Picture this: it’s a warm Friday evening and I’m sitting comfortably with my partner on a cool, two-seater leather sofa. We have our feet up, each of us sipping our favourite Shiraz. Her choice of film should not surprise you: Adam Sandler is maybe her least secret guilty pleasure on the planet. As usual, though never anything ground-breaking, this is yet another Happy Madison production that manages to entertain whilst still being mostly forgettable.
Just Go With It is a romantic comedy starring Sandler and his two-time on-screen partner, Jennifer Aniston. Eight years later, Sandler and Aniston co-starred in the less than average Murder Mystery, so I’m glad to report that this debut for the pairing was at least marginally better. Sandler’s character is desperate to win over a younger woman (Brooklyn Decker), and becomes embroiled in lies, including the fact that Aniston’s Katherine is his soon-to-be ex-wife. More lies only make things worse, and the group end up being forced to go on a family trip to Hawaii together, where the shenanigans get more and more ridiculous.
Look, I get that the main selling point is supposed to be Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, but then how do you explain 12 year old Bailee Madison stealing the entire show? I won’t spoil it, but just know that her comedic timing is unmatched for someone of her age.
So… I’ll admit that I assumed this was your standard Happy Madison rom-com and I did not expect the whole family affair element. In truth, Just Go With It is pretty much Blended except it actually has some semblance of a cohesive plot. Yes, the plot is long-winded and at least 10% of it could have been edited out altogether, but it’s there. However, this may be the most blatant excuse to go to Hawaii I’ve ever seen.
Unsurprisingly, Sandler is at his Sandleriest, and Aniston is brilliant in all honesty, proving that she still has that fun, comedic edge to her work. (I know that this was 2011, but you know what I mean.) Mostly though, it was fun to see Nicole Kidman let her hair down in something a little less high brow than she’s become accustomed to. Showing up in the later stages of the film, Kidman’s presence alone is enough to re-engross you in this film.
The positives? The soundtrack is pretty fun and it’s a relatively easy watch – I’ll give it that. In fact, if it was 20 minutes shorter, I might be tempted to give it another half on the rating scale. However, Nick Swardson‘s very presence offends me so it took me a while to decide whether this was a 2.5 or a 3 Q movie.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a bang average movie. It’s your standard comedy with big name stars that lift the whole thing, and ultimately the ending is exactly what you’d expect. Despite that, there are some laughs to be had here and it was a sweet, relaxing Friday night film at the end of the day. Not the worst, but most certainly not the best.
Just Go With It is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design:
Overall Enjoyability Rating: