Things I Learned From Movie X: Just Go With It
By Edwin Davies
November 9, 2011
Anyone familiar with the Copenhagen Theory of Quantum Mechanics (and, given how intelligent - not to mention attractive - BOP’s user base is, I’m confident that a lot of you are familiar with it) will probably know about the thought experiment devised in 1935 by Erwin Schrödinger. You know the one; you put a cat in a box with a poisonous gas that may or may not be released, seal it, then sit around and wait like a massive sadistic bastard. But you can’t get off on your cat murdering because you if can’t see into the box you don’t know if the cat is dead or not. Therefore the cat can be said to exist in two states at the same time; it is both alive and dead until you open the box.
Schrödinger invented this scenario as a means of illustrating the stupidity of the Copenhagen Theory (and because he really fucking hated cats), since in the real world it is impossible for a cat to be both alive AND dead: it can be one or the other, not both. Yet its origin as a kind of smart-alecky joke doesn’t mean that the idea doesn’t have real world applications. Take, for example, the work of Adam Sandler, which consists largely of films which manage to be both hugely popular and unpopular at the same time. Since 1998 Sandler has headlined 12 films that have grossed over $100 million, displaying a consistency that is rare amongst movie stars these days, yet at the same time, not one of those $100 million earners has achieved a Rotten Tomatoes rating higher than 50%, and you’d be hard pressed to find many non-critics who would say they were any better than middling. In defiance of science and all logic, Sandler’s work exists in two states at the same time.
Just Go With It, Sandler’s latest curiosity, fits the pattern perfectly since it earned $103 million and a 20% RT rating. Yes, it’s terrible and it made a lot of money. These are not new lessons to glean from an Adam Sandler film, but maybe beneath the surface there is something more. No? Oh. Well, here’s a column about it anyway.
Also known as, “Okay everyone, you know the drill, let’s roll up our sleeves and do this”: The Movie
The only possible explanation I have been able to find for Sandler’s success is that sometime in the late ‘90s he made a deal with the denizens of the world; he’d make these dreadful films, and we’d all go and see them, so long as we completely ignored the few good films he put out like Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me and Funny People. I can’t explain why we all agreed to this since it seems like a pretty terrible deal that benefits only Sandler and forces us to watch terrible film after terrible film, but the subsequent 13 years bear out the fact that we did agree to it. Either the power of collective bargaining as a negotiating tool has been grossly overstated or we hired Gil Gunderson to be our negotiator. Regardless, this is the deal we made and we are still living with the consequences.