himself completely smitten… at least until Palmer finds his wedding ring in his pants pocket. Danny tells her that he is married but getting a divorce and Palmer insists on meeting the ex-wife to confirm his story for herself. Danny recruits his assistant, Katherine (Jennifer Aniston), to play his soon to be ex-wife “Devlin”, which initially works out fine until Palmer catches on that Katherine has children… which means, they must be Danny’s. The lies start to spiral out of control, ultimately leading to the family traveling to Hawaii as a “bonding” experience if Palmer and Danny are going to have a future together.
Whew! A lot happens in the first 30-40 minutes of this movie to get them to Hawaii. But once they’re there, the typical Sandler-shenanigans occur. Danny has to keep up the facade of being a doting father, Katherine as Devlin runs into the real-life Devlin that she knew in college and while trying to keep all of the lies straight, Danny and Katherine start to really bond. Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck are entertaining as Katherine’s children Maggie and Michael. Maggie is desperate to be an actress so she opts to play her role as Danny’s daughter, Kiki Dee, with a British accent. Maggie is adorable and funny… in small doses. Michael is melancholy, reminding me of the boy who played Jennifer Aniston’s son in The Switch. But I have to admit, Adam Sandler has a way with kids in these movies. When they’re annoying him, it’s funny as hell. When they’re bonding, it’s really kind of sweet.
For me, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are the closest thing to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan when it comes to romantic comedy chemistry, but I think Jennifer Aniston may give Drew some competition. Along with Murder Mystery (Netflix), I really do enjoy Sandler and Aniston on screen together. I think they play very well off of one another and surprisingly, I can buy that Aniston would fall in love with him. To be honest, it’s these two that made the movie so enjoyable for me.
The humor itself is ridiculously silly and it doesn’t always work. Before Danny becomes a plastic surgeon, he shows up in the movie with a ginormous nose that looks like it was created by a caricature artist, and there’s a pointless scene with Nick Swardson and a sheep. So while there are parts of the movie I found to be really entertaining, there were also plenty of moments that had me rolling my eyes. Sometimes slapstick works, and sometimes it doesn’t and I don’t think it works very well here.
Just Go With It isn’t a modern rom-com classic by any means. It’s not even a great one, but I have to admit that I enjoyed it enough and sometimes that’s all that matters when you’re watching a movie, especially one from Adam Sandler.