Jack and Jill ✮1/2
Some Like It — Not!
by Glenn Lovell
What can you say about Adam Sandler’s new (loud throat-clearing here) comedy? That it’s crude beyond the call of doodie? That it’s nonstop ass and flatulence jokes? That it troops out every TV huckster from Bruce Jenner to that pudding-faced Subway guy and, in the process, becomes the ultimate monument to gaucherie? Keep going, keep going. Tire yourself out. Insults roll off this guy like water off a Simonized monster truck. We’ve known that for a while now, at least since “Little Nicky” and “Big Daddy.” Reviewing a Sandler movie is an exercise in futility. So DEEEERE, FELLA!
In “Jack and Jill,” Sandler gives it to his critics with both barrels by digitally cloning himself. He plays Jack, a director of TV commercials, and Jill, his horsey twin sister visiting from the Bronx. If you hated one of me, he’s braying, try two in my riff on “Charley’s Aunt” and “The Nutty Professor.” Were we to be generous, we’d concede that the “normal” Sandler is feeling our pain and sparring with his demonic double, the Sandler who sells tickets (i.e. pays the bills) doing crass, sophomoric shtick.
To save his business and cozy home life ‒ which includes long-suffering wifey (Katie Holmes) and two moppets ‒ Jack has to land a big-deal star for a Dunkin’ Donuts spot. Enter Al Pacino playing Al Pacino. Initially, he’s uninterested. And then, at a Lakers game, he meets Jill, who, inexplicably, leaves him dithering about the old neighborhood and stickball. Shrill Jill deflects his every advance. Will Jack get his sister to change her mind during that inevitable third-act vacation cruise?
Needless to say, “Jack and Jill,” directed by longtime collaborator Dennis Dugan, is no “Tootsie.” Sandler plays Jack as perpetually annoyed, a variation on his character in his one good film, “Punch-Drunk Love”; Sandler plays Jill as a screechy Jack in drag, minus the least hint of femininity. Jill says whatever pops into her head about her “womb-mate” and his family. The jokes, if you can call them that, leave a sour aftertaste, especially those delivered at the expense of the homeless and Hispanics. (Mexico’s Eugenio Derbez plays Jack’s laff-a-minute gardener and, in full horror makeup, the same character’s snaggletoothed grandmother.)
Pacino, essentially the clueless Joe E. Brown suitor from “Some Like It Hot,” manages a few hard-earned grasps as he grovels on all fours after Jill. Say what you will about the guy, he’s a good sport. (Either that, or his recently disclosed financial problems are more serious than we thought.) Who else would spoof himself as Richard III? Mid-soliloquy, he exacts sweet revenge on an audience by taking an extended cell-phone call. Later, we get Pacino in full Don Quixote regalia, tilting at a ceiling fan, and, for the big finale, as Michael Corleone rappin’ out in a Dunkaccino commercial. Tony Montana’s “Say hello to my little friend!” rant seems sensibly underplayed by comparison.
JACK AND JILL ✮1/2 With Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, Eugenio Derbez. Directed by Dennis Dugan; scripted by Sandler, Steve Koren. 91 min. Rated PG (should be PG-13 or maybe even R for crude sexual, toilet humor)