A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this romantic comedy has many of the ingredients we've come to expect from Adam Sandler movies: crass, juvenile humor, including plenty of scatological humor and jokes at the expense of the overweight or physically imperfect. Swearing is pretty infrequent but does include "s--t," and there are plenty of sexist jokes and pratfalls. There’s also a fair amount sexual innuendo, at times around children, as well as drinking and references to a character’s over-reliance on prescription drugs.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Fortysomething plastic surgeon Danny Maccabee (Adam Sandler) was engaged once, but he discovered right before the wedding that his wife-to-be barely liked him and hated his family. Since then, he hasn’t gotten involved with anyone, preferring to pretend that he’s married to an awful woman to gain sympathy and get women to fall for his charms. And then he meets 23-year-old Parker (Brooklyn Decker), a stunning elementary school teacher who just might be the woman to make him finally commit. But after finding Danny's faux wedding ring, Parker demands an explanation, and the only one he can come up with is his old standby: He’s about to be divorced from his heinous wife, as played by his longtime nurse, Katherine (Jennifer Aniston). Can Katherine go along with his plan until Parker is Danny’s for good, or will she complicate matters?
Is it any good?
JUST GO WITH IT is the perfect movie ... if you need to be persuaded to visit Hawaii. The movie (which is a loose remake of 1969's Cactus Flower, starring Goldie Hawn) showcases the state beautifully, with its verdant hills, gorgeous beaches, and endless blue skies. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite do the same for its stars. Sandler, who displayed such depth and force in Funny People, goes back to his usual shtick, and though it’s predictably entertaining -- he is talented -- it’s also disappointing. He can play characters like Danny in his sleep.
And Aniston really ought to know better. She gives glimpses of subtler, more understated comedy, but for the most part, when she’s onscreen, you find yourself wondering a) how she’s able to infuse mundane dialogue with believable emotion and b) why she won’t pick better roles? Some of the movie's outrageous moments, including one involving the Heimlich maneuver and a sheep, are actually laugh-out-loud funny. But an equal number of moments are lackluster. And although Nicole Kidman is entertaining in a supporting role, it's a cheap shot having her ask questions about plastic surgery. We go with it, but only just.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's message. What does it say about lying? About relationships?
How does this film compare to other romantic comedies? Does it do anything differently?
What is the appeal of romantic comedies? Although they tend to follow the same predictable formula, they remain popular. Why do you think that is?
- In theaters: February 11, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: June 7, 2011
- Cast: Adam Sandler, Brooklyn Decker, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman
- Director: Dennis Dugan
- Studio: Columbia Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 116 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: frequent crude and sexual content, partial nudity, brief drug references and language