By Jonathan Smalls, Film Critic
This movie is based on a Broadway show, and film, which were adapted to English audiences from an originally French play forty years ago. Unfortunately one of the hazards of using such old, source material is that the story has had decades to work its way into the public consciousness.
Spoiler alert: guy meets girl. Guy uses dorky, female friend to get closer to girl. Guy realizes that he really loves his dorky friend, who is secretly a hotty, and they live happily ever after. That is the creative equivalent of writing a murder mystery where we find out that we were right all along, the butler did it, and the detective wins again. Since the turn of the century Sandler has produced all of his own movies, so the ultimate responsibility for all of this rests with him.
In fact the only things to set this movie apart from all others with the same plot arc are Adam Sandler, and his brand of comedy. He works some funny moments into the script, but even a broken clock is right twice every day. After over two decades of his signature humor, it has gotten to be pretty old.
Opposite him Jennifer Aniston serves as his comic foil. As an actress she has made a career of letting people bounce amusing things off of her, but she rarely generates her own moments. In the context of Just Go With It, that means that the audience gets more Adam Sandler humor from her character, which is really too bad. She does well with it, but she should develop her comedic chops, if she wants to do more comedies.
After a boring plot, and boring performances from the lead actors, what else is there to spend ticket price for? We love to hate Dave Matthews in his Sandler derived caricature, but he is not prominent enough to keep audiences from checking out early.
Just Go With It is cute. It tries to be entertaining, but it ends up just being a brain drain on audiences, taking up two hours with its unimaginative elements, and leaving movie goers ten dollars poorer.