Photo courtesy of the Sony Pictures
The latest comedy from Adam Sandler shares its title with the nursery rhyme about two children whose trek up a hill is beset by catastrophe.
Though it might not seem that the two, ahem, “works” are related, Sandler’s “Jack and Jill” is also an uphill slog – a tiresome, childish cavalcade of gross-out gags, crass cross-dressing hijinks, and juvenile stupidity masquerading as sentimentality – that will likely prove to be a stumbling, tumbling wipeout at the box office once word starts to spread.
Sandler tends to make films that tend to split moviegoers into two camps: those who consider him hilarious, and those who think he’s a fart-joke man-child of such hopelessly limited, arrested-adolescence range he’ll likely never evolve out of the shallows of his immaturity.
In “Jack and Jill,” Sandler plays two roles, thanks to modern-day moviemaking technology that lets him appear seamlessly in scenes with himself – in this case, as both Jack and Jill, a pair of now-adult, brother-and-sister twins.
Jack’s settled Los Angeles family life is thrown into a chaotic spin when loud, obnoxious, unlucky-in-love New Yorker Jill comes for a holiday visit.
Throw in Katie Holmes as Jack’s wife, a drunk cockatiel, an adopted child with a fetish for adhesives, a wacky toothless grandma, a wacky homeless man, a wacky Hispanic gardener cracking Hispanic jokes, twin-speak goobledygook, and a gaggle of gags about sweat stains, body odors,
diarrhea and bathroom noises, and voila – you’ve got a new Adam Sandler movie!
Speaking of things to throw in, Sandler (working once again with director Dennis Dugan, a frequent collaborator) somehow manages to lure a who’s who of celebrities into this manic comedy mash-up, including several of Sandler’s former “Saturday Night Live” alums, plus Johnny Depp, Regis Philbin, Drew Carey, tennis pro John McEnroe, basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal, footballers Michael Irvin and Bill Romanowski, and Jared, the guy who dropped all those pounds by eating at Subway.
But, the most astonishing guest celebrity presence of all is Al Pacino, who plays himself in a crucial, plot-driving element involving his attraction to Jill and Jack’s desperate efforts to get the “Godfather” actor to appear in a TV commercial he’s producing.
You’ve probably seen Pacino in a number of movies, but you’ve probably never seen him in one that calls for him to try to seduce Adam Sandler dressed as a woman.
When Pacino sees the over-the-top TV spot he finally agrees to make, he’s appropriately mortified. “No one must ever see this,” he warns. “Burn this.”
Might I suggest tossing “Jack & Jill” into the incinerator while we’re at it?