Jennifer Aniston (Katherine) just goes with it. She holds a mediocre script together as does
Brooklyn Decker (Palmer) who is more than window dressing. But the humor in Just Go With It is flat and tiresome, with lines like "frenamie", "eurotrashani" and rampant scatological jokes. In one scene a child "craps on the arm of an Austrian sheep dealer" -- Sandler's writing tries hard, too hard.
And what is Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Devlin) doing playing such a vacuous role in this struggling-for-the-jokes romantic comedy? Aniston holds her acting ability high and plays like a world cup champion off of Sandler's volleys. But one expects more from Sandler (Danny). When Sandler is bad he is awful, but he is not awful in this film, he is flat. Surrounded by Aniston and Decker, Sandler shines as much as he can with this god awful writing and bad acting in supporting roles. Nick Swardson (Eddie) as the Austrian internet sheep dealer is pure schtick and one child fakes a cockney accent that grates on any desire to see the rest of the film -- a schtick ridden package. This is as much a reflection of the bad writing as the bad acting by a junior miss, Bailee Madison (Maggie) who is trying to play cute rather than be cute. Aniston makes what works in the film work because she is unfazed by Decker's beauty and unfazed by the poor acting around her, unfazed by the forced humor in the writing but manages to make her moments real -- which is why Danny, (Sandler) truly loves her and so does the audience.
The plot involves Danny who was born with a nose like an olive, fixes it and tries to fix his life by lying to women just to get laid... and "get laid" is the appropriate terminology, as he is the quintessential chauvinist pig. Katherine is plastic surgeon Danny's medical assistant. She has two children from a previous marriage and Danny is pressured by them and Palmer to take them all to Hawaii. Danny deceives Palmer by pretending Katherine's children are his and that Katherine is his soon to be ex-wife. Palmer will agree to have sex only with a divorced Danny. To use the words "make love" would not be in Danny's lexicon until the end of the film when he "grows up."
Reasons to see the film include seeing Brooklyn Decker walking out of the water in a yellow bikini in a shot reminiscent of Bo Derek in Ten, and Jennifer Aniston's beauty and ability to make real her moments in a fake romantic comedy. She genuinely smiles her way through this dreck and with her sincerity can convince some theatre go-ers that they've actually enjoyed the film.
Follow Carole Mallory on Twitter: www.twitter.com/carolemallory