Adam Sandler must have some serious pull in Hollywood. His movies aren’t that great. They’re usually pretty stupid and rife with potty humor and superficial characters. But there’s an underlying sweetness to most of them. I’m thinking of Happy Gilmore, Bedtime Stories, Grown Ups, The Wedding Singer, and 50 First Dates. If you can get past the whole Adam Sandler schtick, there’s usually a sweet message buried somewhere in there.
But even with the crude humor and dumb stories, he manages to pull in some heavy-hitters in the film industry. I don’t know if he just pays really well, or maybe all these serious actors need some comic relief in their career now and then. I mean, Al Pacino? Really? He has a starring role in Jack and Jill, and plays a ridiculously dumb character, to boot.
Also appearing: Johnny Depp, Regis Philbin, Drew Carey, John McEnroe, Christie Brinkley, Bruce Jenner, David Spade and Katie Holmes, who plays Sandler’s wife. It’s like everyone in Hollywood was begging their agent to "Get me in that Adam Sandler movie!" It’s directed by frequent Sandler collaborator Dennis Dugan, who also helmed Just Go With It, Grown Ups and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, among others.
The story follows Jack Sadelstein, a family man with an adoring wife, a couple of kids, and a thriving career producing TV commercials in Hollywood. But he’s not looking forward to a Thanksgiving visit from his identical twin sister Jill (also played by Sandler). She’s pushy, needy, and passive-aggressive. But she’s also lonely, as the twins recently lost their mom, with whom Jill was close.
Once in Hollywood, Jill wreaks havoc everywhere she goes, but you do find yourself feeling sympathetic towards her. She’s sweet in a childlike way, to the point of having a subscription to Highlights magazine (we know this because she has her mail forwarded to Jack’s house).
In the meantime, Jack is trying to land Al Pacino for a commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts’ new coffee – the Dunkaccino. Of course, he’s reluctant, but in some alternate universe, Pacino falls head over heels in love with Jill when he sees her at a Lakers game (where he’s sitting with Johnny Depp – what the…). So the whole story revolves around Jack trying to persuade Jill to go out with Pacino in order to get him to do the commercial.
Jack and Jill doesn’t deviate much from the Adam Sandler formula mentioned above – sweet story wrapped around a constant stream of crude jokes and sexual humor (one step away from a PG-13 rating). If you or your kids like that particular brand of humor, then you’ll probably like this movie. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about “chocolate squirties,” “Chimichanga bombs,” sweat stains on sheets, a farting scene in a movie theater, and disgusting sounds coming from the bathroom.
Also be aware that Jack and Jill is one long commercial for just about every product Sandler could pack in there, including Subway (Jared shows up), Sham Wow (likewise with the Sham Wow guy), The Price is Right (ditto Drew Carey), Royal Caribbean, Sony computers (Sony is distributing the film), YouTube, Craigslist, Match.com and eHarmony.
One bright spot is the opening and closing documentary-style vignettes of real twins talking about each other. I actually wouldn’t have minded an entire movie of that, with the Adam Sandler part cut out of the middle. But hey, whatever keeps Sandler’s family fed.