ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT FILMORIA
Jack (Adam Sandler) is an advertising executive who needs to land Al Pacino for a Dunkin’ Donuts campaign, but Pacino proves difficult to convince until he meets Jack’s identical twin sister Jill (also Adam Sandler) and falls madly in love with her.
It seems that Adam Sandler is not aware of The Nutty Professor franchise and what this did, or rather didn’t do, for Eddie Murphy’s career. Sandler plays both Jack and his sister Jill and manages to make neither character even remotely endearing. Jill is brash and rather stupid, and Jack is impatient and rather rude, so they make for a great comedy duo, right? Wrong. There is nothing funny about either character. Jack is horrible to his sister and doesn’t engage with any member of his family. The character is never made out to be a good guy who just has had enough of his sister; he treats everyone around him with contempt and impatience. Jill is stupid and brash and has a really annoying voice that grates after the first few minutes.
It is left to Katie Holmes to be the sympathetic, understanding character in the film, but she is not given enough screen time to do so and just comes off as weak. And Al Pacino, oh my, where do we start? It is hard to imagine the circumstances in which Pacino thought that this would be a good career move. Although he is able to laugh at himself, and does so throughout the whole movie, his overly sincere version of himself comes off like Pepe LePew as he follows Jill around, completely enamoured with her.
The story is utterly predictable – Jack is not happy that his sister has come to stay, but when Al Pacino falls for her, he has to keep her around to try and get Pacino to do his ad. Jill is not best pleased with the overly pushy Pacino, so when she refuses to go out with him, Jack dons a wig and pretends to be her. It is something that has to happen from moment one, and when it does, it’s cringy. As well as the predictable story, there is the issue of the ‘twin powers’ that Jill keeps harping on about. She believes that she and Jack have the ability to feel each other’s pain, and should still speak in their childhood twin language, which just leads to her coming off as a nut job, not a 40-something year old woman with even the slightest experience of the world.
There really is nothing good to say about Jack and Jill, other than it seems Adam Sandler is no longer fooling himself about where his career is going. The pinnacle of Punch Drunk Love appears long forgotten, and Sandler has accepted that thoughtless gross out humour is where he is going to stay. None of these characters are endearing – no, not even Al Pacino – in fact, they are all rather annoying, selfish and a little bit mad (one of the kids likes to sellotape things to himself, and the other always carries a doll which she dresses the same as, that’s not the good kind of weird).
There is nothing funny, endearing or original about Jack and Jill, except maybe the technology used to put Jack and Jill together on screen, and the montage of interviews with real life twins at the start and the end of the film. Other than that, Jack and Jill is an unfunny wreck and should be avoided at all costs.