Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Release date: November 11, 2011
Running time: 91 minutes
Jack and Jill was everything I thought an Adam Sandler, Happy Madison production would be: over-the-top silliness that's full of slapstick, long on moronic humor and short on focus and plot and guess what? I'm ok with that.
Jack Edelstein (Sandler) is a successful advertising executive. He has a beautiful wife, Erin (Katie Holmes) and two children (Rohan Chand and Elodie Tougne). Jack is the ultimate family man, except during the Thanksgiving holiday. Why? Because his not so beloved twin sister Jill (played by Adam Sandler) comes to call every year at Thanksgiving.
Jill is needy and high-maintenance. She brings with her one of those dreaded, wishful to-do lists we all cringe at the mention of when family visits from out of town. Jill is also blissfully clueless about the effect she has on men, one in particular being Al Pacino, who plays himself. Jack also happens to be courting Pacino to star in a Dunkin Donuts ad campaign he's heading, so he may actually find his sister's visit useful, if he can stand her long enough.
Jack's wife, Erin and the kids all seem to accept Jill, who, as it turns out has to extend her visit beyond Thanksgiving weekend. It's Jack who's meaner and more resentful of Jill with each passing scene. He's torn, he needs Pacino, and Jill opens that door, but he also wants her gone, like yesterday.
Though Sandler is the marquis name and is playing dual starring roles, it's Pacino who is the highlight of the film. He is funny, funnier than I've ever imagined Al Pacino to be. His casting was a perfect surprise.
Other surprises were the rainbow of famous personalities who offered cameos. Johnny Depp, Shaquille O'Neal, Regis Philbin, Michael Irvin, John McEnroe and Christie Brinkley to name a few. The usual Happy Madison crew are also present, including Allen Covert who kinda sorta reprises his Happy Gilmore homeless guy role.
Jack and Jill, like most Sandler films will be resoundly panned by critics and cemented in cinematic lore as scraping the bottom of the barrel of film making. I disagree. The film offers more than enough laughs for one to be entertained. As a long time fan of the Happy Madison crew, I know what to expect when I see one of their productions: a chance to cut up with familiar faces, get some easy laughs at cheesy material and in the end question my own intelligence and maturity - and that's exactly what I got.
And I'm ok with that.
*I viewed Jack and Jill at the theatre, with tickets purchased with my personal funds.