The new Adam Sandler picture Jack and Jill is just the sort of asinine comedy that the movie star played by Adam Sandler disparaged in Judd Apatow’s serious cancer movie Funny People. I don’t think all Sandler’s comedies warrant shame, but this one is a disgrace. The joke is having Sandler play both a producer of commercials and his twin sister, but Sandler is not only the ugliest transvestite ever to appear on-camera (I’m counting Divine), he’s the least committed. Part of the gag is that Jill isn’t especially feminine, but Sandler passes up every opportunity to play with his own strange, passive-aggressive, adolescent-male persona and imagine what a female version might be like. His Jill is a whiny shrew, an underminer, with shoulders like a linebacker and a speech impediment that makes her sound like an idiot. (A running gag is that she can’t remember the titles of movies but insists, when presented with the correct ones, that they’re wrong.) The Anti-Defamation League should picket the movie for crimes against Jewish women. The Friars Club should picket it for crimes against comedy.
Jack and Jill has more product placements than any recent film, some of them woven into the script. The plot centers on Jack’s attempt to woo Al Pacino for a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, a prospect made both easier and more difficult when Pacino falls hump over heels for the nightmarish Jill. (He’s onstage for part of the film as Richard III.) I make a point of never commenting on awards in my reviews, but I passed the time at Jack and Jill, savoring the prospect of Razzies for Sandler (Worst Actor and Actress), Pacino (Worst Supporting Actor), and Katie Holmes (not that terrible as Sandler’s cheerful, innocuous wife, but the film puts you in a really bad mood). In the end, Pacino watches his commercial and solemnly tells Jack, “This must never see the light of day.” I can imagine him at the first screening of the movie saying the same thing. Sandler ought to join Lindsay Lohan at the morgue for this one. Watching him bathe corpses would be more amusing.