Evincing a sense of humor that would be the envy of a first-grader, Adam Sandler once again assaults the concept of humor in JUST GO WITH IT. Predictable is perhaps the least of the faults to be found here, combined as that is with a fixation on excretion, and with tedious direction from Sandler regular Dennis Dugan. What is most dreary, though, is the contempt it shows towards the female of the species, with occasional bursts of pure hostility, that is startling in its unselfconscious vitriol, the which it confuses with wit.
The story recycles CACTUS FLOWER, criminally, with the triangle of philandering doctor, starchy assistant, and bubble-headed girlfriend. Sandler is the plastic surgeon, Danny, whose heart was broken by his wickedly materialistic fiancee on their wedding day in 1988. By sporting the wedding ring that was never used, he has sob-storied his way into the willing beds of nubile young women ever since. His latest conquest, Palmer (swimsuit model extraordinaire, Brooklyn Decker) though, is different. She looks bubble-headed, but teaches sixth-grade math at posh private school that for some reason is sanguine about the plunging neckline she wears while working. Shes also very sweet, but not happy about that wedding ring. In order to get around it, Danny convinces his assistant, Catherine (Jennifer Anniston), to pretend that shes his soon-to-be ex-wife, and that her two children are his, and that her name is Devlin. There is no point in discussing the whys of all this, and there are plenty, including one of the children affecting, criminally, a British accent.
As for why everyone ends up at a particular resort in Hawaii, enjoying at length the wide variety of services and amenities to be found there, that would seem to be for the now standard brazenness of product placement in Sandlers flicks. There isnt just an embarrassingly conceived hula dance-off between Catherine and her college nemesis at a posh restaurant. Its an embarrassingly conceived hula dance-off between Catherine and her college nemesis at a particular posh restaurant whose name is in almost every frame during the interlude. Why said restaurant would want to be associated with the tragic misuse of a coconut that concludes the dance-off is anybodys guess, as is why Nicole Kidman would want to be associated with this disaster by playing the nemesis, particularly by playing her as a goggle-eyed and low-rent version of Cruella DeVille with an oddly frozen face. One wonders if it isnt a cry for help of some kind.
What passes for funny is an excruciating exercise in self-indulgence. Sandler makes Danny gleefully obnoxious, and, as with many of his films, he doesnt then take the admittedly risky step of being unapologetic about the characters essentially odious nature and run with it. He also wants the audience to like him, nay, to love him. Hence he is not a heartless womanizing cad, he is a man shielding his heart. Further hence, the audience is told that the doctor does charity work as a further sop to make him likeable. And Anniston is cast as the assistant. Here is an actress who is the quintessence of adorableness. If Catherine loves Danny, then, by extension, he must be lovable. Alas, the script doesnt give Catherine a reason beyond the necessity of glorifying Danny, and so not even her charm can help. As for Decker, she has a lovely smile, a lithe and suitably symmetrical physique, and hits her marks while saying her lines in a distracted sort of way.
The children, who suffer more than a little psychological scarring at Dannys hands, are just irritating from beginning to end.
The slapstick humor belly flops. The sight gags arent. The subtext, which floats just beneath the surface plot, that women have no use beyond being of service, carnal an otherwise, is irksome in the 21st century, as well as to people who have gotten over the trauma of puberty.