Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just Go With It

I know, it's been eons since I've blogged, but who needs blogging now that you've got Facebook? But yea, I'm not that active on Facebook too, so.. conclusion: I'm just lazy. Muahaha.

Okay.. moving on. Caught the preview of the latest Aniston-Sandler romantic comedy, Just Go With It. From the looks of it, our favourite 'Friends' star is back in the game =)

Scroll to the bottom to read short reviews of Black Swan, The Fighter, The Green Hornet and Lover's Discourse (戀人絮語).

I give the movie:

After a string of flops, it seems like anything Jennifer Aniston attaches her name to would fail to ignite anymore interest in her work. Love Happens was not happening. The Bounty Hunter was a critics' prey. The Switch - wait... the what? You get the idea.

When news came that big-kid Adam Sandler would team up with her for a rom-com set in Hawaii, few really cared. Okay, so Sandler has his track record (the rowdy humour in the recent Grown Ups, and the sweet 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore) - but can these two household names share any comedic spark?

My say is (rid of any pre-Jennifer Aniston bias) a satisfied 'yes'. This is one surprisingly hilarious picture.

Aniston plays Katherine, long-time assistant to Adam Sandler's plastic surgeon, Danny. After falling for bombshell Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) - a 23-year-old grade-school teacher who Danny assumes is 'the one' - he persuades Katherine to pose as his soon-to-be ex-wife to convince Palmer that he is true to her.

The plan backfires as Katherine's own children are implicated in the web of lies, and soon, the entire group goes off vacationing in Hawaii on a bonding trip, where affections shift and lives are changed.

The comedy is directed by frequent Sandler collaborator, Dennis Dugan, and it might be a smart move to borrow the screen material from a 1969 movie Cactus Flower, as previous Dugan-Sandler original works include the memorably terrible You Don't Mess With The Zohan.

The plot steadfastly steers away from the traditional set-up of the rom-com by introducing domestic themes of honesty and divorce, showing how the kids in a broken marriage handle the situation themselves.

On that, child actors Griffin Gluck and Bailee Madison are scene-stealers as Katherine's two kids. Gluck's endearing Sopranos-style talk will crack you up, while Madison's grating British accent is a hoot to watch, both of them scheming and trying to blackmail their way into getting perks from getting in on the lie.

While we do not exactly get any development in Palmer's character - except for the fact that she's 'Nsync-obsessed - the audience do not really bother about characterization problems as the gags keep piling up and could leave you almost breathless with laughter.

Filled with snigger-non-stop situations involving botched plastic surgery jobs, an unconscious sheep, a hula-girl dance-off, and a surprising supporting role by a tall A-list Australian actress, the movie deftly blends great Sandler goofball jokes with Aniston's forte for physical comedy.

FINAL SAY: Thanks to the chemistry of its two leads who are visibly right-at-home with the material, I suggest you sit back, laugh your hearts out and that's right - just go with it.

The film opens in Singapore 31 March.

Other movies I've watched and rated:

A stunning, visceral film featuring Natalie Portman as the hardworking ballerina plummeting into insanity as her sinister on-stage role threatens to mirror her stressful real life. The bleak colours of black, white and grey drench the palette suitably, as the darker Swan emerges in astonishing fashion, while the seductive Mila Kunis and domineering Vincent Cassel taunt the lead at the sidelines, also leaving the audience in a psychological state of distress.

Rating: 4.0/5

Documentary-style filmmaking ups the grittiness as the film tells the real-life story of boxer Micky Ward (in a quiet, sturdy performance by Mark Wahlberg) and his drug-addict brother and trainer, Dicky (in a loud and bold turn by Christian Bale). Amy Adams and Melissa Leo round up the knock-out cast, as the showcase presents more of a broiling domestic drama about kinship and loyalty than a conventional boxing film.

Rating: 4.0/5

An unnecessary remake of the old television series with serviceable laughs about a spoilt-brat/orphaned/millionaire (a suitably lazy Seth Rogen) who teams up with his late father's assistant - who turns out to be an a**-kicking fighter/mechanic (Jay Chou) - to rid the city of crime lords. Jay's command of English (or the severe lack-thereof) is sorely annoying, and the aimless gags of childish beat-ups just makes the audience sick. The 3D doesn't help, as usual.

Rating: 2.5/5

Featuring exquisite cinematography of saturated colours and a keen eye on everyday objects, this quiet Hong Kong film is a tightly-written fable with insightful observations on modern and traditional relationships in the city. For instance, Facebook photographs are contrasted with an old-school binoculars, all tools used to track a cheating spouse. The fine cast includes crooners Eason Chan and Singapore's Kit Chan.

Rating: 4.0/5

That's all =)

Need to start packing for exchange to Taiwan!

Watch out for my predictions of winners for Oscars 2011 in my upcoming post =)

Take care, people!

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