Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Jack and Jill

There are a lot of people who are too young to remember Mike Tyson as something more than an awkward caricature that randomly shows up on Funny or Die and the Hangover movies.  He was once a fierce athlete with a singular focus of inflicting damage.  As the pre-eminent pugilist of his generation, Tyson’s fights were must-see events.  After a plethora of personal troubles that culminated in a three-year stint in prison, Tyson returned to the ring.  He struggled however to recapture that greatness and over time increasingly amassed embarrassing losses to pedestrian fighters.  I remember watching, waiting, and hoping to see the moment where things would click again for the former champion – where he would bob and weave; and land the haymakers that he was missing wildly with.

So you may be asking, what does any of this have to do with Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill?  Well, that is precisely how I feel nowadays when it comes to Adam Sandler.  I remember his pinnacle – The Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison – when he was appearing in some wildly entertaining comedies.  But now I keep watching his films (Click, Grown Ups, Just Go With It) wondering if the next film will be the one where he recaptures the magic that built his Happy Madison empire.  Well, I am ready to say that his demise is complete as Jack and Jill is the proverbial nail in coffin. 

Jack and Jill is one of the worst movies I have ever seen – no doubt about it.  I wanted to turn it off so many times, but kept watching for the sole purpose of being able to write a skewering review.  So you may be asking yourself what makes this movie so bad.  Let’s start with the most glaring issue – twice the dosage of Adam Sandler.  It is always precarious when an actor plays two leading roles of different genders in a comedy (see also Norbit starring Eddie Murphy).  Sandler is in rare form in this film about twin siblings going through some kind of crisis that I am sure absolutely no one cares about.  The plot is inconsequential and the sight gag that is Sandler dressed as a woman wears thin about five seconds in. 

The worst part about this film is that in his quest to reach new depths of awfulness, Sandler takes down a bunch of likeable actors with him.  Maybe it’s the memory of Dawson’s Creek at work, but I still really like Katie Holmes and think there is something very endearing about her.  Yet now, the stink of this film will be difficult to wash off.  Ditto for Allen Covert’s Otto (the caddy).  They should have left the memory of him bathing in a water hazard (in Happy Gilmore) intact.  And worst of all, Al Pacino decides to make sure that his legacy remains completely tarnished (a process that commenced with Gigli, 88 Minutes, and Righteous Kill). 

Every celebrity that appeared as a cameo in this film (Johnny Depp, Shaq, Regis, Jared from Subway) should petition IMDB to get his or her respective names removed from the cast list, because everything about this movie is embarrassing.  Nothing can save this movie – not even an angry Johnny Mac (John McEnroe).  I think it goes without saying that you should not see Jack and Jill under any circumstances.  If enough of us adhere to this, maybe Sandler will stop appearing in movies.  Then again, if he stopped acting, he might produce more movies (i.e. Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, Zookeeper, and Grandma’s Boy).  Ugh.  Either way, we lose.

Standout Performance: Dana Carvey – because even though he is listed as a member of the cast, I don’t remember seeing him.  


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