DIRECTED BY: Dennis Dugan
WRITTEN BY: Adam Sandler, Steve Koran
STARRING: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes
RATING: 1 star
If you're an Adam Sandler fan, stop reading this now and go see Jack and Jill. It's not because it's a good film, it's because nothing I write in this review will change your mind about wanting to see it, even though it's a terrible film. If you're an Al Pacino fan, you'll probably never be able to watch Scarface the same way again, but it is nice to see him try something different.
Sandler plays Jack Sadelstein, a family man who owns an advertising agency. Every year he dreads seeing his twin sister Jill (also played by Sandler in drag) when she visits for the Thanksgiving holidays because she is needy and whines about everything. But Jack's wife Erin (Katie Holmes) encourages Jack to be patient with Jill because she's lonely. When Jill decides to extend her stay, Jack signs her up for an online dating service so that he doesn't have to spend so much time with her. Meanwhile, Jack tries to convince Al Pacino (playing himself) to participate in a Dunkin' Donuts commercial until he realises that Pacino is falling in love with Jill and he can use their romance to his advantage.
In a film that lacks plot, you would expect the characters to at least have some depth, but they were all one-dimensional. Jill was the only character remotely interesting, but even she was as annoying, at times, as Jack perceives her to be. Before I continue bashing Sandler, I have to explain that I actually think he can be quite funny and I have enjoyed some of his previous films. But even hardcore Sandler fans would have to admit he's made some dud films in recent years. I like bodily function jokes just as much as the next person, but it seemed to me that almost every scene in Jack and Jill ended with someone farting or getting hit in the face. There's only so much of this slapstick humour a person can take.
As for the performances, Sandler barely looks like he's even trying, which is a shame, because he can actually act when he wants to. Pacino on the other hand gives a good performance with the measly script he was given to work with, and is actually a good crazy caricature of himself. But after a while, I felt like even he became bored with the film. Johnny Depp delivers a great cameo in what is only one of two scenes I would consider genuinely entertaining and worth seeing again. Holmes gives a forgettable performance as Jack's wife and you'd have to wonder why she even bothered being part of the film, while the usual Sandler side-kick team also make an appearance, including David Spade in drag.
But, if you want to see a real drag comedy with a plot and funny characters, you're far better off watching Some Like It Hot – a true comedy classic, free of cheap laughs, that never gets old.