There’s a fantastic SNL skit starring Adam Sandler and Chris Farley where they play an old married couple. Farley is the woman and Sandler is the man. Farley begins to read reviews about restaurants from Zagat in an absolutely hilarious way and Sandler gets more and more annoyed as she does so. You can check out a clip of it here. You can see at the end of that clip Sandler exclaiming, “Give me cancer now, God.”
That is exactly what I thought while watching Jack and Jill.
Jack and Jill
Director: Dennis Dugan
Release Date: 11/11/11
I have no clue when Adam Sandler started his epic decent into terrible film making. Maybe it was around the time his bad films started to far out gross his good ones. Weren’t things looking up for him long ago when he did Punch Drunk Love? Now its just one disappointing comedy after another without the youthful humor of Happy Gilmore or Billy Madison. Jack and Jill is just the next logical step, because once you’re stuck in bad comedy land you eventually have to dress in drag. I will say, however, that it is not as bad as Grown Ups — which is basically saying its right above getting punched in the face.
In the movie, which lacks much of a plot in general and is mostly just an excuse to cast ex-SNL alums in small roles, Sandler place twins Jack and Jill. Jack is a successful commercial director while Jill is a rude, annoying, ugly person. Needless to say, like any normal human being would Jack really doesn’t like Jill. However, since this is a movie everyone else likes the rude, annoying person that no one would really like. Jack’s wife (Katie Holmes) and kids are ecstatic to have her around when she comes to visit for the holidays despite her clearly pissing of their father and actually being incredibly idiotic in their presence. Then Jack takes Jill to a basketball game where Al Pacino (yes, Al Pacino) falls madly in love with her because she’s from the Bronx. Since Jack wants Al to star in his Dunkin Donuts commercial he forces Jill to date Al even though she doesn’t want to.
Eventually this culminates in the absolutely obvious ending of Jack having to dress up like Jill in order to win over Pacino. If you think that sounds funny then this movie is for you. If you’ve got a modicum of taste in your sense of humor then run for your life. Jack and Jill is so devoid of any clever humor that it could literally be called one long fart joke. While I am a great fan of gag humor and fart jokes (proof here) they’ve got to be clever in some way. Just having someone poop loudly (yes, that is a scene) isn’t funny in itself just because its loud poop noises.
What is even worse is that the film is so incredibly pointless. The movie attempts to have a nice family lesson, but really its just a bunch of cross dressing gags lined up one after another. Its like the screenwriters took a bunch of tired old jokes, Adam Sandler’s annoying baby voice and the entire 1990s SNL cast shook them up in a bag and dumped them on the floor. Then while looking at their creation they thought lets put Al Pacino in this and a bunch of other random cameos and people won’t even notice there isn’t a plot. Someone probably piped up that the jokes they were using weren’t even that funny, but he’s probably not working there anymore.
Then there is Al Pacino himself, who amazingly comes out pretty clean from this piece of turgid comedy. While the man’s comedy has not always been top notch, and it isn’t actually that great here, when you’re standing next to a pile of garbage and all you are is vanilla ice cream you look pretty good. Pacino actually gets to deliver some funny lines and is so obviously aware of how bad the movie is that his performance sort of transcends it in a weird metaphysical kind of way. (Semi-spoiler) In the ultimate bit of irony, at the end of the film when Pacino finally sees his Dunkin’ Donuts commercial he tells Sandler to burn it and never let anyone see it (/Semi-spoiler). Sadly, he didn’t tell the filmmakers to burn Jack and Jill and never let anyone see it.
I rarely come out of a movie and think that its just plain bad in every way possible, but Adam Sandler has done it twice in the past two years. I am almost positive that this movie will make a killing at the box office and I’m sure Adam Sandler will sleep just fine on his large pile of money, but Jack and Jill is the worst kind of pandering comedy. Movies like this should be stricken from film history and put in a closet never to be seen again. It’s just bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.