Jack and Jill (2011)

jack and jill IMDb

Sometimes there are moments in your life when someone does something terrible to you. An unspeakable act that causes you to think, “Why would you do this to me? I thought you were my friend.” You suddenly see that person for who he or she really is– a horrible human being who wants to see you suffer.

Ben receiving this movie as a birthday gift was one of those moments.

One of Ben’s “friends” bought this to mess with him, but his gift came with the unfortunate side effect of also messing with me. This is completely unfair, because I’m a really nice person. I donate to charity, and give up my seat on the bus for the elderly, and hold doors open for people. I don’t deserve to sit through Jack and Jill.

But alas, I have to sit through it. And then write about it, which means I have to think about it before I can attempt to banish it from my memory. Let’s just get this over with, shall we?

Amazingly, this was not as terrible as I expected it to be. This is not to say that it is actually an underrated Adam Sandler gem (I’d rather watch the abysmal I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry for a week straight than see this again), it’s more that my expectations were just that low. The fact that I laughed at all during Jack and Jill is either a miracle or evidence that I have a brain tumor impeding my taste in comedy.

The only good part about Jack and Jill is a very committed performance by Al Pacino. I don’t know what dirt Sandler has on this actor, but it must be really damning. The final scene shows Pacino watching a fictional Dunkin Donuts commercial his screen self has starred it. After watching it, he demands that every copy be destroyed and threatens death to all who have viewed it. I’m pretty sure a real life version of this scene played out once Pacino actually watched this movie. I also expect him to show up at our door any day now to shoot us Scarface-style.

Basically everything about Jack and Jill is shit. Most of the jokes are unfunny, and typically use the same premise over and over for cheap laughs (Jack and Jill are twins, but they’re so different!). There are times when the story either makes little sense, or it jumps to a new scene without any context or set up for what is happening. Everyone seems to be phoning in their performances, with the exceptions of Pacino and Sandler when he is portraying Jill. Also, if you’ve ever wondered what Sandler’s SNL era friends have been up to, the answer is not much as they were available for cameos in this.

On a final note, Jack and Jill holds the records for the most Razzie Award wins and holds a 3% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Actually, I probably could have just written that last sentence and been done with this review 10 minutes ago.

Rating: F

So this is a more recent addition to my collection, provided to me by a so-called friend of mine who is trying to make this DVD review process as burdensome as possible. I’m looking forward to Spy Kids 4 coming up in a year or so, I’m not sure I will be able to follow it without the context of Spy Kids one through to three, but I digress, I’m here to talk about the Adam Sandler cross dressing ‘classic’ Jack and Jill.

Sandler plays the dual roles of Jack and Jill Sadelstein, fraternal twins who could not be further apart. Jack is a successful advertising executive with a beautiful wife (Katie Holmes), with a bunch of kids, including one adopted boy from India. Jack’s worst time of the year has arrived, when his nutty sister visits him for Thanksgiving. When Jill meets Al Pacino (yes, that Al Pacino), he becomes infatuated with Jill, and Jack sees an opportunity to get Pacino to star in a new Dunkin Donuts commercial if he can set his sister up with the Hollywood legend, even though Jill has no interest in Al Pacino at all.

In some ways, Jack and Jill was a success because it was not the worst film ever made. It actually made me laugh a few times, although not long after that any good feelings I might have had toward this movie is ruined by a fart joke or some racist comment aimed at Sandler’s adopted son.

I have no idea how they talked Al Pacino into doing this. He plays a larger than life caricature of himself, and he is, by far, the best part of this movie. Pacino is clearly enjoying himself and it shows on screen, if only the rest of the cast were as fun as him. Sandler’s dual roles as brother and sister are gut wrenching sometimes, particularly his scenes as Jill. I understand that this is part of the joke, but they make no effort to make Sandler look feminine. It is basically Sandler in a wig, which is funny for about two seconds and gets old so quickly. I went to the bathroom when the credits began, but I was reliably informed that the blooper reel during the credits was quite funny.

Jack and Jill earns points for not being the worst film ever made that I expected it to be, it still feels like a crappy Saturday Night Live skit that goes on way too long.

Rating: F

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