There wasn’t really a place to get into this in any sort of legit review of Just Go With It, but one of the more interesting things about the movie — apart from Nicole Kidman‘s hula dancing, and Dave Matthews ostensibly picking up a coconut with his butt cheeks through his pants — lies in its use of music.
Excepting the occasional diversions and quasi-artistic noodling to be found in the likes of Punch-Drunk Love, Spanglish and Reign Over Me, the comedies of Adam Sandler have provided some of the most reliable and consistent studio commercial returns of the past decade — and mostly for Sony, where Sandler’s production company is housed. But both because they’re comedies — ringing up ticket sales instead of racking up little gold statuettes — and because Sandler still pads around in T-shirts and cargo shorts and doesn’t yet have a kid old enough to pimp out in his or her own projects, his clout goes under-reported. He wields it softly, in other words.
The fact is, though, a small fortune has to be spent on the soundtracks for Sandler’s comedies — music is used in goosing fashion throughout his movies, and frequently to quickly summon up a nostalgic feeling when the terrible direction of Dennis Dugan has made for some awkward juxtaposition of scenes. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony were doling out a healthy seven figures on music clearances alone for of his films, even though there’s typically no obvious soundtrack tie-in as with something like The Wedding Singer. In Just Go With It, there are no fewer than three dozen pop music cues, including a couple Police songs and a lot of newfangled mash-ups, the most intriguing of which might be the commingling of “Every Breath You Take” and Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars,” an Internet sensation from a couple years back. That’s not the only way to measure Hollywood power — getting whatever tunes, in variety and amount, one wants. But it is a handy indicator.