Blu-Review: Just Go With It

Directed By Dennis Dugan
Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson and Nicole Kidman

Remaking 1969′s Walter Matthau/Goldie Hawn farce Cactus Flower, Just Go With It plants Adam Sandler in the role of Danny Maccabee, who after being cheated on by his fiancé, hits a bar to drown his sorrows. He finds that his wedding sob story is a hit with the ladies and it bags him sympathy sex with a gorgeous twenty-something (Minka Kelly). He becomes a super-wealthy plastic surgeon and uses his wedding ring and made-up tales of abusive, negligent wives to lure countless beautiful young women into sympathy sex one-night stands.

After twenty years of ill-gotten casual sex, he finally meets “The One” in the form of kind-hearted school teacher Palmer (swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker) and they hit it off without him having to pull his usual fake wife scam. But when she finds his prop wedding ring in his pocket after spending the night with him, he concocts a ridiculous story about being unhappily married and in the process of divorce, enlisting the help of his best friend/assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) and her two kids to pose as his pretend family in hopes of maintaining the charade and convincing Palmer that he’s a great guy.

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Adam Sandler’s an acquired taste, but for those that like him, he’s at his best when either given free reign to tap into his OTT irresponsible manchild schtick (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore) or when reigned in and given actual material to work with (Funny People, Punch-Drunk Love). Here’s he’s caught somewhere between madcap and restrained Sandler modes, and without benefit of solid, funny writing his usual laid-back charm is replaced with almost complete boredom as he spends more time glancing at his co-stars’ chests than trying to bring life to a tepid, lazy script.

Usually when playing careless goofballs, we root for Sandler because he’s painted as the well-meaning underdog up against wealthy, villainous douchebags like Christopher McDonald or Bradley Whitford. Here he’s in the wrong role, playing an insanely rich surgeon spinning a senseless web of lies to trick a sweet, beautiful young girl into being with him, likely leaving the audience begging for him to get a grisly comeuppance rather than win the woman’s heart. Aniston is energetic and charming, but that charm’s lost when her character proves almost as half-written and horrid as Sandler’s (he launches into a third act speech fawning about how amazingly selfless and kind she is, neglecting to mention her helping to deceive sweet-natured Palmer while she and her kids milk thousands of dollars worth of shoes and Hawaiian vacations out of Danny in the process).

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Why Danny doesn’t tell the truth outright or at least concoct a less bafflingly dumb lie (like “I was divorced a long time ago and couldn’t bring myself to throw the ring away”) or why Palmer would be dumb enough to buy his crap is mystifying. Sure, there’d be no movie without the pesky mix-ups, but while a farce doesn’t have to be the most tightly-plotted affair, it should at least exhibit some modicum of sense and wit. Here the story is entirely nonsensical and without the benefit of Happy Madison’s usual left-field laughs and insanity to really capitalise on that nonsense.

Nicole Kidman and Dave Matthews have fun in minor roles as Aniston’s super-competitive former sorority frenemy and her new husband, and there’s a giggle or two to be found dotted about when Sandler slips into a little glib improv riffing here and there. But most of what passes for jokes ranges from Jewish characters sporting gigantic comedy prosthetic noses, toilet humour and excruciating fake European accents (Aniston’s on-screen daughter puts on a painful Dick Van Dyke cockney accent through the whole movie, while Nick Swardson follows suit with an equally unbearable German voice as Danny’s cousin).

Too lazy and humourless to work as a farce and too overlong, predictable and joyless to work as a breezy romance, Just Go With It is nothing more than a slap-dash rom-com bereft of sense, charm or laughs. Don’t just go with it; just go watch a better film.

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Though the film isn’t particularly good, the treatment it’s received on Blu-ray is surprisingly fantastic. There’s the standard flawless high-def transfer and English, German and Spanish 5.1 DTS Master Audio tracks, along with a Catalan/Catalá 5.1 track and an English Descriptive Audio track. Then there’s a huge stack of special features:

  • Commentary with Adam Sandler, Nick Swardson and The Filmmakers
  • Sandler, Swardson, executive producer Tim Herlihy and director Dennis Dugan provide a couple of hours of fun, friendly banter as they joke along with the movie. It’s a great commentary that’s far more fun than the film itself and packs a tonne more laughs, too.

  • Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan
  • Unfortunately the solo commentary isn’t remotely as entertaining. It’s a filmmaker’s commentary from a mediocre point-and-shoot director, so naturally there’s not much revelatory insight into the movie-making process. As he rattles off dull snippets of info and plenty of back-patting for the cast, Dugan sounds completely bored and it’s an infectious feeling.

  • Laughter is Contagious (4 minutes, 39 seconds, HD)
  • A five minute blooper reel featuring the cast flubbing lines.

  • Deleted Scenes (16 minutes, 57 seconds, HD)
  • The film feels far too long as it is, so it’s baffling that there’s a tonne more footage that didn’t make the cut. It’s wisely deleted stuff, though – most of it feels like it was covered in the film already.

  • Adon: Living Plastic (2 minutes, 30 seconds, HD)
  • Kevin Nealon, who plays the disfigured plastic surgery addict Adon, wanders around L.A. stores in costume doing a little hidden camera pranking.

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  • Along Came a Prop Guy (2 minutes, 53 seconds, HD)
  • The film’s prop guy has fun scaring the cast and crew in Hawaii with a fake spider.

  • Decker’s Got Gas (2 minutes, 19 seconds, HD)
  • More on-set pranking as Brooklyn Decker tries to fool Sandler and the crew with a hidden iPhone equipped with a fart app.

  • Dolph – Not the One From Rocky IV (6 minutes, 11 seconds, HD)
  • The cast talk about Nick Swardson’s character and his fake German accent.

  • Kevin Nealon: The Plastic Man (5 minutes, 31 seconds, HD)
  • A behind-the-scenes look at the make-up process that went into creating the Adon character.

  • What’s a Dugan? (5 minutes, 27 seconds, HD)
  • The cast talk about working with director Dennis Dugan, with on-set footage of him shooting the film and goofing around.

  • Look Who Else Is In The Movie (2 minutes, 40 seconds, HD)
  • Clips and interviews with Rachel Dratch, Heidi Montag and Dan Patrick who have cameo roles in the film.

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  • Sneaky Kiki & Bart the Water Fart (1 minutes, 31 seconds, HD)
  • Interviews with the child actors on the film and footage of them having fun behind the scenes.

  • The Perfect Couple: Jen and Adam (5 minutes, 51 seconds, HD)
  • Sandler, Aniston and the cast talk about the lead characters and working together.

  • The Not So Perfect Couple (3 minutes, 52 seconds, HD)
  • A similar feature in which the cast and crew talk about working with Nicole Kidman and Dave Matthews.

  • Decker’s First Role (4 minutes, 20 seconds, HD)
  • Sports Illustrated swimsuit model talks about the pressure of filming her first movie role.

  • Shooting Hawaii (5 minutes, 35 seconds, HD)
  • Another short featurette that focuses on the cast having fun on location in Hawaii and chatting about the torture of spending weeks in a tropical paradise.

  • Grand Wailea Promo (7 minutes, 08 seconds, HD)
  • A tourist advertisement for Hawaii’s Grand Wailea, where the movie was filmed.

  • Trailers
  • Trailers for Grown-Ups, How Do You Know and The Smurfs.

  • BD Live

The Film:

The Blu-ray:

Just Go With It is out on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on 30th May 2011.
Click here to order the Blu-ray from

(Note: The images above were captured and saved at a reduced quality, and though they give an idea of how the film looks, they aren’t intended to reflect the true quality of the Blu-ray image itself.)