The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee

Just Go With It (06/07/2011)

Rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual content, partial nudity, brief drug references and language.

Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston…

Directed by Dennis Dugan (Grown Ups, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry…)

Jonathan's Rating: A Coaster

It’s been a long time since I walked out of a movie.

It was a date night for Lori and I. On an impulse, we thought we’d try Just Go With It. We wanted something that would make us laugh.

It didn’t.

For 37 grueling minutes we sat there listening to one raunchy joke after another—emphasis on “raunchy” and using the word “joke” lightly.

The film is about a single (and morally bankrupt) plastic surgeon (Sandler) who uses a wedding ring as a tool to get laid night after night. Eventually, this “playa” finds a girl he really likes (after a one night hookup) and needs to continue his lies by convincing his loyal assistant (Aniston) to pose as his soon to be divorced wife.

Let me be extremely candid. We’ve all heard humor that was on the raunchy side, but was funny—the kind of jokes you feel guilty about laughing at. These were nothing close to that! These were just attempts at trashy humor… but not funny at all.

Hello Sandler! Are you getting lazy? You used to be funny. Mental note: making references to sex and body parts alone isn’t funny.

This film was truly painful to watch. It was like hanging out in a Jr. high locker room.

Add to that the typical morals of the world, where hookups were abundant and any sign of values were scarce… a sad picture, truly. In one line, Jennifer Aniston said to Adam Sandler, “You don't wanna get serious, because “serious” leads to marriage, and “marriage” leads to divorce...”

Yeah. Avoid this film like the plague.

Did you read above? Absolutely not.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?

A: It seems that these film makers seem to believe that hooking up (one night stands) is okay, and lying is okay. At the same time, truth can’t help but leak through the seams of the lies this film perpetuates. The lead character, Danny (Sandler) seems to really want something more than the empty life of one night stands. His tricks only bring temporary thrills and he wants to find something deeper. Unfortunately, he hopes that his lies will help him achieve this.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
A: First, we shouldn’t even watch this kind of garbage.

But, if someone sees this film and wants to discuss it, we might be able to talk about the emptiness of this kind of lifestyle and the pain it brings.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?
A: Frankly, we need to first address the fact that this kind of media is lying to us, and young people are believing these lies. Of course, young people will just say, “Mom, this doesn’t effect me.” Research shows the complete opposite. (See here)

Secondly, we can actually compare the lies of this film to the truth of the Word of God. In this movie, sex seems to be recreational for this guy. God makes it clear to us in the Bible that this kind of sexual promiscuity wasn’t his plan for us. Look at this passage:
    1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV)
    18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
    19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
    20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
Ask these questions:
  1. How does he tell us to respond to sexual immorality? (flee!)

  2. What does flee mean? What might that look like in our lives this week?

  3. Why do you think sexual immorality is such a serious offense? What are some of the natural consequences that can occur when/if you are sexually promiscuous like the lead character in this film?

  4. Verse 20 above says that we were “bought at a price.” How were we bought? (see I Peter 1:18, 19)

  5. What are some ways that we can honor God with our body?

The film also deals with the subject of integrity and honesty. Danny has lived most of his life lying to get what he wants. We need to realize that God wants us to be honest and faithful in all areas of our lives. If you’d like to dig deeper into this subject, you can use a discussion like this Horton Hears a Who discussion where we talk about what it means to be faithful 100%.

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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