Being a teenager when Adam Sandler was on SNL, like most teens of the time, I was obsessed with him. My friends and I would listen to his vulgar CDs (I still quote “The Talking Goat” on occasion) and see his movies on opening day. A couple of friends even got to see Sandler hop on stage with White Zombie and sing “More Human Than Human” – or so they say (to this day I still don’t know if I can believe them). What happened to that Sandler. Now he’s reduced to making painful family films that I don’t want to take my family to see. Fellow critic Rich Bonaduce said it best when he noted that Sandler has become his character from the unfunny movie Funny People – a sell-out hack comedian reduced to crap family flicks. His new tasteless “comedy” Jack and Jill proves Bonaduce’s idea to be more true than ever.
In Jack and Jill, Sandler lowers himself to the comedic levels of Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Tyler Perry and Robin Williams – he gender-bends and plays two roles at the same time, identical twin siblings Jack AND Jill. Jack is an uptight commercial-maker who’s always been smothered by his overpowering sister. He’s taken his family to the other side of the continent just to get away from her. When Jill visits for Thanksgiving, Jack and his wife (Katie Holmes) just can’t get her to leave, so Jack sets off on a mission to help her find a man that will sweep her away.
While Jill is visiting, Jack is trying to get Al Pacino to sign on for a series of Dunkin’ Donuts commercials – which, being an Oscar-winner, Pacino is obviously against. Its too bad he’s not against appearing in crap films like Jack and Jill. But when Pacino falls for and is shot down by Jill, he agrees to Jack that he’ll do the ads if Jack will line him up with Jill. And that’s the plot of this zany, unfunny supposed-to-be holiday film. If you thought Robert De Niro was an attrocious sell-out for the Focker movies, wait until you see Pacino stoop even lower here. His role is so bad that the Academy should strip him of his one Oscar.
It’s odd that as Sandler’s comedies have gotten worse over time, they’ve become more successful, proven box office gold – no matter how stupid they have turned out. Sandler has found a critic-proof lowest-common-denominator formula for pumping out product placement-filled pieces of crap that always make more than $100 million at the box office. It’s sad. And until we all band together and stop seeing them, we’re never going to get the old Sandler back. We will be stuck with his evil twin who hijacked his career and drove it into the ground. Let us all join together put our message out there – we won’t stand for this crap!
Photo credit: Sony Pictures