Jack and Jill

15 Dec

Title: Jack and Jill
Year: 2011
Director: Dennis Dugan
Writers: Steve Koren and Adam Sandler, story by Ben Zook
Starring: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Eugenio Derbez, Tim Meadows, Nick Swardson
MPAA Rating: PG, crude material including suggestive references, language and comic violence
Runtime: 91 min
IMDb Rating: 2.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 4%

A bit over a month ago I saw The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) and gave it a D grade and ranked it as the worst 2011 film I had seen to date. Now, however, a PG-rated family-friendly affair starring Adam Sandler as a guy and himself in drag as the guy’s twin sister is actually the film I will rank below a literally sickening affair about a perverted psychopath doing unspeakable things to his victims. Yes, people, Jack and Jill is the worst film of 2011.

The good thing, however, is that I kind of expected that to be the case here. The trailer was seriously awful and even the posters warranted for you to swallow back a bit of vomit, so at least it wasn’t as though this one was surprisingly bad, it was just every bit as horrible as one would think it was going to be.  I don’t even know where to start, like I said, Mr. Sandler plays both Jack, the advertising hotshot with a really great family, and Jill, his overly needy, passive-aggressive twin sister who visits Jack’s family every Thanksgiving. You want to hear the worst part? Al Pacino is in this one, too. As himself. As the guy who falls in love with Adam Sandler in drag. And, you know what else? The man actually seemed to be trying really hard with his performance, probably the most conviction of him I’ve seen of him on-screen for quite some time, which is painful to write.

Yesterday morning I saw The Son of No One, a Dito Montiel film that was also quite bad (I gave it a C-) and that also featured Mr. Pacino actually trying his all in a role that didn’t really warrant his effort. So it was actually kind of funny to see him do it again a day after in a film that’s so different. This is an Academy Award winner, a man who has given us some of the most indelible performances in cinematic history, and he’s playing himself falling in love for Adam Sandler in drag, I’ve already said that but I say it again so you can read it again and just imagine how awful that is, this is an insult to the man. And, you know what’s an insult to Adam Sandler and the other supposedly “funny guys” of this movie? That Mr. Pacino, a serious actor by all means, is actually ten times funnier than they are in this movie.

This is just a horrible film, I can’t say that enough, please avoid it all costs unless you want a bit of your soul to be taken by this film and left for dead in the theater floor. Okay so that was probably an overreaction to a ninety minute film, but I just wanted to get my point through, this is a really stupid movie, that has Sandler’s go-to director Dennis Dugan being as careless as ever with his task and spends its whole running time spitting out variations of its one single joke, one that wasn’t even funny to begin with.

Adam Sandler movies have obviously never been super smart and their appeal to their fanbase is that it’s light and dumb entertainment, but at least the guy used to do it with some sort of passion for his silly art, in this film however it’s as though he’s saying “yeah I know that if you love me you’re probably rather dumb, so here, watch this”, which of course means that he was underestimating his fanbase, as Jack and Jill became Mr. Sandler’s first movie not to pass the $100 million mark at the box office since 2009’s Funny People. And that Judd Apatow film was actually a much more serious kind of film, if you’re only counting the straight up silly comedy films, this is the first not to hit the $100 million mark since 2000’s Little Nicky, an eleven year silly-comedy box office streak that comes to an end with this horrible output, showing that audiences know when something sucks and that loyalty from your audience will only get you so far.

This is shameless entertainment done by the most shameless entertainer out there. I don’t hate Adam Sandler, far from it, I think his performances in Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me are pretty incredible, but this stuff is just unnecessary, this is all so he can make a buck and just be lazy for a couple of months shooting this movie. The fact that he had to drag Al Pacino into his shenanigans, making the man rap a bit and just make a fool of himself is horrible.

If it’s not clear, my advice is to avoid seeing this movie at all costs. I don’t care if it’s extremely hot outside and you need a place with an air conditioner right away, that’s not a good enough excuse. This is a horrible film done by a guy that really needs to get his act together and be smart and give a dramatic role another go, he’s made enough cash-cow movies in the past few years to warrant that. This is your typical Adam Sandler joint, with roles for all of his buddies to get paid for, product placement all over the place to cover those paychecks, and a single joke that would make for a mediocre eight-minute skit on SNL stretched into a ninety minute film. But I usually at least endure Mr. Sandler’s films and don’t fail them (I gave last year’s Grown Ups a C, and this year’s Just Go With It a C+, and a C- to Zookeeper in which he voiced a monkey), it’s just that the Jill character was just too stupid and insulting to my intelligence for me to handle.

Grade: D-


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