Jack and Jill Directed by: Dennis Dugan Cast: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes Running Time: 1 hr 33 mins Rating: PG Release Date: November 11, 2011
PLOT: A TV commercial director (Sandler) attempts to use his visiting twin sister (Sandler) to convince Al Pacino to star in a commercial.
WHO'S IT FOR?: Families can use this film to test the limits of their child's humor relating to stupidity. If you didn't get enough product placement from Zookeeper, you'll receive a barrage of it from Jack and Jill. If you're one of those moviegoers that says, "Oh my gosh! They got THAT guy to be in this movie? That is just TOO funny!", leave me alone.
EXPECTATIONS: As Jeff Bayer basically said in his review, this looks like a fake movie that would have been mentioned in Funny People, and made into a winking punchline because it looks like such a nightmare. For the record, I didn't find Sandler's previous Just Go With It to be a total apocalypse of comedy.
Adam Sandler as Jack and Jill: The once-funny Sandler astounds audiences with the ability to show that not only does he lack comedic presence when dressed as himself, but he is also the worst voice actor in Hollywood (his "squawking" monkey in Zookeeper further rubs this in our face). Quite possibly, Jack is a meta version of Sandler - a regular schlub with a job selling his soul to sh*tty products who has a lot of famous friends (Regis Philbin, etc.) who will appear in his commercials. (It should be noted that Jack works in the most cliche occupation in film: an advertising agency). His sister Jill is played as a stereotypical New Yorker, and is given one physical feature outside of actual appearance that makes her different from Jack: a nightmarish Bronx accent. Score: 1
Al Pacino as Al Pacino: This isn't exactly like casting Nicolas Cage in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, because Pacino's attempt at lampooning his recent descent into laughable territory has now even lost the laughs. It's not like his presence is surprising - now Daniel Day Lewis, that would be surprising - because he's in the same sinking boat in the river of sh*t with Sandler, who resorts to paddling along Hollywood box office terrain by simply playing himself. Score: 2
Katie Holmes as Erin Sadelstein: Character description: "is wife." Erin is in this story to encourage Jack to love his sister, and to more importantly, get Jack to do things that will allow the story to progress. Consider this the most intense "cameo" in the movie, as Pacino is a flat-out instrument to this disaster. Score: 2
TALKING: A parrot is used more than once to reiterate the things that Jill says, which is a comedic trick that should be punishable by death in 2011. The script lazily uses dialogue to fill in cracks of exposition. For example, when Jill is upset and runs into the woods to sleep amongst the trees, she screams out, "I'm going to sleep into the woods!" Score: 2
SIGHTS: The ONLY positive attribute of the entirety of Jack and Jill is the blocking. Meaning, the placement of the two Sandlers, in the manner in which he is filmed, does allow us to feel that Jill is not just Jack in drag. Jack and Jill's laziness can only be avoided so far, however, as it does feature plenty of shots in which the two are on both sides of the frame, which is one of the simpler ways to include both Sandler incarnations without breaking too much of a sweat. (This is definitely not the same freakish technology was utilized to create the Winklevii in The Social Network.) Score: 3
SOUNDS: Al Pacino raps in this movie, but we are too busy being horrified to laugh. Hard to focus on lyrics when you are in complete shock. Score: 2
BEST SCENE: After Jill farted, someone in my theater said, "No WAY!" As if they weren't expecting to hear Jill fart.
ENDING: The last words are "Burn it. This must never be seen." Thanks, but too late, movie!
QUESTIONS: Are we so sure that Jill isn't a transsexual? Is there any proof that she's biologically a woman? Would that surprise anyone in the universe of this deranged "comedy"?
REWATCHABILITY: Time will tell as to whether this movie is so tremendously awful that it has a lot of replay value. I don't look forward to seeing this again by myself. But I do imagine it could be a big "hit" with unsuspecting friends who let me show them movies like Mac and Me.
It's quite fair to say that Adam Sandler hasn't worked a day in his life after meta-declaring himself "dying" in Judd Apatow's Funny People. Since then, Sandler has been on vacation, wearing over-sized t-shirts and calling upon various friends (from both the Happy Madison entourage and Hollywood's yester-years) to fill in roles as either cameos or full supporting sidekicks. Who else would hire Rob Schneider for a movie like Grown Ups, or give Al Pacino the "opportunity" of admitting that he's definitely lost it?
Sandler pays for such vacations (Grown Ups, Just Go With It, and now this) with egregious product placement, with Jack and Jill taking the shame cake for the worst I've seen this year (worst than Zookeeper, which featured a prominent fake orgy of fun at a restaurant named after a day). Certain products are given aggressive placement in his movie by obviously facing beer bottles etc., or even more horrendous, an actual "cameo" by a product's spokesperson himself. (I will not give the companies a crumb of satisfaction by naming them.) A scene involving Al Pacino rapping in the name of one company might top the dancing sequence in Mac and Me for most evil moment of movie marketing.
Jack and Jill, as its own vacation in the Sandler travel book, is an astonishingly lazy movie that doesn't care to make any of its characters likable, or to even give them creative names as twins for that matter. It relies heavily on the low expectations of its audience regarding Sandler, and manages to go way below that.
In this "vacation," Sandler goes to a movie, a basketball game, and then on a cruise. Only a shill like Adam Sandler could confuse fun for total misery.
FINAL SCORE: 1/10