Wednesday, February 16, 2011

‘Just Go With It’…just leave it be! ‘Cedar Rapids’…plan a trip soon!

I never really thought Adam Sandler to be that funny; his silly voices, his frat house humor, his perchance for falling to toilet humor and kicks to the groin to get laughs, it all really lost me about 5 years ago! Occasionally he hits it right, such as ’50 First Dates’ (although Drew Barrymore really carried that) and ‘Funny People’; in those films he played his characters more straight and let the laughs come more naturally. In ‘Just Go With It’, the remake of ‘Cactus Flower’ – a film that was impeccably done by Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman and a young Goldie Hawn (who won a Best Supporting Actress for her role), Sandler falls back into the goofy frat boy toilet humor that is neither funny nor interesting to watch. Within the first 10 minutes I was checking my watch to see if the pain was over yet. Mid way through the film I don’t think I heard a single laugh in the theater. By the time the end credits started to roll, I was exhausted and looking for the door, ready to trample my way through it and out the theater, wishing I had my hard earned $20.00 back!

Is it possible that such a unfunny movie could have been made? What bet did Jennifer Aniston lose to get stuck in this worthless piece of garbage? In fact, if it was not for Jennifer Aniston, the movie would have been completely unbearable. Sandler is a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon (really? That is only one of the MANY unbelievable moments in this wreck) who has been having one night stands for the past 20 years, pretending to be married. Suddenly, a young and very beautiful woman (Bailee Madison, in what could be a career ending first movie) walks into his life. To woo her, Sandler somehow convinces his assistant (Aniston) and her two children to be his soon to be divorced family. This film is crude, tasteless, filled with terrible comedic timing and just hugely unlikable. Only Jennifer Aniston comes through as likable, sweet and often seeming to be trapped in a film with no redeeming qualities what so ever. Skip this Zero star effort and complete waste of time.

If you want some real laughs and a fantastic time at the movies, skip ‘Just Go With IT’ and head to the nearest theater that is playing ‘Cedar Rapids’; the smart, funny and often sweet ensemble cast film lead by the very funny Ed Helms (The Office) and the always funny John C Reilly. Directed by Miguel Arleta, ‘Cedar Rapids; is a film that understands real comedy; comedy driven from the strength of the characters and not just the sheer volume of pratfalls.

Helms is insurance agent Tim Lippe, a very naïve adult who has never ventured out of his small Wisconsin hometown; he has never been on a plane, never stayed at a hotel and he has never experienced anything like Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Sent to an annual insurance convention by the company he works for, Lippe is tasked with winning the coveted ‘2 Diamond’ award, an honor bestowed upon the agency with the highest ‘moral’ standards.

Lippe is soon involved (and rooming with) three convention veterans; John C Reilly, Anne Heche (in a career revitalizing performance) and Isiah Whitlock Jr., who show him the ropes and take him into their fold.

Often filled with over the top crude language, the film never loses its sense of reality and sweetness. This is a smart and very human comedy that draws its laughs from the characters and the very way they handle the situations they are confronted with. While this is a limited release film, it is well worth the effort to go see this, no matter where the theater is located. A 4 star adult comedy to be sure!

No comments: