62 posts categorized "romantic-comedy"


Long-suffering love, longer suffering film-making

Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer on a mission to fulfill a bucket-list wish as the title characters in "Elsa & Fred." (indiewire.com)

Early on in the so-called "romantic-comedy" Elsa & Fred, which co-stars extremely capable actors Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer, Plummer's character, an 80-year-old recent widower, says, "I seem alive, but I'm already dead."

The same could be said for director Michael Radford's Americanized remake of the 2005 Spanish-Argentinian elder-romance of the same title.

Co-written by the director and Anna Pavignano, one of five scribes credited with the screenplay of Radford's truly enchanting Il Postino/The Postman (1994), Elsa & Fred jumps over too many clichéd hoops trying to add funny to what could have been a simple tale of new-found love as the sun ebbs on life.

MacLaine and Plummer, who toyed with elder romance in the late Richard Attenborough's Closing the Ring in 2007, do all they can as the title characters.  Fred Barcroft, alternately cared for and badgered by his overbearing daughter (Marcia Gay Harden) a few months after his wife dies, lands next door to ditzy Elsa Hayes in a New Orleans apartment house.

It's not that a relationship is inevitable here that bothers me the most about this romantic-comedy misfire, it's that Radford (Flawless, The Merchant of Venice) falls into the trap of attempting -- and failing -- to transfer the zaniness of the Spanish original to, how shall we say, more sedate American comic sensibilities.

Every time MacLaine hops behind the wheel of the giant orange boat of a car she drives around New Orleans and cranks up the hip-hop music (Yes, I said hip-hop), all I can think about is Ruth Gordon cruising New York streets in various stolen cars trying to save dying trees in Harold and Maude, the dark comic classic treasure of 1971.

The two elders fall truly, madly, deeply in love despite the confused adult children, including Scott Bakula as Elsa's concerned son.  But there are two serious road blocks for those of us in the audience.  Radford and his co-writer keep throwing in characters from nowhere who show up for a scene or two and wander away.  George Segal as Fred's old friend John is one.  James Brolin as Max, Elsa's ex-husband (or is he?), is another.

Somewhere, lurking just below the outlandish nonsense, is a sweet tale about a lonely guy up for one last grasp at true love and a lovable, white-lie spewing woman with health issues who has waited for about six decades for her prince charming to come along and fulfill her dream of channeling Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini's classic La Dolce Vita (1960).

It's not that filmmakers can't find a way to make elder romance -- even elder romance with comedy -- work in a way that younger, say middle-aged audiences can relate.   British director John Madden managed that beautifully with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2012.

Oscar winners MacLaine (Terms of Endearment) and Plummer (Beginners) can only force their way through situations more overly silly than fun in this one.

While it's commendable that top-flight elder actors like Plummer and MacLaine still get to bask in the cinematic spotlight at times, that alone is not enough.  Actors of this standing need decent lines to say in screenplays that don't insult the actors or their audiences.

MPAA rating:  PG-13 (for brief strong language)

105 minutes

Jalapeño rating:    (out of 4)



'Last Vegas,' where laughs go to die

Kevin Kline, left, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas go through the motions in "Last Vegas." (CBS Films)
Last Vegas sounded like such a fun, silly idea at first. 

Four lifelong buddies of an advanced age head to Las Vegas to celebrate the upcoming marriage of one of their own to a 30ish woman less than half his age.

Unfortunately, even with accomplished actors Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Mary Steenburgen out front, Last Vegas plays like a tired, last-gasp effort of fading movie stars chasing a fleeing spotlight.

 Sure, it had to be what has been referred to by some – including this critic – as a “geezer” version of The Hangover, which has finally run its course (thank goodness) after three outings.

The only sliver of good news here is that there is no way Last Vegas should even return for one encore.  In fact, this desperate attempt at elder comedy, best friend camaraderie and looking for love in all the wrong places shouldn’t have even found the light of a projector.

Let me put it this way, if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen all the funny, borderline funny and watchable parts of Last Vegas.  Douglas, as Billy, the groom-to-be, De Niro (Paddy, Billy’s anger-consumed former best friend), Freeman (Archie, the heavily medicated one who loves to drink and dance), Kline (Sam, who has a “free pass” to cheat on his wife) and Steenburgen (the kindly aging Vegas lounge songbird) should have all told their agents to pass on this project; or at the very least demanded a better script.

Director Jon Turteltaub, who has found some success entertaining the masses with the National Treasure franchise of comic-adventures, can’t find anything to show movie-goers about Las Vegas we haven’t seen before.  Even worse, the script by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) relies on too many clichés – December/May engagement, mentally sparring best friends, true love waiting where someone least expects it – fails to keep this dismal attempt at sentimental comedy interesting.

Failed comedy is never pretty, but this one is ugly enough to hurt.

Save your money.  The reason has very little to do with the fact that this group of actors are all of a certain age.  For some reason, they all hitched their stars to a turkey.


MPAA rating:  PG-13 (profanity, sexual content)

105 minutes

Jalapeño rating:  1 (out of 4)


Wheels up for Carell's star vehicle

"Crazy, Stupid, Love" arrives totally as a surprise and packs a goofy entertainment sucker punch that refreshes, stimulates and causes a lump to form in the throat.

I like the title.  That's exactly what crazy, stupid love does to a person.

Perhaps the title is more than a little bit redundant, but the new starring vehicle for "Office" (on TV) expatriate Steve Carell sports an impact and sophistication we rarely see in the dog days of cinematic summer.

Before you'll even have a chance to drop a dollop of popcorn butter-like, nuclear waste-like substance on your shirt or blouse, a life bomb wrecks the emotional landscape of one Cal Weaver (Carell).

His wife and high school sweetheart Emily (Julianne Moore) blurts out that she wants a divorce.  And while she's blurting, Emily confesses that she slept with a guy (Kevin Bacon) from her office.  These heart-stunning revelations fire across a restaurant table at the very moment Cal was sure Emily was about to announce her dessert choice.

"Crazy, Stupid, Love," unlike many middle-age crazy flicks, keeps at least one foot -- OK a toe or two -- grounded in reality.  

Suddenly single in his 40s, Cal hits the neighborhood disco bar.  Sipping a girly drink from a straw, he's greeted by blank stares from the general 20/30something mojito slurpers on the prowl for love, or at least someone to make the long night pass a little less painfully.

This might be a different film if it were directed and/or written by a woman.

It's not, though.  Co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who collaborated on Jim Carrey's outrageous dark comedy "I Love You Phillip Morris" last year, take a script by Dan Fogelman ("Tangled," "Cars") and fill the screen with dark humor, steamy romance and surprises in the final reel that might just curl your hair (assuming you have some).

Jacob (Ryan Gosling of "Blue Valentine" and "Lars and the Real Girl"), the local disco stud, takes Cal under his wing.  He shows his sadsack, jilted elder what to wear, what drink to order, how to wear his hair and what to say to fish for willing companions for the evening.

I won't go into details, especially when it comes to Cal's needy commitment to his almost-ex or his encounter with a love-starved disco tart portrayed with excellent full-tilt boogie by Oscar winner Marisa Tomei.

It's best to simply strap in for the ride with a movie like this.

Just know that Carell, making the transition from a very popular TV sitcom ("The Office"), no longer needs training wheels for his star vehicles.  This is where Carell finally gets smart and learns how to stroke his hangdog victim acting tools into a big screen arsenal.

And while we're on the subject of actors finding solid footing, let's add Emma Stone, who plays aspiring attorney Hannah, to that list.

Stone ("Easy A," "Zombieland"), either blessed or cursed to bear a striking resemblance to troubled actress Lindsay Lohan, displays an acting range in this one that I, for one, was surprised by.  Very pleasant surprise, that.

This film is at times crazy and stupid.  

I loved it.


Booty calls with entanglement pitfalls

Kudos to "Friends With Benefits" director Will Gluck for daring to sprinkle some real-life drama into a silly little romantic-comedy that flashes some skin and lesser parts romance and comedy.

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, two rising stars of the Yeah, Us Generation, do all they can with a premise doomed from the beginning:  Sex without emotion or entanglements.

Let's face it, folks.  The booty call, no commitment relationship already had its chance on the big screen.
Earlier this year Oscar winner Natalie Portman ("Black Swan") and Ashton Kutcher (Charlie Sheen's soon-to-be replacement on TV's "Two and a Half Men") gave it a goofy go in "No Strings Attached."

The idea failed, although the movie had some merit as a romantic-comedy.

