tek's rating:

Just Go With It (PG-13)
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Caution: potential spoilers.

I suppose I must've seen previews for this before it hit theaters, and it looked like it might be alright, but it didn't really interest me. I might never have seen it, except my roommates were watching the DVD one night. I didn't intend to stay up for the whole thing, because it was kinda late when they started it. But I actually did watch the whole movie with them. We all thought it was wicked funny, which was a nice surprise. So here I am, the next day, writing my review. Which of course entails looking up links to put at the top of the page, which means I get to see what Rotten Tomatoes' aggregate vote is. And the movie actually got a pretty bad rating. Which really surprises me. I mean, I know my taste can often differ from that of critics, whether I like a movie more or less than most do. But this kind of movie I would generally expect to like less than most people (whether critics or just regular movie viewers), so it's weird that I actually liked it more. And since my roommates liked it too, I'm going to go ahead and say the critics are just plain wrong. I mean, I might be able to agree on some points, while totally disagreeing on others... certainly everything that happens in the movie is ludicrous, but I dare say that's the case with the overwhelming majority of comedies (or movies in general), so it doesn't have to be a bad thing. I look at this movie as a comedy of errors... which is a subgenre going back at least as far as Shakespeare, and which I very much doubt could be written without a great deal of ludicrous plot developments. So there.

Anyway, Adam Sandler plays a plastic surgeon (one who apparently has more professional scruples than one would typically see in movies or TV) named Danny Maccabee. Ever since his fiancee broke his heart 20 years ago, he's remained single, and uses his wedding ring to pick up women by pretending to be in a bad marriage. This, of course, is something I'd find detestable in real life, but it's important for setting up the premise, so whatever. It's just a movie. Anyway, he meets a younger woman he actually likes and wants to have a real relationship with, named Palmer. But she finds his wedding ring, and rather than tell her the truth, he pretends he's about to get a divorce. To prove his story to her, he gets his assistant, Katherine (Jennifer Aniston), to pretend to be his soon-to-be ex-wife, whom he calls Devlin (after a story Katherine had told him about an old college frenemy named Devlin). Katherine, meanwhile, is a divorced single mother of two kids, Maggie (Bailee Madison) and Michael. (Personally, I thought they were both quite funny, especially Maggie, and they worked well with Sandler.) When Palmer finds out "Devlin" has kids, it seems they must also be Danny's, so he gets them to pretend to be his, to keep up the ruse with Palmer. The kids use this to their advantage to get what they want, including a trip to Hawaii, which Danny takes them on along with Palmer and Devlin, as well as his cousin Eddie, who pretends to be an Austrian sheep salesman named Dolph, who is supposedly involved with Devlin. Things get even more complicated when, while in Hawaii, the real Devlin (Nicole Kidman) shows up with her own husband, Ian (Dave Matthews), and Katherine and Danny have to pretend to be happily married to fool Devlin while still pretending to be divorcing, to fool Palmer.

Well, that's pretty much all you need to know. Yes, it's ridiculous, preposterous, stupid, whatever. The end is also pretty predictable. (If you don't guess from the very beginning that Danny and Katherine will end up falling in love... well, I apologize for spoiling the very first movie you've ever watched.) But in spite of whatever flaws the movie may have, I think everyone did a great job of making it truly hilarious, and also making me truly believe in the feelings that slowly developed between Danny and Katherine. And... I guess that's all there is to say.

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