Just Go With It (12A) * * *

Jennifer Aniston as Katherine in Just Go With It
Jennifer Aniston as Katherine in Just Go With It
(Back to camera) Garrett Hedlund as Jamie McAllan. (Front of cart) Mary J. Blige as Florence Jackson (also inset)  and Rob Morgan as Hap Jackson.

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The title of Dennis Dugan’s romantic comedy should be read as a desperate plea to audiences to accept the hare-brained contrivances that swiftly propel this film into the realms of the absurd.

Based on the 1969 Walter Matthau comedy Cactus Flower, Just Go With It is two hours of lunacy that somehow compel us to care about the characters, and even delivers a smattering of belly laughs.

It’s to the credit of screenwriters Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling and a strong ensemble cast that this saccharine folly doesn’t completely self-destruct.

Certainly there are moments when it teeters on the brink and there is a nagging feeling throughout that Jennifer Aniston’s intelligent single mother could do far better than settle for Adam Sandler’s bed-hopping boss.

However, the cast fling themselves at the scatty material with gusto, not least Nicole Kidman in an eye-catching supporting role as the ultra-competitive arch-nemesis, who doesn’t know the meaning of defeat.

A prologue set in 1988 Long Island introduces us to loveable loser Danny Maccabee (Adam Sandler), who discovers on his wedding day that his bride-to-be is marrying him for his wallet.

Drowning his sorrows in a bar, Danny discovers that a wedding ring on his finger and a sob story are like catnip to sympathetic single women.

Fast-forwarding to the present day, Danny is now a wealthy plastic surgeon with a feisty assistant, Katherine (Jennifer Aniston).

At a party, Danny meets schoolteacher Palmer Dodge (Brooklyn Decker) and the connection is immediate... until she discovers the ring in the pocket of his jeans.

So he makes up a lie about an impending divorce from a beastly wife and persuades Katherine to pose as the soon-to-be ex. The little white lies keep on coming and matters come to a head in Hawaii.