Even good actors like Timberlake ("The Social Network") and Kunis ("Black Swan") can't make "Friends with Benefits" hook an audience as entertainment, however.  The problem is that director Gluck's first effort since last year's semi-entertaining "Easy A" attempts to stuff some serious life lessons, including but not limited to the sex without commitment thingy, into a format that's traditional romantic-comedy.

Dylan (Timberlake) plays a hotshot Web site graphic designer in L.A. who's recruited by Jamie (Kunis), a get-it-done corporate headhunter.  She lures him to New York for an interview at GQ magazine.

Both are on the rebound from recent breakups, which are inter cut nicely by Gluck to open the film.

Like Portman and Kutcher in "No Strings Attached," Dylan and Jamie take the plunge into a grand experiment doomed to failure:  vigorous sex with none of the cuddling, or "Call me" or whining about a sex partner who might encounter someone else away from the not-so-sacred pact.

Jamie, claiming to be a "good girl," makes Dylan swear on a Bible that neither partner will violate the special bond.  The Bible, however, is a Bible app on an ipad.

Welcome to The Good Book in the New Digital Age, movie-goers.

Jamie's Mom (Patricia Clarkson) wanders off in the direction of every man she sniffs.  Dylan, on the other hand, is sort of hiding the fact that his dad (superbly played by Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins of "The Visitor") has some serious, heartbreaking health issues.

I like the fact that "Friends With Benefits" attempts to fry some real life stumbling blocks in the same pan as the over-easy romance and peek-a-boo frolics under the sheets.  For those who seek out R-rated movies for such things, there's more raunchy sex talk than exposed skin, except for a showcase of Timberlake's bare Southern extremities.

"Friends With Benefits" is a tough call for a critic.  If modern, graphic pillow talk is all you require in a romantic-comedy, it's a semi-rewarding hour and a half or so in a movie house.

Otherwise, some very good veteran actors (Jenkins, Clarkson) and young rising stars (Timberlake, Kunis) might just appear to be hanging around on the screen for a very long time.


The 'Larry Crowne' affair

Enough with the monster cars that really are monster cars called "Transformers."

Enough with the drunken, crotch-kick lowbrow humor of "Hangovers" and "Bridesmaids."

"Larry Crowne" puts on big boy pants to showcase loss, love and laughs amid the ruins of love gone bad and a job gone bust.

From this aisle seat, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts -- along with co-writer/director Hanks and co-writer Nia Vardalos -- have put together a heartfelt little film that deals with big issues of the day in a manner worth noting.

For adults who see lots of movies, especially in the hardware-driven summer movie season, it might just feel as refreshing, cleansing and welcome as a cold dipper of water after a trek across a desert.

"Larry Crowne" is not a film without some slight affectations, however.  Hanks' Crowne, a happy-go-lucky Navy vet-turned-discount store clerk, bounces back ahead of the national curve after his job is yanked from under him because he has no higher education.

The cynics among us might even point out that guys like Larry don't usually stumble into a community college classroom and find someone like Mercedes Tainot, a k a Julia Roberts, waiting to crank up the Speech 217 class.

The fact that happy accidents like this do happen at the movies might just have something to do with generally boffo attendance at the neighborhood bijou.

More embraceable than other, harder-edged lousy economy blues films like George Clooney's "Up in the Air" or "The Company Men" starring Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck and Chris Cooper, "Larry Crowne" drowns its job loss/love lost sorrows in romantic-comedy.

Larry doesn't just stumble into Roberts' speech class, he finds his look and voice as a man dusting himself off and jumping back into life through the odd attention of a semi-flirty, much younger fellow student named Talia (British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw of the NBC series "Undercovers").

Talia takes Larry under her wing; yanking his shirttail out when he looks too formal, removing clutter from his house and inviting him to join the East Valley Community College motor scooter brigade.

Roberts, who co-starred with Hanks once before in "Charlie Wilson's War," is an Academy Award winner as well ("Erin Brockovich").

What a joy it is to see two forces of acting nature mix it up with decent dialogue.  I like the fact that these characters have enough of a foothold in reality to make the magical aspects of the story seem almost (maybe, just maybe) within the grasp of those in the audience, including some perhaps going through similar troubles.

