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This is the Guy Who’s Gonna do a Dunkin’ Donuts Commercial.
Today’s movie was not a request. Instead, it sprang forth as a sign of my own self-loathing. I’m pretty sure that everybody that saw the trailer for this movie knew better than to see it, but I saw it and said “I wanna make fun of that.” That was, of course, once I had figured out that the trailer wasn’t a joke, like some Funny or Die mock trailer. When I found out it was a real movie, it was on. But there was no way in Hell that I was going to the theaters to see it. Instead, I waited patiently for the moment it popped up in a RedBox near me and called to me. And now the time has come to talk about Jack and Jill, written by Steve Koren, Robert Smigel, and Adam Sandler, directed by Dennis Dugan, and starring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, Rohan Chand, Elodie Tougne, Eugenio Derbez, Tim Meadows, Nick Swardson, Allen Covert, Valerie Maheffey, Gad Elmaleh, and Gary Valentine, with cameos by Dana Carvey, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Norm MacDonald, Regis Philbin, Shaquille O’Neal, Lamar Odom, Bruce Jenner, Johnny Depp, Drew Carey, Jared Fogle (The Subway Jared), and John McEnroe.
Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler) works in advertising and lives with his wife, Erin (Katie Holmes), and his two children, Gary (Rohan Chand) and Sofia (Elodie Tougne). His twin sister, Jill (don’t make me say it) comes to visit his family for Thanksgiving. She’s annoying as shit, causing Jack to snap at her occasionally, which causes her to extend her vacation so that she doesn’t leave on a bad note. Jack is also stressed because his work wants him to get Al Pacino (himself) to do a commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts and their new drink, the Dunkachino. Luckily for Jack, Al Pacino develops a crush on Jill when they first meet. But Jill, even though she’s incredibly lonely, is having none of Scarface and his tomfoolery. That’s when shit gets really crazy.
The truth about this movie is a rather surprising one: It’s not as painfully bad as I expected from the commercials and trailers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also not good and not very funny, but it wasn’t PAINFULLY so. It was just another mediocre Adam Sandler comedy (as he’s prone to making these days) with a shitty premise and a good meaning to it. The premise of the movie seems like Adam Sandler just found out about the phenomenon of twins, ran into the office of his writing partners, and exclaimed “Did you guys know that two people of different genders can look exactly alike? I have such the movie for you guys!” And then it was off and running. Putting Adam in a dress, having him do a voice we’ve heard him do before for her, and having him play opposite himself like Mike Myers. And then they needed a conflict. How about one as original as “siblings don’t get along”? BRILLIANT! The whole Al Pacino subplot is original, but many people thought it was insane for Al Pacino to fall in love with a female version of Adam Sandler. That part I can actually get behind. Pacino seems that crazy. Then you tie the whole thing up with some “love your siblings for who they are” mess and you have a movie. All of this would have been forgivable if they made the movie funny, but they didn’t. The only part that made me laugh was in one of their cameos. It’s at the basketball game where Jack is trying to talk to Pacino and Jill doesn’t really know who he, nor the person he’s watching the game with, are. The only funny part of the movie is when Jill asks the friend (are you listening, Loni?) Johnny Depp if he was in Duran Duran, and Johnny says “Yeah, that was me.” I’ve just saved you two hours! Except for Loni, that is, who will now watch this movie just because Johnny Depp is in it for two minutes and has words coming out of his mouth. The whole movie winds up being thoroughly “blah”, with a few moments that are cute, but just as many moments that are painfully not funny. Jack’s son, Gary, has some strange habit of taping things to himself that is stupid and completely insane, but they managed to get a little bit of almost funny out if it, like when he tapes a salt shaker to his head and Jill uses the shaker while it’s still on his head. Near the end of the movie, there’s a part where Jack and Jill show off their fantastic jump roping abilities together that is just painfully not funny. There’s also an entire scene at the picnic of Jack’s gardener that was so blatantly stereotypical that even I came close to finding it really offensive, and I’m not even Mexican (thank God).
The performances did what they could with what was written, but never really impressed either. Adam Sandler is probably the most to blame for this movie, having written it and for playing two roles in it. As Jack, he was mainly just normal, but never really realistic. As Jill, he was annoying and about as far from realistic as you could get. The problem for me of making the sister so utterly annoying is that you don’t really sympathize with her when Jack is rude to her. I would be too! Al Pacino played himself like I want to imagine him: completely insane. He had a couple of entertaining parts, like when Jill accidentally broke his Oscar and said, “Oh, I’m sure you have others,” and he said, “You’d think so, but no.” Maybe it’s because you’re doing movies like Jack and Jill now, and not Godfathers and Scarfaces. I also found him entertaining at the very end of the movie when he was in a bar dressed as Don Quixote. I like Tim Meadows, Nick Swardson, Dana Carvey, Norm MacDonald, and David Spade, but none of them really brought any comedy to this beyond David Spade being in drag just like Sandler. As with most Sandler movies, there are a huge number of cameos in this movie, but none (beyond Johnny Depp) ever did anything for me, it was just interesting that they were there in the first place.
Jack and Jill isn’t as bad as you expect it to be. It’s just regular bad. It’s a pretty bad premise to base a movie on, it’s not that great of a story, and the only part I found really funny was delivered by a cameo actor. I can’t surprise any of you by saying that I recommend you watch this movie, even for a dollar. You can’t really mock a comedy MST3k style because comedies are already trying to be funny and any joke you’d make would just be “That was dumb.” That being the case, there’s no reason to see this. Jack and Jill gets “Busted, disgusted, never to be trusted!” out of “We play games, we eat, we steal white people’s money.”
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