There are times when a movie critic turns into a consumer reporter – when a film is so stupid that it would be folly for anyone, well, almost anyone, to spend money buying a ticket. I realize Adam Sandler has die-hard fans but I suspect even they would find it difficult to like this loser.
Jack and Jill Sadelstein (both played by Sandler) are fraternal twins. Working in advertising as a director of commercials, Jack lives in a Los Angeles mansion with a supportive wife Erin (Katie Holmes) and two cheerful children (Elodie Tougne, Rohan Chand), while Jill is a squawking, lonely spinster, stuck in the Bronx with a pet cockatoo named Poopsie. When obnoxious, offensive Jill arrives – via American Airlines (cue the first obvious product placement) – to spend Thanksgiving and decides to remain as a houseguest through Hanukkah, Jack is determined to find her someone to love – searching dating websites, even Craigslist, for eligible men. After all, Jill’s continuing annoying presence could jeopardize Jack’s upcoming New Year’s Eve cruise on Royal Caribbean’s new Allure of the Sea (another product placement). But Jack has another, even more pressing problem: persuading Al Pacino to become the Dunkin’ Donuts pitchman, introducing their new Dunkaccino. And maybe, just maybe, after a Lakers game, Al Pacino and Jill could…well, you know.
Written by Steve Koren and Adam Sandler from a story by Ben Zook, it’s chaotically directed by Dennis Dugan – with emphasis on stereotypical Jewish shtick, sloppy slapstick and flimsy celebrity cameos, including Shaquille O’Neal, Bruce Jenner, Drew Carey, David Spade, John McEnroe, Christie Brinkley, Regis Philbin, even uncredited Johnny Depp. Plus there are opening and closing comedic interviews with real siblings.
Over the years, cinematic cross-dressing, gender-bending has been done so much better – by Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in “Some Like it Hot,” Dustin Hoffman in “Tootsie,” Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Johnny Depp in “Ed Wood,” etc.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Jack and Jill” is a trivial 2. Consider yourself warned: it’s a downhill drag.