Hanks rarely directs feature films; his own starring vehicles or otherwise.  In fact, his Playtone banner has flown with the two-time Oscar winner ("Philadelphia," "Forrest Gump") in the director's chair only once before ("That Thing You Do!, 1996) for a feature film.

He was smart to cast George Takei, Mr. Sulu in the "Star Trek" TV and film series, as economics professor Dr. Ed Matsutani, however.   Overly formal and pompous, Dr. Matsutani's the perfect other-end-of-the-spectrum teacher to balance out Roberts' Mrs. Tainot.

I'm the first to admit that "Larry Crowne" squarely hits more than one hot button for me:  the frightening dilemma of sudden job loss without warning, rebuilding through a community college, speech courses and the fact that I tooled around on a motor scooter in my  youth.

Actually, you don't need any of those identifying points to appreciate "Larry Crowne." All you need is an appreciation for excellent acting and a heartfelt story.

And, of course, the ability to make it through an entire movie without mechanical warring monsters or things that blow up real good.


Woody Allen answers his muse's siren call

Most filmmakers are satisfied to just make movies.

Woody Allen dances merrily with his cinematic muse.  And he's been doing that for 45 years.

His muse can be moody or devious, which is often reflected in Allen's film titles: "Love and Death," "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy," "Another Woman," "Husbands and Wives" and the like.

With "Midnight in Paris," the veteran filmmaker allows his muse to seduce Allen to the very core of what drives him.  That, from an outsider's viewpoint, appears to be the written word and being in love with being in love.

Texan Owen Wilson ("Hall Pass")  is out front as Gil, a successful Hollywood screenwriter who considers himself a hack writer and has always dreamed of living in Paris and writing a great novel like his idols Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Although Allen's usual issues of marveling at the mysteries of life and love surface, they are somewhat muffled by the writer-director.  "Midnight in Paris" is Allen's valentine to the City of Lights and is lighter in tone -- not exactly giddy -- than much of Allen's vast library of romantic-comedies.

Gil has tagged along to Paris with Inez (Rachel McAdams), his fiancée, and her parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy).  Her father doesn't like Gil much and it shows.  

Gil could care less.  He's so in love with Paris and the idea of chucking his successful screenwriting career and writing his great novel between walks in the Paris rain that he can think of almost nothing else.

This could have easily become a lazy variation of "Everyone Says I Love You," Allen's other love-crossed romance set in part in Paris in 1996.

But Allen has something else in mind.  While taking a late-night stroll, the clock strikes 12 and Gil is magically transported to the 1920s Paris of his dreams.  Night after night he mingles with idols Hemingway (Corey Stoll) and Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and none other than Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates, who is bawdy wonderful in the role) agrees to take a look at his novel.

There's also a beguiling woman named Adriana portrayed with just the right degree of curiosity and flirtation by Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard (Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose").

Ah, but there's another woman to be on the lookout for in the utterly delightful "Midnight in Paris."  Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, no less, appears in a small role as a museum guide.

That's the thing about answering a muse's siren calls for almost half a century.  When you're Woody Allen and you're in love with falling in love and you're making a movie in Paris, women appear from everywhere.

Even the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the president of France.


'Pirates' of the all-too-familiaran

Most comedy-slanted adventure-thrill movies are like theme park amusement rides.

The good ones are exhilarating the first time, exciting and fun the second time around and decreasingly OK each time after that.

In the case of Disney's cash-cow franchise "Pirates of the Caribbean" featuring the wobbly swagger of Johnny Depp as 
amusingly narcissistic pirate-with-a-heart-of-ghostly-booty Capt. Jack Sparrow, it is exactly like that.

That's because, as almost everyone on the planet is aware, "Pirates of the Caribbean" reversed the usual movie trend.

Instead of a popular movie re-tooled as an amusement park theme ride ("Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye," for instance), "Pirates of the Caribbean" launched as a popular theme park ride and then made the jump to movie screens with Depp out front in 2003.

"Pirates of the Caribbean:  The Curse of the Black Pearl" defied the odds (Really?  A movie out of an amusement ride?) and swashbuckled its way to exhilarating status, not to mention financial treasure.

Movie treasure tends to not remain buried for long, though.  So "Pirates" set sail with sequels in 2005 (subtitled "Dead Man's Chest") and 2007 ("At World's End").

The key word in the title of the 2007 model was "world."  No one said "At Franchise's End."

