The Underrated Adam Sandler Movie Burning Up The Netflix Charts Right Now

One of the benefits of the streaming boom is that every movie has a chance for a second life. Case in point: one of the top ten movies on Netflix at the moment is the 2011 Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler comedy Just Go With It. Don't feel bad if you don't remember the film (or are confusing it with another Aniston-Sandler team up, Murder Mystery). Despite performing well at the box office when it originally released, the movie hardly made much of a cultural dent. However, thanks to the power of streaming algorithms, audiences are rediscovering this goofy rom-com all over again.

In the film, Sandler plays Dr. Danny Maccabee, a plastic surgeon who swore off love after a bitter breakup and now uses a fake wedding ring to have an endless series of one-night stands. That is, until he meets Palmer Dodge (Brooklyn Decker), and realizes he wants to get back into the relationship game. When Palmer finds his ring, Danny ropes the office manager at his practice, Katherine (Aniston), into pretending to be his ex-wife in order to cover up his slimy hookup tactics.

The farcical rom-com appears to be just the type of low-key entertainment Netflix viewers are in the mood for these days.

Just Go With It is a loose remake of Cactus Flower

The premise of Just Go With It might sound familiar because it's not exactly the first time its story has been told. The movie is a loose adaptation of the 1969 film Cactus Flower, which itself was based on a Broadway play of the same name, which was based on an earlier French production.

Cactus Flower stars Walter Matthau as Dr. Julian Winston, a dentist who is dating flower child Toni (Goldie Hawn). Julian started seeing Toni under the false pretense that he was married in order to keep their relationship casual. When he decides he wants to get serious with her after all, he enlists the help of his secretary, Stephanie (Ingrid Bergman), to pose as his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Although the premise of the film is about as silly as Just Go With It, the original received glowing reviews at the time of its release. It was Hawn's first film role after rising to cultural prominence on the '60s sketch comedy show Laugh-In. Critics praised her performance, and she went on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Critics hated Just Go With It, but audiences kept watching anyway

Just because critics enjoyed the original film doesn't mean they were big fans of Just Go With It. When it was released, the film was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews and currently holds a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Marjorie Baumgarten at The Austin Chronicle wrote of the film's premise, "The deceptions on which Just Go With It depends are so patently obvious and threadbare that it demeans the characters and viewers to have to pretend to not see the truth behind the contrivances."

Meanwhile, Peter Howell at The Toronto Star called the film a "puerile mess," and Lisa Schwarzbaum at Entertainment Weekly described it as "tired rather than fun."

The one bright spot for some reviewers was the performance of Jennifer Aniston. In her review, Schwarzbaum wrote, "The movie is saved from utter disaster, though, by Jennifer Aniston. She's got expert comic timing when all those around her have none; she's got lightness and finesse when everyone else is being indulgently silly."

Despite the lousy critical reception, the film was a box-office smash, bringing in over $200 million at globally (via The Numbers). Considering it's also climbing the Netflix charts almost a decade later, it's clear that viewers and critics didn't exactly see eye-to-eye on this one.

Just Go With It was a first for real-life friends Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler

Just Go With It marked a special occasion. The film was the first that Aniston and Sandler starred in together after decades of real-life friendship. The duo aren't just superficial Hollywood pals, either. In an interview with MSN, Aniston said of Sandler, "I love this man with all my heart. This is one of the kindest human beings you'll ever meet."

The two used the filming of the movie as a pretext to squeeze in a shared vacation in Hawaii. During an interview with ScreenSlam, Aniston said of their filming routine, "We would wrap, we'd go have dinner together... there was this corner we'd call the Magic Corner because the sunset was really beautiful. Then weekends, we'd hang by the pool."

The friends repeated their "vacation masquerading as a movie shoot" scheme when they reteamed in 2019 for the Netflix original Murder Mystery, which was filmed in Lake Como, Italy. Of that shoot, Aniston said, "Adam, of course, always takes care of absolutely every single person, so all the families were visiting and staying in Lake Como and renting hotels and having just a wonderful little summer vacation while we got to go to work every day in these beautiful surroundings" (via Harper's Bazaar).

Sounds like good work if you can get it!

Other Adam Sandler movies available to stream on Netflix

If a film like Just Go With It isn't quite your cup of tea (hey, not everyone's big into rom-coms) but you still want to settle in with an Adam Sandler flick, Netflix has a pretty vast assortment of movies featuring the funnyman — who has flexed his dramatic acting chops in a recent critical hit. Uncut Gems, one of the many Sandler films available on Netflix, finds the actor playing Howard Ratner, a gambling addict and jeweler who is under pressure to retrieve a diamond that will help settle his mounting debts. Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems has been described as "a brilliantly exhausting movie" that's more or less anxiety materialized, so if that doesn't sound like your type of flick, never fear. 

Other Sandler-starring movies lining Netflix's digital library include the aforementioned Aniston-Sandler team-up Murder Mystery; the laugh-out-loud screwball comedies The Do-Over and You Don't Mess with the Zohan; the surprisingly poignant ClickThe Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), the comedy-drama from Noah Baumbach that also stars Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, and Elizabeth Marvel; and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, in which Sandler voices the vampire Count "Drac" Dracula. A few more Sandler selections on Netflix are The Ridiculous Six, Sandy Wexler, and The Week Of