Directed by Dennis Dugan

Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker

Not sure how many laugh-factory films can evoke a premise of Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771-1831), "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive," but this 2 hours evokes the line again and again (in the head of this quondam English lit teacher, anyway).

On a weekend trip to Hawaii, plastic surgeon Adam Sandler (Daniel) convinces his loyal assistant, Jennifer Aniston (Katherine), to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife to cover up the useful.horizontalizing.device of a wedding band with no marriage behind it, a perpetual fiction Dan uses for quick trysts without cloying stay power. Here, now, he is hoist on his own wedding-band petard with his much-younger Gen Y girlfriend, Palmer, newcomer looker Brooklyn Decker (apparently, Mrs. Andy Roddick, real life).

In an effort to land the stunning blond he has fallen for after a dissolute near-career of bedding countless women on a false premise of cheating on some unnamed wife, Daniel embarks on a cascading escalator of just-barely plausible lies, embroideries and more fabrications that necessitate his assistant's also going along to substantiate the fictions. Nicole Kidman, as obnoxious high school "frenemy" Devlin, necessitates another small vortex of further lies, so Jennifer/Katherine can prove she has, after all these years, amounted to something other than her nerdy loser former self.

Aniston's two kids are handily roped into the Potemkin 'marriage' mirage for ballast-demanding Palmer, played outstandingly by Bailee Madison (fabulous) and Griffin Gluck (with an overactive bowel obsession), both hilarious. Sandler's pock-marked jerk of a brother, Dolf, an amazingly funny Nick Swardson as a near-sighted German sheep-vendor, 'not-that-Dolf Lundgren,' and a variety of cameo loons make this among the funniest films of the year: SNL alums Rachel Dratch and Kevin Nealon appear for hilarious character-bits that are ROTF spot-on. Kidman as annoying 'chum' Devlin and her supercilious, too-perfect husband add competitive back-story to the front and center tale.
Initially reluctant to see this film, we gave in, seeing the crowds hustling in to the best seats. Even my consort-a serious man not given to tolerating the ridiculous or dopily workmanlike-laughed. Non-stop.

Caution: There is always the danger of a too-enthusiastic review making the reader or prospective viewer cynical: I ain't gonna laugh; she can't make me go to this. Avoid that unlovely cynicism.

You emerge from this sun-drenched craziness as if from a costly spa. Your insides and major internal organs have been energetically worked over by the chortle mechanism triggered repeatedly, as this goofy winning script unfurls with its piled-on tangled untruths and their unexpected web of consequences. Endorphinically refreshed, you are ready for sushi or adult beverage of choice.





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