So this weekend the masses will no doubt line up for "Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides," the latest variance on a fading theme.  On as I prefer to put it adding a snake's hiss, the third s-s-s-s-s-s-sequel.

If "On Stranger Tides" came out of the moviemaking chute first, it would have been -- if not quite exhilarating -- plenty good as a comedy-adventure thrill ride.  

Depp, of course, owns the Capt. Jack Sparrow character so well that when his familiar face is slowly revealed hiding under a judge's wig, the audience greets him with anticipation and glee, as if he's a long-lost weird uncle returning home with expensive gifts.

"Pirates 4" is all about a race to find the Fountain of Youth.  Exceptional actor Ian McShane (Al Swearengen in the "Deadwood" TV series) joins the cast as legendary pirate Blackbeard and is, as you might expect, outstanding.

Penélope Cruz, an Academy Award winner (supporting) for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," cuts a wide acting swath as Blackbeard's daughter Angelica.  Cruz replaces the departed  Keira Knightley, and is not exactly anyone's definition of a helpless ingénue.

There's no lack of action, or cool pirates costumes or, of course, Depp mugging into the camera.  The beautiful but bloodthirsty mermaids are a welcome addition, actually.

And new director Rob Marshall (Oscar nominated for the musical "Chicago") keeps things sailing along at a decent pace despite the film's overlong voyage of two hours and 21 minutes.

The highly touted 3-D element, though, is not worth the cinematic E-ticket premium price.  All you'll get is a sword or two that appear to be thrust right at your nose.

"Pirates" also sails this time without Orlando Bloom as Will Turner and, more importantly, director Gore Verbinski, who called shots on the first three adventures.

And, oddly enough, the fourth time around is actually based on something other than a theme park ride.  This screenplay, once again written by "Pirates" regulars Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, incorporates Tim Powers' 1987 novel  "On Stranger Tides."

Once the screenwriters throw the usual "Pirates" suspects (Capt. Sparrow, et all) into the mix, however, the subtitle should read:  "On Familiar Rides."


Kate Hudson's star power on 'Borrowed' time

To quote an often-repeated phrase, "What the heck were they thinking?"

"Something Borrowed" whirls around a tangled romantic triangle involving characters played by Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin and a semi-Tom Cruise lookalike named Colin Egglesfield.

Like "The Dilemma," a recent buddy comedy that spun way off its axis, "Something Borrowed" flails away madly trying to settle on a genre niche, but never does.

Neither romantic-comedy (too outrageous and plodding) nor drama (much too silly), "Something Borrowed" careens off all possible genres without coming close to anything resembling embraceable entertainment.

Hudson, who did nothing to propel her rising-star mojo with "Bride Wars" a couple of years back, should know better.  Her character in this one, a boyfriend-stealing obnoxious shark of a woman named Darcy, is one of the most unlikable characters to hit movie screens in a romantic-comedy in years; perhaps decades.

It should tell anyone considering a trip to this under-achiever something when it's revealed that director Luke Greenfield lists a Rob Schneider "comedy" ("The Animal") among credits that also include "The Girl Next Door" (2004).

"Something Borrowed," based on Emily Giffin's novel with a screenplay by TV writer Jennie Snyder Urman, launches in New York with Rachel's (Goodwin) 30th birthday party.  Everyone gets smashed, especially best friend Darcy (Hudson).

Rachel ends up in a cab with Dex (Egglesfield), her old law school buddy, whom she had and has a major crush on.  Trouble is, in 61 days he's marrying Darcy, who leaped between them six years earlier like a cheetah on a helpless, unsuspecting gazelle.

"Two stops," Dex (Egglesfield, channeling Tom Cruise with all his might) tells the driver.

But things heat up quickly.  A glance in the rear view mirror at the action in the backseat and the cabbie says, "I'm thinking one stop."

"Something Borrowed" is utterly predictable and loaded with square peg-in-round-hole characters.  TV "Office" staffer John Krasinski sets indoor and outdoor records for contrived double-takes.  And Steve Howey ("Bride Wars") does absolutely nothing to further his career as Marcus, the skateboarding man-child buffoon.

If you must go, you'll see a pretty good performance from Goodwin, who was on screen not too long ago in "He's Just Not That Into You."

That's about it, though.  Advice from this aisle seat:  Move on down the multiplex hall to something better.

