Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Starring: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Eugenio Derbez, Nick Swardson
That the latest Adam Sandler abomination, Jack and Jill, is one of the worst movies of the year should come as a surprise to no one. The film being bad is about as shocking as contrarian New York Press film critic Armond White coming out to laud the film in a likely—or at least hopeful—attempt at pissing off the entirety of movie-going humanity. (That White compares the movie to the work of Ernst Lubitsch is another matter altogether.)
Actually, Sandler’s in rarefied air here, since the only thing keeping Jack and Jill from being the worst movie of the year is that the Sandler-produced Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star is only a few months old. Add in the terminally awful Sandler vehicle Just Go With It from this summer, and he’s just one more stupid picture away from a crappy movie superfecta. With just a few weeks left in the year, I’m sure Sandler and company can crank out something just as lazy and pandering as Jack and Jill in time for the new year.
Here we have a movie that’s almost nonchalantly bad. With director Dennis Dugan at the helm—Sandler’s go-to guy for this type of dirty work—there’s no chance of this movie being tolerable. Worse, the cast of Jack and Jill seems to know it, going through the motions to turn in another in the same kind of formula comedy that have made Sandler and company millions. Sandler plays Jack Sadelstein, an ad exec with a picturesque life, except for one thing—his obnoxious twin sister, Jill, who is also played by a dragged-up Sandler. Most of the film’s humor revolves around how incredibly uncouth, annoying and physically unappealing Jill is, while Jack is mostly ignored for being an astoundingly selfish, generally terrible human being. The idea, of course, is that by the end of the movie we’ll care about Jill’s plight, and Jack will learn the error of his ways. All this gushy, predictable baloney is shoved between fart jokes, pratfalls and David Spade with fake breasts.
If that’s not enough, the film is the usual combination of inane, random Sandlerian humor—an adopted Indian kid (newcomer Rohan Chand) who tapes objects to himself, a casually racist caricature of a Mexican day-laborer (Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez), and so forth—and the usual appearances by Sandler’s buddies in need of work. There’s also a bevy of celebrity cameos, from the confounding appearance from Sham-Wow peddler Vince Offer (who’s only funny when he’s being beaten up by hookers) to more reputable types like Johnny Depp and Al Pacino—who has a depressingly major role in the movie. One the bright side, many of these cameos aren’t wasted, and some actually get the film’s best moments—the rest oscillate between unfortunate and amusing. At the very least, Pacino seems to being having fun with the film. At least someone is. Rated PG for crude and sexual humor, language, comic violence and brief smoking.