Adam Sandler is back, playing a guy deceived by an unspectacular woman, his fiancée. Most unusual. He changes from cardiologist to plastic surgeon, aiming to love every pretty girl in California. He shows promise. – There is good reason for a life of pleasure to be shallow. In a way, he chases after beauty, however easily caught. For morality’s sake, he pretends to be married, unhappily, so that women will both sleep with him & pity him.
This backfires when he meets a girl who has beauty & the backbone to get him. Even the best add truth to their lies to keep ahead of the game… She finds his ring. He explains it is a circle; indeed, it is. She is unpersuaded, having a mind for marriage. Hence jealousy. Perhaps beautiful women should sleep with men only after polite questions?
Of course, this is no time to tell the truth. But now he has to make good on his lie & divorce a woman. Of course, he has to pretend he is married first. To a whore, & a superb one. This is the most intriguing conceit in a romantic comedy in some time.
We expect him to finally marry this woman. That is the formula. But the comic conceit makes the romantic ending quite a challenge. First, the divorce has to be plausible. The poet thus shows what is wrong with marriage nowadays & therefore how it could be done well. Second, the marriage is supposed to have taken place, so the man & woman get to rehearse their romance, to play at love, which is of course natural to love poetry. They would be making a first start & a second start of things all at once. Their second start is their learning what their first start should have been. Probably, that would be the greatest romantic comedy, showing everything serious in an unserious way.
Now, the other woman is Jennifer Aniston, in her best role. A single mother with two kids – badly raised by the Mexican nanny, who is more erotic than the mother… She is Sandler’s assistant, confidante, & he also protects her. She is a moral woman, being a mother, but also a friend to Sandler. She hates the fast women. & she drinks when she gets lonely. She changes suddenly, as she becomes part of his scheme. Now, she gets to pretend she is a real woman. Although the first lesson is humiliating men, the second is seduction. By degrees, she learns everything she did wrong the first time around. & he falls in love with this woman he imagines. The make-believe wife turns out to be the real wife.
Sandler’s best marriage comedy