Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
There’s a great film from 1969 called “Cactus Flower.” The film starred Walter Matthau and, in her first major film role, Goldie Hawn, who went on to win an Oscar for her performance. The screenplay was an adaptation of the stage show, which was in fact an adaptation of a French stage show. The film was written by I.A.L. Diamond who, teamed up with the great Billy Wilder, was responsible for such classics as the Oscar winning “The Apartment,” “The Fortune Cookie” and what is often considered one of the funniest films of all time, “Some Like It Hot.” Now “Cactus Flower” has been adapted into a new film, one that almost matches the original for laughs.
When we first meet plastic surgeon Danny Maccabee (Sandler) it is at his wedding. Born with a nose the size of a cucumber Danny learns that his wife-to-be is only interested in him for his money. In fact she has already lined up someone to help her spend her shopping filled days with. Danny calls the wedding off and, while enjoying a few drinks in a bar, finds himself hit on by a beautiful girl who has spied his wedding ring. Though he never gets married Danny continues to sport the ring, something that draws women to him like a moth to a flame. Danny feels no guilt by lying, feeling that if the ladies think he’s married they won’t be pressuring him to “settle down.” But when Danny meets the very beautiful Palmer (Decker) while sporting the ring he decides to fabricate a wife rather than explain the game he’s been playing.
Full of both funny lines and, most importantly, funny people, “Just Go With It” is Sandler’s most accessible film in a long time. While there are some classic Sandler moments in the film, it is the romantic comedy side that makes Danny a compassionate figure. Decker is appealing as “love at first sight” girl Palmer and the rest of the cast, including Nick Swardlow , musician Dave Matthews and a hilarious Nicole Kidman (in a priceless cameo) keep the laughs coming. Special mention to Aniston, who plays Danny’s work assistant and who agrees to help him carry out his plans. She is very funny here, matching Sandler comic beat for comic beat. She is undertaking a role that was made memorable by Lauren Bacall on stage and Ingrid Bergman on film and successfully makes it her own.