Screen Jeers: ‘Jack and Jill’

Caryn: We watched a movie this week, but I can’t remember the name of it. It had Adam Sandler and it won a lot of Razzie awards this year…

Dan: Yeah, “Jack and Jill.”

Caryn: No, that’s not it. Adam Sandler was cross-dressing and it was about two twins named Jack and Jill and Jill was unlucky in love. And Al Pacino was in it too. And Katie Holmes played the male twin’s wife…

Dan: Yeah, it was “Jack and Jill.”

Caryn: Really? No. That couldn’t possibly be it. Jill breaks Al Pacino’s Oscar award in it. In the end, Jill decides she wants to be with the pool boy because he’s a lot of fun to be with and she spurns Al Pacino.

Dan: No seriously, the movie was called “Jack and Jill.” It was spit out of the same old Adam Sandler story machine that has been rehashed 50 times already. It was crude, it was loud, and it wasn’t funny.

You might remember that this movie became the first ever to sweep all 10 Razzie categories. And I’ll give “Jack and Jill” this much: It did not deserve to go down in that kind of infamy. After all, it was competing against a “Twilight” film.

But don’t kid yourself, Sandler: This is a really, REALLY bad movie. Caryn, where do you even want to start with this one?

Caryn: I think we should start with the most offensive part of this movie: the rampant product placement. I’m extremely sensitive to product placement. When I watch a movie, even the most subtle advertising doesn’t escape me. It was one of the MANY things I didn’t like about “The Avengers,” but that’s a story for another day.

Product placement tells me that a movie needs to sell out to companies because it can’t garnish enough fans to stand on its own. And the brand itself must not be that great, or it wouldn’t need to pay to be in a movie. (Oddly enough, I loved the Morgan Spurlock documentary “The Greatest Move Ever Sold.”) So I was extremely annoyed when Adam Sandler and Tim Meadows stood in front of a giant cart full of Pepto Bismol. And it just got worse from there.

Did you find the product placement annoying? What did you think was the worst part of this movie?

Dan: When the product placement is this bad, it’s tough to find something worse. I know what the justification for doing it so often must have been for this movie: “Oh, well see, Adam Sandler works in an advertising agency, so all the products are really helping to keep it realistic!” Codswallop. The cheapest and laziest way to write a character in Hollywood is to just give him a job in marketing or any other in the handful of jobs the people REALLY making the movies have.

However, there are worse things in this stinker. First off is the sheer concept. Oh, a comedian is going to dress up as a woman for a movie? Gosh, I’ve never seen that before! I wonder if Robin Williams, Eddie MurphyMartin Lawrence and the Wayans Brothers have heard about this? It’s a schtick that’s even older than Sandler’s filmmaking formula.

But the worst, or really the saddest, part of this movie is watching Al Pacino continue to dig his career deeper into the cellar. Watching Tony Montana attempt to put the moves on Adam Sandler dressed in drag was depressing. I almost cried when the man who played Michael Corleone sang a song about Dunkin’ Donuts (though that scene was slightly redeemed by a rare bit of humor afterward). For whatever reason, he and Robert DeNiro have made the same really bad decisions over the past decade or so when it comes to the kinds of movies they’ll take part in.

So all in all, where does this movie rank among the all-time stinkers? Did you think it warranted sweeping the Razzies?

Caryn: This movie was NOT among the absolute worst of the worst we’ve seen. I think “Safe” and “October Baby” still top the list of the worst movies we’ve ever seen. “Jack and Jill” definitely did not deserve to sweep the Razzies, either. It was going up against “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 1” with the shameful acting of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Shia LaBoeuf and Rosie Huntington-Whitely.

“Transformers” didn’t even make sense. Every movie in the “Twilight” franchise makes me fear for the future of society. At least “Jack and Jill” had a plot and the “humor” was mostly harmless, even if it did demean Al Pacino a little and Hugo Weaving had a cameo peddling hot dogs at a basketball game. Some of those “serious” actors deserve to have a little fun, too.

Ah, to be young again… When love was love and life was life and Adam Sandler played golf in his movies.

I guess we’ve learned over the years that we can’t expect too much from Adam Sandler, so we go in to his movies doing just that. If you were forced to watch another Adam Sandler creation, what would it be?

Dan: I’d go back to the good ol’ days of “The Waterboy” and “Happy Gilmore.” Those were legitimately enjoyable movies in which Sandler didn’t just play a jerk who learns some cockamamie lesson at the end; his characters are actually likeable and relatable there. That’s something I wish Sandler would figure out how to do again.

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