That won't be hard to find.  Almost any auditorium will do.  


Bard to the bone

Lawn statues take on "Romeo and Juliet," perhaps the greatest love tragedy in the history of the written word.  Not counting "The Hangover," of course.

Who says Hollywood is out of ideas?

Actually, with serious apologies to William Shakespeare, "Gnomeo & Juliet" isn't all that bad, especially if you're a kid and you're getting your first dose of Shakespeare and 3-D glasses at the same time.

For adults, though ... You know what, adults can enjoy this silly back yard, off-the-wall Shakespeare reboot as well.

Seven credited writers (Yes, seven and that's not counting Mr. Shakespeare) turn the world's infamous family feud into a stand-off between the Reds and the Blues.   They fight.  They sling insults at each other across the fence they share.

And they're all lawn gnomes.

Two of them, though, are in love.  And yes, Gnomeo (James McAvoy) is a blue and Juliet (Emily Blunt) is, at first glance, a dreaded Red.

I would have probably bailed on this vibrantly colorful silliness if Juliet had wailed from her balcony:  "Gnomeo, Gnomeo, wherefore art thou Gnomeo?"

Or maybe I wouldn't have.

Director Kelly Asbury ("Shrek 2") keeps things moving along.  The animation occasionally dazzles and the voice talent is top notch.

In addition to Blunt ("The Devil Wears Prada") and McAvoy ("Atonement"), Michael Caine is a hoot as Juliet's father, Lord Redbrick, and Maggie Smith (the "Harry Potter" movies) delights as Lady Blueberry.

"Gnomeo & Juliet" is a cinematic truffle.  Delicious in its foolhardiness for a while, and then tossed from the mind and forgotten.

But remember this.  When humans aren't looking, the gnomes out in the back yard might just be up to something.

Another comic misfire from Adam Sandler

For what seemed like a very long time, I tried to just go along with "Just Go With It."

Adam Sandler, who could use a hit, and Jennifer Aniston (ditto) team up for an offbeat romantic-comedy that looks like it'll be funny, but isn't much. 

"Just Go With It," loosely based on the 1969 Walter Matthau, Goldie Hawn comic gem "Cactus Flower," isn't a monumental stinker on the scale of "Grown Ups," Sandler's most recent outing.
You may remember "Grown Ups"?  That was last year's comic buddies reunion posing as a movie.

This one is more in line -- or I should say off-line -- with "Funny People," Sandler's 2009 effort that was seriously lacking in, uh, funny people.

Sandler starts out with a very big prosthetic nose and a crushed heart in the opening scenes of "Just Go With It," which begins in 1988.

Emotionally wounded when he overhears his soon-to-be-bride bragging about the guy she really loves (and has had recent dalliances with), Danny (Sandler) goes on what turns out to be a 20-year-mission pretending to be unhappily married to get sympathy sex from women.

When director Dennis Dugan leapfrogs to present time, Danny is a successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon with a decent chiseled-down nose.  He's got some office flirtation thing going on with his assistant, Katherine (Aniston), and the serious oh-la-la hots for a much younger schoolteacher named Palmer.  She's played by Sports Illustrated cover girl swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker.

I think most of my waning interest kicked in when the convoluted plot began to involve Katherine's children in a drawn-out fake marriage plot that takes the audience to the sunny beaches of Hawaii and me to thoughts of when I might be able to get in my car and head home.

"Just Go With It" is another one of those "Let's go on a vacation and make a movie while we're there" films.  Everyone in this underachieving comedy, including musician Dave Matthews and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, who play husband and wife, appear to be having a good time.  From what I could tell, those of us sitting in the dark who might not get to Hawaii to frolic in the surf this year, not so much.

As for Sandler and Aniston, the romantic chemistry factor is nil.

Although it does muster a few scattered funny moments, "Just Go With It" is, on the whole, another Sandler misfire.

Almost everything is overly silly, just plain boring or overstated by Dugan, who's directing Sandler for the sixth time.  In fact, it's seven if you count the upcoming "Jack and Jill," which stars Sandler in both roles.

The Sandler-Dugan collaboration began happily with the goofy golf comedy "Happy Gilmore" in 1996.  From this aisle seat, it should have been one-and-done.

Adam Sandler is a major comic talent.  He needs to be making better, more entertaining movies.