18 February 2011


From R-L: Twat, Twat, Surprisingly Good
Consulting the IMDB, I realised today that before Just Go with It, the last time I saw a Jennifer Aniston film at the cinema was The Break Up, all the way back in 2006. For Adam Sandler, same story (save for a Funny People shaped blip) with Click. After seeing Just Go with It, I realise I haven't particularly missed either of them.

Sandler plays Danny, a man-whore plastic surgeon, and Aniston plays Katherine, his hard-working secretary. Danny's trademark ploy with women is to wear a fake wedding ring and pretend that he's in a deeply unhappy marriage in order to get laid. When the ring messes up his chances with a woman he has something more than utter contempt for, maths teacher Palmer, he constructs an elaborate web of lies to cover his mistake, pulling in Katherine and her two kids.

After an experience like this, I often find myself looking for someone to blame. Forgoing Adam Sandler, who should know better after sending himself up so richly in Funny People, and Jennifer Aniston, who is surprisingly the best thing about this film by far, then the prime suspect is Dennis Dugan. He's a frequent collaborator with Sandler, and he's been likened to a neutron bomb to comedy. But then you look at the screenplay credits, and you find Allan Loeb. Loeeeeb!

This man, who reduces me to fits of Shatner-esque screaming rage, has had two credits in the last 12 months that particularly stand out to me. First, on last year's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which subsisted upon risible dialogue like "Greed got greedier." More recently, there's The Dilemma, which somehow subsisted on being fucking awful. If this seems unreasonable, that's because I review films, but Loeb's now been involved in three films I really hated. Focusing on this minute bit of trivia, he's my new nemesis.

I hate to call children Twats, but I will say that there's more than one Twat in this picture.
At his door, I lie most of the blame for the repulsive waste that is Just Go with It, because it exploits an audience's willing suspension of disbelief beyond endurance, just like The Dilemma did. As with that film, I thought of a simple solution to all of the conflict within the film that would have worked just ten minutes in, without us having to be subjected to the following 106 minutes. Instead, no one thinks of my perfectly workable solution of pretending to be married to avoid getting hit on by women who want to shag a plastic surgeon, and so the stakes build up like an enormous Jenga tower made out of Twats.

Sandler's character, as so many of his characters are nowadays, is an capital-T Twat. He's clearly capable of better if Punch-Drunk Love and, yes, even Funny People demonstrated, but he's using his star power for evil these days, it seems. Let's look at some of the other characters' backgrounds- Palmer is a maths teacher. Now, Palmer is played by model Brooklyn Decker, and the film objectifies her just as much as the marketing. No matter how much her character's stupidity is played up, we saw her being a maths teacher, so that's acceptable- she's just a silly woman, after all, right?

Jennifer Aniston, though trying her best with the awful detritus she's given, is even more marginalised and trodden upon during the proceedings, being utterly passive and apparently wearing glasses that made her look so dowdy that nobody noticed until she takes them off that she's actually, well, Jennifer Aniston. Then there's the "comedy" cousin, the "comedy" disfigured plastic surgery patient and the obligatory precocious little twats, one of whom adopts the most grating British accent imaginable because it's a "cute character quirk" that actually makes a real life American version of Battle Royale seem a more endearing concept.

Something happened while I was watching this film that never, ever happens. Something happened that so insulted my intelligence that I had to actually walk out of the screening to gather myself for a minute. It's a joke about a sheep. If you've seen it, I'm talking about the call back, not the first instance. This highlight of comic genius is heralded by the clunkiest set-up ever, delivered by a wooden actress, and it pushed my endurance beyond limits. I returned a minute or so later, but it's a first for me. Shit often stinks so much that I hold my nose, but it's rarely so offensive that I can't even look at it.

How many laughs did it raise? Just one, at a visual gag that would be a minor highlight in another film. That gives a ratio between minutes of screen time and funny jokes of 116 to one. There's no type of bad film I hate more than a bad comedy. Did I mention that this film is far, far too fucking long? I think I've already given the impression that it's effluvient self-indulgence of the basest kind, but it's the amount of time it wastes that really grinds my gears. 116 minutes is too long and yet still apparently not long enough to actually bring a conclusion to the leaning tower of a narrative, which is explained away in a narrated montage in the last two minutes of the film.

"Why can't you be a Twat like the rest of us?"
Weirdly, my new nemesis Allan Loeb has compensated for his earlier efforts on The Dilemma in penning Just Go with It, a film that's even worse! It's so bad that it makes you yearn for The Dilemma, even though it's only marginally less shit. He cannot be allowed to go on doing this- watching this film already feels like your brain is being deprived of oxygen for almost two hours. Blame could be assigned elsewhere, but it's the genuinely horrible script that really puts this film through the bottom of the barrel. The queasiest and most abominable kind of film.

Just Go with It is now showing in cinemas nationwide,
If you've seen Just Go with It, why not share your comments below?

I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.

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