Jack and Jill: Downhill torture

By Beckii CMovies - 01 February 2012 9:41 AM | Updated 03 February 2012

Jack and Jill: Downhill torture

Rating: 0 stars out of 5

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"Jack and Jill" has all the lowbrow humour of the Adam Sandler movies you remembered from your childhood (if you’re into that sort of thing), but minus the heart. There’s also a distinct possibility that the guy squandered whatever talent he had in “Punch Drunk Love”, and has been languishing in creative poverty ever since.

As with numerous cross-dressing laugh-fests of yore, Sandler frocks up and plays a pair of fraternal twins in his latest (fatally failed) attempt at comedy – Jack and Jill who, besides their gender difference, are as opposite as night and day. Jack is your typical upper middle class salaryman; an unassuming guy who works in advertising, has a wife (Katie Holmes well into her downward career spiral), two children and owns a pretty extensive family home.

On the other side of the well, Jack’s sister, Jill is loud and obnoxious; an unwanted Thanksgiving house guest who overstays her welcome. Of course beneath that ridiculous, offensive exterior, Jill is really just a lonely soul craving for some quality family time, much to Jack's chagrin.

The only way to get rid of his terrible twin? Find the lady a man.  However, things get complicated when eccentric actor Al Pacino (playing himself) fervently woos an unimpressed Jill, while Jack pursues Pacino for a role in a Dunkin’ Donuts ad.

The movie actually opens with a smidgen of promise, featuring snippets of actual fraternal and identical twins offering quirky, offbeat accounts of experiences with their other inescapable halves.

Sadly, all notions of potential end there. The rest of the film consists simply of debased toilet jokes; dreadful emotional carnage that Sandler deserves a life-time imprisonment for inflicting upon us.

How a once semi-decent comedy actor prancing around in drag as his own twin sister, donning a wig and speaking with a lisp qualifies as humour is beyond human and otherworldly comprehension.

And when that dreadful scene where Jill spends a good five minutes unleashing air bombs into the air while Jack reacts to the symphony of her flatulence comes on, you momentarily lose all your hope for Hollywood.

Why Al Pacino is in this, and accepted a main supporting role for that matter, is both sadly hilarious and mildly pathetic. One can only hope the Oscar-winning talent's obvious lack of discernment was to pass time between projects, or because he owed Sandler and team an unrepayable favour. Even when he tries (unsuccessfully) to selvedge whatever dignity is left of the film, his supposed tongue-in-cheek portrayal of his character (essentially a slightly more neurotic version of his real self) ends up falling flatter than Holmes' endeavors to become a comedic success.

If you're still holding out some hope for “Jack and Jill”, expecting a slapstick but lovable-simpleton-type story of “Big Daddy” calibre, we regret to inform that your optimism is futile.

And as Pacino so aptly proclaims towards the end of the movie after watching his Dunkin' Donuts ad, “Burn this. This must never be seen by anyone”, it's best to relegate any memories we have of the film to the darkest, deepest corner of our minds.