If you're an Adam Sandler fan, someone who willingly went to Happy Madison joints like Grown Ups and You Don't Mess With The Zohan and left happy, run out and see Jack and Jill as soon as you can, and enjoy. Adam Sandler plays Jack Sadelstein AND his twin sister, Jill Sadelstein. Since they're identical twins, Jill is probably one of the homeliest women you will ever run into, but she has a heart of gold, and that leads to some interesting situations with a Mexican landscaper, Norm McDonald, a homeless guy, and, of all people - Al Pacino! Go see this movie, you'll have a blast! Go on! I'll just wait here with some of the non-Adam Sandler fans for a minute, we'll catch up to you inside…and we'll all sit together…and…
Hang on…wait for it…
Okay, they're gone.
Oh. My. God. This movie is awful. "Take-two-spoons-and-use-them-to-gouge-your-eyes-out-the-first-time-you-see-Nick-Swardson" awful. From the blatant product placement (look for leads in rom-coms to be advertising execs from now on - it counts as a "clever" way to work sponsors like Pepto-Bismol and Dunkin' Donuts into a script) to the over-the-top bad performances, this thing sucks out loud. But there's no use telling Adam Sandler fans that - it's like telling a Herman Cain supporter that those six or seven women might be on to something. They just don't want to hear it.
Jack and Jill qualifies (and I'm using that term loosely) as a holiday movie, because Jill comes to L.A. from the Bronx where she and Jack grew up, for Thanksgiving. Their Mom has just passed away, and Jill is lonely, so Jack invites her out, even though he makes it abundantly clear he is revolted by her very presence. Why Jack isn't feeling any emotions at all about his Mother's recent death is never touched on, and why would it be, when you can crush a pony with a fat girl, have fun with some wacky Mexicans, and watch Al Pacino tear up the screen as himself?
Jill comes to visit Jack and his wife, Erin (Katie Holmes), and doesn't leave. It doesn't matter why, the same way it doesn't matter why Jack isn't sad about his mom, or why the Sadelsteins adopted a kid from India (Rohan Chand) when they were able to produce their own daughter (Elodie Tougne), who dresses the same as her doll in every scene. I guess screenwriter Steve Koren doesn't think details like those matter, and in an Adam Sandler film of this type, they don't. People just want to see the wacky cameos by people like David Spade, Regis Philbin and the Sham-Wow guy, and listen to some good old-fashioned fart jokes. And they get plenty.
There are a couple of minor laughs here. Al Pacino playing himself losing his mind (which sort of explains his attraction to Sandler in drag) is kinda fun, and Rohan Chand is adorable, delivering lines with a little too much self-awareness of how adorable he is; but adorable, nonetheless. But, if you like good comedy, most of this movie is just sad, including the performance by Katie Holmes, which was so lackluster a role it could have been played by almost anyone, including Katie Holmes.
While waiting for the movie to start, the trailer for Jack and Jill played. And people in my audience laughed as several of the "funnier" visual gags were revealed. Then, minutes later, as we watched the same scenes in the movie, they laughed again. And even harder, in some cases, even thought they were the exact same jokes they had just seen a half hour earlier. That's why you can't argue with Adam Sandler fans. They like the guy. I mean, even I can remember when I thought Adam Sandler was hysterical. I was a sophomore in high school and his comedy albums had us all rolling. We found it funny, because we could relate: it was sophomoric, and we were sophomores. But that was over 15 years ago, and I grew up.
Why can't Adam Sandler?