When Jack’s (Adam Sandler) sister, Jill (Adam Sandler in drag), comes to visit for Thanksgiving, he can’t seem to get her to go home.
Jack and Jill is one of Adam Sandler’s (Happy Gilmore, Eight Crazy Nights) latest attempts at staying relevant. Unfortunately, it once again makes the case that his films aren’t typically very funny or, in lieu of comedy, very good films.
Jill comes to visit her twin brother Jack for Thanksgiving then ends us staying through the New Year’s holiday. Of course, Jack isn’t thrilled by this turn of events. Everyone else in his life seems to love Jill, except for him. As soon as he finds out that Al Pacino (playing himself) has a crush on his sister, Jack does everything he can to get the two of them together, even though Jill is not as star-struck by Pacino as Jack would like. You see, Jack needs to get Al Pacino for his commercial and see’s his sister as the way to do that.
Directed by longtime Sandler collaborator Dennis Dugan (Big Daddy, Beverly Hills Ninja), Jack and Jill is a highly ineffective comedy and a highly ineffective family film. Resorting to the lowest form of low brow humor to attempt to get cheap laughs (fart jokes), this is a film that is worth avoiding unless you are of the camp that Adam Sandler can do no wrong. It is mildly offensive, which is usually a good sign for a comedy, but never has the gnards to fully commit. This is basically a vehicle to let Sandler dress as a woman on film. And Sandler is no Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie.
I am no Adam Sandler hater. I loved the film Big Daddy, loved Click. I thought Happy Gilmore was ok, same with The Waterboy. This film just felt lazy and uninspired. It felt like much of Sandler’s recent works.
While trying to figure out why this doesn’t work, I came to the conclusion that Adam Sandler’s brand of humor may have run it’s course. There is nothing in here that hasn’t appeared in any of his other films (dressing in drag notwithstanding). The jokes just don’t have the same punch they once had. They just aren’t funny anymore. Sandler just isn’t as funny as he once was.
There is also the issue with Jack using his sister’s insecurities to try to get her to hook up with Al Pacino so that he can get Pacino into a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. This is the mildly offensive part of the film. While Pacino does an entertaining job of playing a caricature of himself, the context is not that funny. It is a little entertaining to see Pacino chasing after Adam Sandler in drag, but the movie plays it out far longer than it has to and eventually burns all the humor out of having Al Pacino in an Adam Sandler film. Sadly, Pacino is really the only reason to see this film. And he is in it a lot more than I would have expected. It is still not enough for me to recommend the film, though.
When all is said and done, Jack and Jill is a pretty terrible movie that wastes the talents of some of the actors involved, namely Al Pacino and Katie Holmes (Dawson’s Creek, Batman Begins). While I don’t think Katie Holmes is all that and a bag of chips, she has proven that she does have some acting chops. Putting her in a film like this where she is nothing more than Sandler’s background wife (much like Kate Beckinsale (Underworld, Serendipity) in Click) screams to me that she was only cast to have another non-comedy name on the poster.
I cannot recommend this film for any reason. Do yourself a favor and skip it. Sure, there are a few chuckle worth scenes in the film (Sandler’s son who tapes everything to himself is funny) but not enough to sit through the tired plot, lifeless family lessons, and fart jokes. While it is not as bad as I expected, it sure isn’t very good.
*1/2 out of ****