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JGWI-Wallpaper-just-go-with-it-19273027-1600-1200With the release of “Just Go with It,” the latest Happy Madison comedy, Adam Sandler puts himself one step closer to Woody Allen territory.

But not in a good way.

He now joins the ranks of middle-aged movie stars who cast themselves opposite impossibly hot love interests. Watching the 44 year old star whooping it up with a 23 year-old swim-suit model put me in the mind of Woody’s endless attempts to recapture his long forgotten cinematic youth.

“Just Go with It” begins with one of those premises that only exists as a movie idea. Sandler plays Danny, a successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. Twenty years ago he learned the kind of valuable lesson that can only be taught in rom coms. That is, women cannot resist a man with a wedding ring and a story of martial woe. By day he reshapes rich people’s bodies with the help of his pretty assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston); by night he picks up young women in bars. Everything changes though when he meets Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), a va-va-voom twenty-something teacher. For the first time he meets a woman without using the ring trick, but when she discovers his prop wedding ring he fabricates a long story about being on the edge of a divorce. Of course she wants to meet the soon-to-be-ex to make sure the story is true. And then the fun begins.

Except that it doesn’t.

The movie never takes off. It feels less like a story and more like an endless stream of inappropriate remarks and IBS gags masquerading as jokes. That’s true of several of Sandler’s movies, but usually he‘s charming enough to carry the day and usually the movies aren’t this bad. This truly is a case of likeable actors making an unlikeable movie.

The film’s premise is odious enough, even for a rom com but worse than that is probably the most annoying kid’s performance ever—sorry Bailee Madison, but that Eliza Doolittle accent thing you do isn’t cute, it’s grating—and the comic stylings of Nick Swardson manage to make things even less amusing than they already were.

The film’s nadir is a desperately unfunny scene in a nightclub that will make you long for the days when Adam Sandler got into fist fights with Bob Barker and battled a cursive problem.

On the plus side there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Heidi Montag which suggests maybe she does have a sense of humor about her plastic surgery woes. Also former swim suit model Brooklyn Decker adds some eye candy, (but acts about as well as you would imagine a swim suit model would act), the “Ha-wow-ee” setting is nice and boomers may enjoy the all-Sting soundtrack but that’s about it.

Despite its beautiful features—both location and cast—“Just Go with It” should be, more truthfully, titled “Just Go Away From It.”

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