Film Review of Just Go with It
I'm taking a break from the usual political and philosophical posts in this blog and posting a review of a film I recently saw and enjoyed.
Just Go With It is a Hollywood film starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. I give this film a rating of 9/10, and can highly recommend it.
General Impression from the Movie
The movie is very funny, insightful, entertaining, and in general - highly recommended. The acting is great, there are many beautiful scenes in the movie (of Hawaii, etc.), there are many sexy elements to the film, and it is a very fun and thought-provoking movie. I'll discuss the various messages of the movie, and the mental and emotional experience it has given me, only after I discuss its bad aspects. This is done in order to get them out of the way.
The Bad Aspects of the Movie
The first bad aspect of the movie is that the plot is very shopworn and expected. I could figure out most of what will happen throughout the movie till its end after reading the beginning of the wikipedia summary of the plot. Despite all that, there are still many unexpected elements and plot devices and many funny moments.
Another bad aspect is that the film gets unrealistic very quickly as the characters build more and more absurd lies, and the character of Palmer (played by Brooklyn Decker), continues to believe them, while it is obvious that any woman of her intelligence and general ability to sense when someone is lying (or much below that), would have become extremely suspicious, if not completely emotional about it, a short time into the movie. In addition, I think that the screenplay writer went to too great lengths to make us believe that Palmer was indeed more stupid and immature than she actually first appeared to be (like the fact that Seventeen was her favourite magazine, or that she was permanently scarred from the fact that 'N Sync broke up). I believe that the film could have given a more well-rounded message if it still presented her as an intelligent and well-rounded woman.
We are also required to suspend disbelief for Adam Sandler's character of a Don Juan, who uses a wedding ring to lie to women and get them into bed. A real life character of such would have become impotent a long time ago, but I suppose it is a necessary plot device and is one of the film's "known bugs".
Moreover, the film consciously sports many common myths, fashions and hyperboles in 90s or sometimes even more modern American culture, up to the extent of nausea. These stereotypes add to the spice of the movie, and are done with good humour, but they may be a little too much.
As a result, I've been feeling that this film may be too polished and a prime example of the Hollywood successful film assembly line, which has become a bit too overdone lately. I really think the film's script writers and director, could have used less of such stereotypes, while still experiencing the emotional and intellectual process that the film-makers wanted us to go through.
Insights from the Movie
Decker's character is initially portrayed as intelligent and sexy, both physically and verbally, and a worthy competition to Jennifer Aniston. As the movie progresses we think of her more as naïve, good-hearted and childish, which causes the audience to more pity her than be attracted to her, so the movie makers were successful.
On the other hand, Jennifer Aniston convincingly portrays the single-parent mother, who is surprised to discover she can still be very chic, intelligent, inventive, and most importantly - sexy, until the audience is genuinely more attracted to her instead of her younger and extremely physically attractive competition.
Adam Sandler is very convincing as a modern day pygmalion who gradually turns his unattractive underling (Aniston), whom he believes is not his type, into a woman whom he finds extremely attractive up to falling in love with.
I think one of the main hidden messages of the movie, despite a common belief to the contrary, was that sexy women (and men, naturally) are not incompetent, and "sleazy", but quite the opposite - that their sexiness is indicative of a great competency and confidence and maybe even being a noble and honest person.
Naturally, the movie calls upon women in their 30s and 40s (or even older), including those that have children from prior marriages, to acknowledge the fact that they still have sex appeal, and that they can compete for the attention of attractive men.
One thing I'm ambivalent about the film is its implication that it is hard to bridge the gap between the members of Generation X and younger people. While being born in 1977 (and have turned 34 in 2011), which may be the edge-of-generation-X, and that I feel a lot of cultural dissonance between people of younger age (who mostly have not watched The Princess Bride, care little about such popular 90's T.V. shows as Friends, Star Trek: The Next Generation (and "Deep Space Nine"), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and are not excited about many hits of the late 80s and 90s), I still feel that we can find a common ground. I also don't rule out that mature men who are romantically involved with much younger women (or vice versa), expect them to behave in an immature way, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Meaning, older women are not necessarily more mature, but when in a relationship with them, they are expected to behave more maturely, due to the Halo effect.
I was out of touch with gossip about Jennifer Aniston for a while (though I have naturally heard about Brad Pitt breaking up with her), so I was pleasantly surprised to read on her wikipedia page that after her breakout role in the Television show Friends, she ended up becoming a very successful Film and Television actress, breaking the "Friends" curse. However, while in the film in question, she portrays a middle-aged woman, who has two children whom she cares about a lot and ends up at a dead end career, in real life, Aniston had a successful career, and a string of bad relationships (although she is the godmother of her associate and friend's Courtney Cox-Arquette daughter). It's hard to know whether Aniston wanted to have children within a steady relationship, or that she put her career first, but it's still highly probable that making Just Go With It was painful for her.
After talking about that with my mother, we agreed that there are many factors that inhibit a successful Hollywood actress from raising a family (among them needing to travel a lot on demand, the prying eyes of the media, including a lot of jealousy and envy, and an otherwise very busy schedule), so naturally a decision not to have children is a valid approach.
I don't recall seeing any previous films with Sandler in them, but he appears to be a fine comedian and a drama actor, and I'd like to catch up with some of his previous motion pictures, when I have some spare time.
This is Decker's first appearance in a film, and she was obviously chosen for it, because of her good looks and her youth. Nevertheless, she appears to play very well, within the purposely unrealistic behavioural constraints that her character exhibits in the plot. As a model, with some natural aspirations for becoming an actress, Decker could have done much worse than this film, and I'm looking forward to see her in future films.
The Child actors who were picked up for playing the two children in the film give a convincing and funny performance.
I enjoyed watching Just Go With It, and it apparently has many deeper meanings, both positive and negative. You should probably watch it.
Syndicated 2011-05-09 17:22:02 from shlomif