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Jack And Jill Is A Big Steaming Pile of Turd

Jack and Jill
Directed by Dennis Dugan
Written by Steve Koren from a story by Ben Zook
Sony, 2011

Oh Jesus, dear God.  Where to begin?

The character of Jill, played here in drag by Adam Sandler, is the most annoying character in a film since John Leguizamo’s The Pest.  The voice, a shrill remake of Sandler’s mom in his classic comedy album They’re All Going to Laugh at You, is now put to the test for 90 minutes of sheer glass-shattering infamy, like your nerves have been entered into a chalkboard-scratching contest.  I feel for Al Pacino in this flick.  Can’t we save this guy?  If I told you that I shot a baby panda’s mom after watching this movie, could you donate money for the child she left behind, but we secretly give it to Pacino to never take a script like this again?

Those of you waiting for Pacino and Johnny Depp to make a Donnie Brasco reunion are in luck!  It happens in Jack and Jill courtside at a Lakers game.  The NBA already seems like a distant memory, but so does the time when I can remember Depp and Pacino being good in a feature film.  You’ve got to hand it to these guys, they aren’t “above” being in a Sandler movie, but man I wish they could have done this before Sandler got all family-guy on us and made movies that even Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey wouldn’t be caught dea….no wait, they probably would.

Jack and Jill is about twins, a brother and a sister both played by Sandler.  Jack is a successful commercial director, but he’s losing clients and needs something big for his production company.  Somehow the only thing in the entire world that could possibly save his company is getting Al Pacino to do a Dunkin Donuts commercial advertising some sort of new cappuccino drink, “The Dunkachino.”  If you had told me 10 years ago that this was the solution to any problem for any plot, I would have told you the chances of Al Pacino showing up in a Dunkin Donuts commercial would have the same probability of Robert De Niro ever being in a film adaptation of Rocky & Bullwinkle and saying his iconic Taxi Driver line.  Now, I know all things are possible, that Pacino and De Niro’s pact with Satan expired long ago, and their souls have already been taken.  Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy take turns making those two legendary actors look alive, that’s why you haven’t seen either of them since Weekend at Bernie’s II.

Jack’s homely sister Jill is coming to live with he and his family: wife Erin (Katie Holmes) and his two kids.  She’s incredibly annoying and never shuts up, and like all unwanted house guests extends her stay well beyond her welcome, even when her brother is mean to her.  Jack’s solution is to hopefully get Jill laid, so he fudges a Craigslist ad in her favor.  This series of events ends up leading to Norm MacDonald hanging from a fluorescent light, something I felt I would be doing by the end of the picture.  Naturally, Jill is repulsive to everyone except Al Pacino, and one hilarious Mexican landscaper (Eugenio Derbez).  Somehow, the desperate Jill doesn’t much like Pacino, who tries much too hard to woo her.  But it looks like Pacino’s agreement to be in Jack’s commercial is going to be contingent on whether he can get Jill to go out with him.

Just like all Sandler movies, it’s best when it dives off the deep end into insanity.  This is something we haven’t seen enough of since Happy Gilmore, and maybe it’s because I really liked that movie when I first watched it back in 1996, but I watched it again recently and laughed out loud several times.  Somewhere Sandler and crew decided that the insanity needed to be toned down, when that was his bread and butter all through the 90s.  That’s why we liked Sandler back then.  But now, the jokes have gotten frighteningly stale, annoying rules, and it seems like every movie tries to get by on its premise more than jokes surrounding that premise.  Almost every comedy he’s made in the past decade has been a one-joke premise stretched into an hour and a half.

This makes two movies for Sandler that will be in strong consideration for Worst of the Year, along with the also-unfortunate Valentine’s Day release Just Go With It.

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