Sunday, February 13, 2011

Film Yap: Just Go With It

There is a magical land called Adam Sandler’s World. It’s a wonderful place full of hopes and dreams, but only for Adam Sandler. It may look like our world, but so does Toon Town if it changes up their color scheme. His latest flop, Just Go With It, is another return to this fantastical land where up is down and crotch humor is highbrow.

Sandler used to play characters, but those days are over. In Adam Sandler World he just needs to be a nice guy with a goofy sense of humor and everyone adores him. In this movie he wears a wedding ring in order to pick up women. Now that may sound a little sleazy; perhaps it’s a character who walks the line and will work towards redemption. Silly reader! This is Adam Sandler World. In this movie there must be a flashback scene where Sandler is wearing a goofy makeup and we see he had his heart broken on his wedding night. Therefore he is emotionally justified for the entire film.

He goes to parties and everybody knows and adores him. He’s one of the most successful plastic surgeons in Las Angeles and he boats about never studying in med school. If he tells a joke the entire city rumbles because everyone is laughing at once. Even if it is an incredibly tired jokes that has been repeated for the past 90 minutes. At one point in this film, there is a hula contest. Despite the fact that one participant was literally performing accomplished feats of gymnastics including flips and splits, the crowd stands to their feet to cheer for the girl Sandler is more interested in.

Now in Adam Sandler World, he always has a heart of gold. People around him are required to tell him this, but it also must be seen through precocious children. They have to tell Sandler something sad and personable and Sandler has to look sad and say “It’s okay.” At one point a little boy demands that Sandler takes him to Hawaii and should do so because he’s rich. That seems outrageous and should not happen, but sure enough the gang will end up in Hawaii and Sandler will teach the little boy how to swim so he can swim with the dolphins.

Everybody is in Hawaii because Sandler is now in love with someone named Palmer. After leaving a party when he stitched up a child’s leg and was a hero, an incredibly attractive woman walks on the beach with him. They have a true “connection” that he’s never had before. This connection lasts about a minute of screen time and has the actress just say that she can tell when he’s lying. After having sex on the beach, she finds his fake wedding ring in his pocket. He convinces his receptionist, Jennifer Aniston, to pretend to be his fake wife with fake kids and they all keep hanging out for no reason whatsoever.

In Adam Sandler World there are two types of women. Insanely attractive women who are always lusting over him and the other women are horrible shrews who are usually physically deformed. The other men in Adam Sandler World are complete idiots who exist just so Sandler can riff on them or they’re gay, which is also a cheap punchline.

In Adam Sandler World, everything must benefit Sandler and whatever his stupid goal is. Characters don’t even have to stay consistent. Palmer says that she can tell when he’s lying. That may be her only character trait besides possessing a body that must always show cleavage. Then for the rest of the movie every single thing Sandler says is a lie to her and she doesn’t catch on. Even when he says that his fake wife’s new boyfriend is named Dolph Lundgren.

There is a scene when Jennifer Aniston has to tell Sandler everything she loves about him. (This is commonplace for Adam Sandler World.) There is sappy music and there’s a close up of Aniston and it’s a chance for her to realize how much she loves him. When it’s his turn to return the favor, he talks about her physical beauty and how she never asks for anything in return. Yet…she blackmailed him into buying thousands of dollars worth of clothes and even the date their on is asking for something in return. Who cares. It’s her job to adore Sandler, look longingly when he’s interacting with her kids, and walk in slow motion in a bikini.

In the original film, Cactus Flower, there was real humor and real characters. Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman humanized the ridiculous concept and made the absurdity subtle. Goldie Hawn’s performance as the “other woman” even earned her an Academy Award. There is obviously a ton of chances for substance, but that wouldn’t gel with Adam Sandler World. Instead Hawn’s replacement is swimsuit supermodel Brooklyn Decker. Now that’s more like it! (Silly noise.)

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