Northeast Times

Sandler falls down with lousy ‘Jack and Jill’

Jill and Jack (both, Adam Sand­ler) in Columbia Pic­tures’ JACK AND JILL.

Just in time for the hol­i­day when we give thanks and eat lots of yummy food is the movie that makes Thanks­giv­ing a hol­i­day to be dreaded. That is if you a have a loud-mouthed twin sis­ter named Jill.

If one Adam Sand­ler isn’t funny enough, there are two for your view­ing dis­pleas­ure in Jack and Jill. So what is it with male comedi­ans who think it’s funny to dress as a wo­man? OK, maybe it’s funny for a five-minute Sat­urday Night Live skit? But a 90-to-120-minute movie is al­most al­ways overkill, ex­cept for a few gems like Toot­sie and Mrs. Doubt­fire. Still, re­cent ex­amples of Big Momma’s House, Nor­bit and (in­sert any Madea movie here) prove that the cross-dress­ing gag of­ten grows tired be­fore cred­its roll.

Sand­ler plays Jack, a suc­cess­ful ad­vert­ising ex­ec­ut­ive (an ex­cuse for shame­less product place­ment throughout the film) in Los Angeles with wife Erin (Katie Holmes) and two kids. Each year his needy twin sis­ter Jill from Brook­lyn (also Sand­ler) turns his life up­side down when she vis­its for Thanks­giv­ing. This year, she ex­tends her stay to wreak even more hav­oc on Jack’s per­fect fam­ily life.

Sand­ler once again panders to the low­est com­mon de­nom­in­at­or of movie­go­ers. His “Jill” is a fat suit, stuffed bra, wig and makeup ver­sion of him­self. Fart jokes and lame at­tempts at bath­room hu­mor are the low­lights (or high­lights, if that’s your thing). I really could have done without Jill’s pet bird Poop­sie and even the icky Jill her­self, who has ob­scene gas after in­dul­ging in Mex­ic­an food and also leaves dis­gust­ing sweat stains be­hind after a long night’s sleep.

The pres­ence of Al Pa­cino is puzz­ling at best. He’s mod­er­ately funny play­ing a creepy ver­sion of him­self who has a ma­jor crush on Jill.

I have to won­der how much ef­fort was put in­to the story. Writ­ing cred­its list Steve Koren, Ben Zook and Sand­ler. I had trouble find­ing any­thing to laugh at. One scene in­volving Pa­cino and his Oscar got a chuckle from me, and that’s it. It seems Sand­ler was more pre­oc­cu­pied with get­ting oth­er act­ors to do cameos than with writ­ing funny jokes. One party scene in par­tic­u­lar is filled with ran­dom cameos.

I’ve nev­er been a huge Sand­ler fan, but I en­joy some of his older movies (Happy Gilmore and 50 First Dates are pretty good) and more ser­i­ous fare like Reign Over Me and Spang­lish. However, as a guy in drag, Sand­ler makes Jack and Jill a drag of a movie.

I also have to ques­tion Katie Holmes’ par­ti­cip­a­tion as well (hubby Tom still has to be pulling down big bucks with a new Mis­sion Im­possible movie com­ing out next month). I’m con­vinced Holmes only signed on for the free va­ca­tion, since I saw her on one of those en­ter­tain­ment TV shows talk­ing about not want­ing the cruise to end. (Roy­al Carib­bean gets a huge shout-out in the movie.) 

It’s not quite the end of the year, but it’s al­most a sure bet that Jack and Jill will hold the title of “worst movie of the year” for me.

Movie Grade: F

You can reach at shorbrook@bsmphilly.com.

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