Review: Jack and Jill (2011)

Jack and Jill (2011)

Directed by: Dennis Dugan | 90 minutes | comedy | Actors: Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, Elodie Tougne, Rohan Chand, Eugenio Derbez, David Spade, Nick Swardson, Tim Meadows, Allen Covert, Norm MacDonald, Geoff Pierson, Valerie Mahaffey, Gary Valentine, Dana Carvey, Regis Philbin, Gad Elmaleh, Shaquille O’Neal, Drew Carey, John McEnroe, Christie Brinkley, Michael Irvin, Bill Romanowski, Dennis Dugan, Rob Schneider

Actor Adam Sandler won’t stop. He plays in one comedy after another, often films that he produces himself. ‘Jack and Jill’ is the next in the long series of comedies in which he plays the leading role after ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’ (2007) and ‘Grown Ups’ (2010) among others. The problem with all previous films is that they mainly excel in the field of mediocrity. A very simple story, a great deal of predictability and lackluster humor are the main flaws of most Adam Sandler comedies. In that respect ‘Jack and Jill’ fits perfectly into this list. More disturbingly, compared to ‘Jack and Jill’, the aforementioned comedies are quite acceptable…

The story is about Jack (Adam Sandler) and his twin sister Jill (also Adam Sandler). Jack can’t stand Jill and is very much looking forward to Jill coming over for Thanksgiving every year. Unfortunately for Jack again this year there is no escape and his sister Jill has to spend four days with his family anyway. Unsurprisingly, this leads to many confrontations between the two as Jill, albeit unconsciously, gets the blood under Jack’s fingernails.

The basis of this story, simplistic as it is, could well lead to an acceptable comedy, but it goes wrong right away. This is mainly due to the choice to have Adam Sandler play both Jack and Jill. Why it was decided to have him play a female character in addition to Jack remains a mystery. However, it is clear that it was a choice of the makers that turned out dramatically. Apart from the fact that Jill does look very absurd (you can clearly see that she is not a ‘real’ woman), it is mainly the voice that kills the character. You shouldn’t let a man imitate a woman’s voice, and certainly not for ninety minutes. The result is a staggering display that makes you wonder whether the film has any intention of being taken seriously at all. The fact that Jack and Jill also regularly play in the same scenes and talk to each other ensures that you hear extra clearly that it is the same voice in both cases. Because of this, even though Jack is also quite annoying (a typical Adam Sandler character), it feels like a relief when Jill is out of the picture for a while, so that you don’t have to listen to the hoarse, low screams. By playing Jill, Sandler puts on one of the most saddening performances of all time.

There is also little positive to report on ‘Jack and Jill’. Because apart from Adam Sandler’s poor acting as Jill, the film also falls short on all other fronts. The rest of the story is wafer thin. To save the advertising company Jack works for, a commercial starring none other than Al Pacino has to be made and Jack has to get him to do it. Why an actor like Al Pacino has chosen to play in a film of this level is also guesswork.

The ending of the film is incredibly clichéd and predictable, the humor is below average (everything the clumsy Jill does, of course, fails hopelessly and the fact that there is a scene where there are minutes of farting says enough about the quality of the jokes ). The question is therefore who is waiting for this film. Even for an Adam Sandler movie, this is a new low. In a scene at the beginning of the film, when Jill has just arrived and the family is all dining together, one of the guests puts it very aptly. After a long discussion between Jack and Jill, he stands up and says, “I’m leaving, this is all too embarrassing for me.” Unconsciously, this also perfectly sums up the film’s sequel.

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