Adam Sandler movies are certainly an acquired taste. There are movie buffs who can’t stand putting up with his brand of humor for more than a five minute SNL skit, and there are fans who swear by Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. His films are best enjoyed knowing what to expect, that way the viewer can turn off their brain and enjoy the silliness while occasionally being treated to something really clever.
In Jack & Jill, Adam Sandler takes on the dual role of both titular characters. While in the process of trying to track down Al Pacino for a commercial, advertisement director Jack (Adam Sandler) and his family are visited by his twin sister Jill (Sandler). Sibling rivalries, crude humor, and a warm family-oriented conclusion ensue. It’s pretty much what you’d expect, but as noted previously, that doesn’t stop it from having its charms.
As Jill, Sandler is every bit as embarrassing and bizarre as the filmmakers intended. Her scenes consist of obnoxious, politically incorrect dialogue, bathroom humor, and other things that are sure to make the audience uncomfortable. In particular, a slow motion walk down the stairs to meet a date in which he/she is looking seductively at the camera was very difficult to watch. Of course, this is all in fun. As Jack, Sandler delivers his usual charm. He’s almost always likeable in his roles, and his reactions in this film to Jill’s increasingly silly behavior are enjoyable to watch.
Like other Sandler vehicles, this one is jam-packed with amusing cameos. Norm MacDonald shows up as Jill’s date and is his usual funny self, even if his appearance is brief. Johnny Depp, Shaq, Drew Carey, Regis, and Jared (the Subway guy) also appear in the types of cameos that are expected from a Sandler film.
The real highlight of the movie though is a bizarre, wacky role by Al Pacino, playing himself. It’s good to see someone with the respect of Pacino not taking himself too seriously. He invokes dialogue and scenes from many of his classic roles, most memorably a Godfather sequence. To see him rapping and dancing at the end will either make a viewer laugh uncontrollably or shake their head in disgust. If you shake your head in disgust, see above comment about taking yourself too seriously. From Pacino we also get one of the more clever jokes: a reference to Don Quixote that is sure to make any literature scholar grin.
There’s a lot here that Sandler fans will appreciate. For those who aren’t Sandler fans, Al Pacino is worth the price of admission alone. Overall, it’s good if you know what you’re getting into.
Jack and Jill opens in Philly-area theaters today.
Author: Lucas Mangum
Lucas Mangum is an author from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His flash fiction has been published in Death Head Grin, MicroHorror, and his short story “Goblins” is available as an ebook. He also hosts the bi-monthly Awesome Reading Fests in Doylestown. Read his blog, The Dark Dimensions, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.