Friday, 7 September 2012

Jack and Jill (2011)

Adam Sandler went up the hill to fetch a pail of Razzies

Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler) is a successful advertising executive in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife and kids, and he dreads one event each year: the Thanksgiving visit of his identical twin sister Jill (also Adam Sandler). Jill's neediness and passive-aggressiveness is maddening to Jack, turning his normally tranquil life upside down.

Why is it that people think crossdressing is a good enough resource of humor? What is it about seeing a man dressed as a woman that made studio executives think it will appeal enough to an audience through a film?

The film takes one joke, which is the sight of Adam Sandler in drag, and runs it through the entirety of this thinly plotted film, and it's not even that funny a joke.

The screenwriters (including Sandler) seem to think that it's alright to make racist jokes about Mexicans, provided that the Mexican character's are the ones making the jokes themselves. Suffice to say, this tactic doesn't work, being nothing more than tasteless, unoriginal and unfunny.

Nobody bothers to give a performance worthy enough to actually be called acting. Sandler manages to take his two performances and make them both annoying enough that you'll wish Pacino would introduce them to his 'little friend'. Katie Holmes sleepwalks through the film, proving that converting to Scientology is not the craziest thing she's done.

Nick Swardson isn't in the film too much, so he manages to be much less annoying than he was in either Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star and Just Go With It, which is the best thing I can say about the man with less acting talent than a brick. When he does appear, he's nothing more than Jack's verbal punching bag, with most of the jokes about him centering around him being an atheist. One scene is particularly painful, as it has a room full of guests berating him for his lack of religion, as it feels like this is Sandler saying that atheism is wrong and berating any watching atheists at the same time. But what he fails to realize is how people can lose faith in religion when a film like this gets made in the first place.

It's like looking into a mirror.
A cracked funhouse mirror.
Of all the actors that take part in this film, Al Pacino has to be the saddest story of them all. The fact that he agreed to star in this in the first place is heartbreaking in it's own right, but when he's reduced to chasing after Adam Sandler in drag, rapping about Dunkin' Donuts and getting his Oscar destroyed, it's enough to send fans of  The Godfather and Scarface into an emotional coma.

After my recent review of Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star (a film with the same rating and year of release as Jack and Jill), you must be wondering whether I hated that film or this one more. I would've found it difficult to decide between the two, but one thing alone settled the debate for me. With Bucky Larson, it felt like the people making the film were actually trying to make it funny and a good comedy, while Jack and Jill feels utterly lazy, like nobody bothered putting any thought or any effort into trying to make this film good. So despite their spectacular failure, at least the makers of Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star tried to make a good film.

Jack and Jill is undoubtedly Adam Sandler's worst film. Schindler's List has more of a right to be called a comedy than this film.

2 comments:

  1. Hey!

    Nick from www.cinekatz.com here. Doing some scout work for the LAMB. We're wanting to make an email newsletter for community features as well as a list we're making similar to Sight & Sound's best movies of all time list. Just need an email! Email me at npowe131 at gmail.com

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  2. I laughed throughout your review, which -- from the sound of it -- is a lot more than I would've gotten out of watching this movie. ;-)

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