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