Maybe you thought since Adam Sandler is playing boy-and-girl twins in Jack and Jill that the movie would be double the fun. Ha! On a scale of 1 to 10 on the laugh meter, Jack and Jill is a negative 10. A total bust, a stupefyingly unfunny and shamelessly lazy farce packed with cringe-worthy jokes and overt product placement. L.A. ad exec Jack Sadelstein (Sandler the guy) is gritting his teeth over a holiday visit from his loudmouthed, overweight twin Jill (Sandler in drag, showing an unfailing grasp of the obvious). The siblings pick at each other relentlessly between Jill’s bouts with farting and dropping chimichanga bombs. No peace, even with the help of Jack’s peacemaker wife (Katie Holmes looks so trapped in this thankless role you ache to save her). It’s odious to watch the movie make fun of Jill’s looks, weight, and flatulence problems only to switch gears into gooey sentiment at the end and tell us we should love her. Jack and Jill wants to have its hypocrisy and eat it too.
Look, I’m not a Sandler hater. He was terrific in Judd Apatow’s Funny People and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love. And I still treasure fun memories of Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, made before Sandler turned cynical and contemptuous of his audience. Jack and Jill plays like the kind of crap Sandler’s comedian character skewered in Funny People. The plot is a stew of half-baked ideas that quickly turns rancid. Jack has problems at work; his company will go under if he can’t persuade Al Pacino to play himself in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. Watching the Oscar winner bust a move and freestyle rap while he extols the virtues of sipping a Dunkachinno is to witness desperation incarnate. Sandler and director Dennis Dugan must have something on The Godfather to make him lower himself to these depths. “Burn it,” says Pacino after watching the commercial Sandler creates. “No one must ever see this.” The same goes for the movie.