Jack and Jill: A Mess Of A Comedy
Adam Sandler’s films are generally hit and miss. You never really know
whether you’re getting a solid comedy or a stinking dud. Jack and Jill is solidly in the latter category and in fact, it’s
the collection’s crown jewel.
Sandler plays both of the identical twins, Jack and Jill. Jack has
a successful career in advertising and a happy stable life with his wife, Erin
(Holmes), and their two kids. Jill on the other hand, lives alone in the Bronx
after her mother’s death and has never been on a date. The film revolves around
Jill’s visit to spend Thanksgiving with Jack and the family.
As Jack, Sandler plays himself, or at least the same character he
usually plays. As Jill, he dons a dress and a poofy wig, looking less
like a woman than as Adam Sandler in drag. He also adopts a grating, high-pitched
voice and a whiny, co-dependent character that makes abundantly clear why
Pacino’s love interest character had to be mentally addled for the attraction
Most of the film’s tension is due to Jack’s aversion to Jill and her
passive aggressive insistence in prolonging her stay at his house and
inflicting her immature presence on him. Weirdly enough, he seems to
be the only person in the film who doesn’t like Jill. His family repeatedly calls
him out on his behaviour towards her, yet the point is that the viewers aren’t
given any reason to like her and end up applauding the way he treats
Pacino’s role in this film is hilariously awkward. The kind that’s so
bad; you can’t believe it’s actually happening. He plays a mentally imbalanced
version of himself who needs to pull himself together before he completely
alienates his employers and fans. He bumps into Jack and Jill at a basketball
game where Jack attempts to pitch him a Dunkin Donuts commercial idea. Pacino
completely ignores Jack as he’s completely smitten with Jill. Unfortunately
for him though, Jill isn’t interested in the slightest. An undaunted Pacino
gives Jack an ultimatum; get Jill to date him or he won’t make the commercial.
Watching the legend stoop this low is mind-boggling. However, the Dunkin Doughnuts commercial wedged into the end of the film is another beast entirely. Firmly in the so-cheesy-it’s-absolutely-amazing camp, the ad advertises a new product called
‘The Dunkacino,’ and is the undisputed highlight of the film.
The gist of the film is ‘How can anyone love Jill? She’s so
ugly!’ When we’re not canvassing that territory, the jokes revolve around
Mexican immigrants as told by Felipe (Derbez), a Mexican gardener, who
inexplicably falls for Jill too. His entire shtick consists of him saying
something offensive about immigrants then tacking a ‘just kidding’ onto the
end. Rounding out the comedy are the requisite fart/sweat/diarrhoea jokes.
Needless to say, the film is a giant mess despite its decent cast, which
also includes Katie Holmes as Jack’s wife Erin. The real snag is that it
isn’t even a funny mess; it’s just plain bad.