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The Boiling Point

Shalhevet news online: When we know it, you'll know it

The Boiling Point

Shalhevet news online: When we know it, you'll know it

The Boiling Point

Despite laughs, Sandler’s genre is becoming obsolete

After a while, they all start to sound exactly the same and the low expectations heading into the theater are usually met – Adam Sandler’s movies, that is. The latest disappointment of the 44-year-old actor’s career is Just Go with It, a romantic comedy sprinkled with Sandler’s trademark goofiness.

When the movie begins, almost immediately we are introduced to the latest chapter of Sander’s comedic-meets-cynical view towards his Jewish faith when we meet Dr. Danny Maccabee, a doctor-in-training and groom-in-waiting at his very Jewish wedding. After getting his heart broken in the minutes leading up to the nuptials, Danny uses the now void wedding   ring as a decoy to catch women for quick and no-commitment relationships.

The rest of the story throws Danny, now a successful plastic surgeon, into the arms of the half-his-age beautiful Palmer Dodge (Brooklyn Decker) with whom he develops a bond that he hasn’t really felt before – or so he says. Soon, Palmer demands to put a face to the lie that Danny has been telling women for years about a fictional abusive wife he harbors at home.

Enter Katherine Murphy (Jennifer Aniston), Danny’s single-parent medical practice office manager whose personal life is very focused on her children. Katherine poses as Danny’s make-believe soon-to-be ex-wife and her kids, and Maggie and Michael (Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck), become the faux-family that Danny must introduce to Palmer. Soon enough, through more and more complicated lies, the whole family – including Palmer and Danny’s cousin Eddie (Nick Swardson),  who poses as Katherine’s new beau – all travel to Hawaii for bonding and…you guessed it. More lies.

In her feature film debut, Decker performs her unwritten role as eye-candy with ease. The movie incorporates several possibly unnecessary swimwear scenes as if to place Decker in her familiar setting. That aside, the model and now-actress perhaps best known for the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue handles her lines well and is satisfactorily believable as Danny’s lover.

Aniston has had a recent stretch of films as the poor love-lost soul and is quite successful, albeit whiny and annoying, as that same character. Her neurosis is nicely offset by Sandler’s all too familiar sound effects and corniest of jokes, some of which are milked to the last drop and probably more.

The laugh-out-loud funny portion of Just Go with It is carried by Eddie posing as Katherine’s faux boyfriend, Dolph, who functions as a sidekick to Danny. Swardson has played Sandler’s number two man before in 2008’s You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. The actor is gut-wrenchingly funny as a supposed sheep-selling German whose shenanigans help you remember why this film is at least supposed to be a comedy.

Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison, which takes responsibility for the past several Sandler films like Grown-ups and Zohan, again puts its name on Just Go with It. Directed by Dennis Dugan, a veteran director of Sandler-produced and acted-in films, Just Go with It matches what we’ve come to expect from Happy Madison. To the film’s credit, it incorporates several catchy remixes of hits by The Police, but this film does not receive the “SOS” that Sting asks for in “Message in a Bottle.”

Beyond predictable, the film confirms an already obvious impression that this genre is rapidly becoming obsolete. Like any sidekick, Swardson can’t singlehandedly save the day, but at least he makes up for some of the usual Sandler “shtick.” As for the film, if you can’t swallow Sandler’s antics, you can just go without it.

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About the Contributor
Zev Hurwitz, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
After serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Boiling Point in 2010-11 school year, Zev went on to UC San Diego where he was Editor-in-Chief of the campus paper, The Guardian.  He is currently the Goldman Bridge ACCESS Fellow of the American Jewish Committee in Los Angeles. At the Boiling Point, Zev served as Opinion Editor and Torah Editor before taking over as EIC.  He played varsity basketball at Shalhevet and also served as chair of the Just Community's Constructive Consequences Committee.

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