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November 12, 2011 | 11:32 a.m. CST
Someone apparently didn’t get the joke.
That’s really the only explanation for what led to Jack and Jill, Adam Sandler’s so-called movie in which he seeks to annoy audiences into submission. Surely this film was never meant to be taken seriously. He pitched the idea in jest, an oblivious movie exec offered him a huge pile of cash and Sandler just couldn’t say no. That has to be it. This movie being made any other way is inconceivable.
Jack and Jill is one of those rare movies that has zero redeeming qualities and seems to have no target audience. It’s not funny and despite it’s supposed status as a comedy makes little attempt at real humor. The movie is not well acted; even Al Pacino’s turn as himself wasn’t well done. There’s no suspense, no drama and no characters anyone should care about. Sandler’s taken the same stock roles he’s employed for the past decade, but threw on a wig and a dress. That’s the extent of the creativity here. There is literally no reason to see this movie. Ever.
You won’t likely get any arguments on that from Sandler himself, either. Appearing on The Daily Show the evening before Jack and Jill’s debut to “promote” his new movie, he didn’t even bother to bring it up, let alone show a clip. It’s as if he knew there was no defense for this mess. He’s matured enough as an actor to understand that this movie is indefensible, but not quite enough that he takes a pass like any self-respecting comedian should.
Sandler could get away with this ten years ago. Fans would overlook Little Nicky when Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison were still fresh in their memories. He had earned the benefit of the doubt. But no amount of goodwill can excuse this.
Sandler’s career is at a crossroads. He still produces box-office results, but Jack and Jill is the type of film that can change that. His continued success will rely on his ability to mature as both an actor and a comedian, lest moviegoers tire of his repetitive offerings. The oversized child act is growing old. And soon, Sandler will need to grow up.