Truly awful: that is the first sentiment that comes to mind after viewing 10 minutes of Adam Sandler’s latest effort Jack and Jill. The comic actor has had great moments on screen – in Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy and Punch-Drunk Love – but this film is so grotesque it beggars belief.
The story is a simple one – probably because the writers couldn’t be bothered to come up with a better one. Jack (Sandler) is an advertising executive in Los Angeles who has it all: massive home, wife (Holmes), cute kids and a seemingly successful company. The bête noire that torments his life, however, is his identical twin sister Jill (also played by Sandler). She is loud, brash, odd, offbeat and over the top. Jack hates her and looks forward to her annual trip to his home for Thanksgiving about as much as the American turkey population looks forward to the holiday.
That’s the premise - can Jack survive Thanksgiving with the twin from hell? The script is as brutally unfunny as the concept. Soon after Jill’s arrival in LA from New York she decides to cancel her flight home after Thanksgiving and extend her stay for Hanukkah; this is the first of many cancellations as Jill attempts to put off ever leaving Jack’s abode.
At this point, the audience’s distress is ratcheted up a notch as we realise we are stuck with Jill, and Jack for that matter, for a screen time of over 90 minutes. Ye Gods, why could she not have just caught that earlier flight home?
The action is a staple slapstick diet of footballs in the face; punches in the face; hackneyed jokes; and the crucial ingredient of fart noises. In addition to the heady repertoire of humour described above, throw in some celebrity cameos to give the film some attempted street cred: bona fide legends of the game Al Pacino and Johnny Depp both appear in an attempt to confuse the audience into forgetting how bad the film actually is.
This is a horribly predictable film, with some star names which will probably mean some bums on seats for the moneymen. I just can’t help but think that the producers could have sucked a few dollars more out of the public if they’d included a football in the groin scene – maybe they’re saving that for the sequel.