Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TGD Week (or Two) Late Movie Review: Jack & Jill

Last Friday, the wife and kids (plus extra kids) and I took in a movie.  No, it wasn't the newest chapter in the Twilight Saga, it was a movie that had already been out a week at that point, Adam Sandler's latest, Jack & Jill.

Let me begin by saying that I have been a fan of the silly, sometimes stupid humor of Sandler since Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore.  I even recall his appearances as one of Theo's friends on The Cosby Show.

Sandler has shown he can do more than cross his eyes, do his higher pitched voice and act like a buffoon on screen.  He put in good performances in Punch Drunk Love (albeit strange), Spanglish (he was decent, the movie was terrible) and Funny People, one of the most depressing comedies I have ever seen, though I like more each time I happen to see parts of it on cable.  But his bread and butter, the legacy he has created for himself revolves around movies just like this one.

Thus, his career seems to be playing out just as the career of his character in Funny People did, with him making ridiculous movies with ridiculous premises because people are paying him ridiculous money to do so.  Enter Adam Sandler and Adam Sandler in a dual role as Jack and his twin sister Jill performing prat falls, using camera tricks from the pre-Roger Rabbit era and talking in a high pitched annoying voice that we've all heard him do a thousand times before.

You might guess by now, this isn't going to go well.

The Plus Side:  It's an Adam Sandler movie, so it's predictable.  If you sit down in the theater, you aren't going to expect an Academy Award performance.  But you will get slapstick, toilet humor (I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for an ongoing fart joke) and a lot of cameos.  The cameos are pretty good this time around, including Johnny Depp, Shaq and Al Pacino being legitimately funny in a fairly large supporting role.  I wonder here if such a big name actor can be said to steal the show in an Adam Sandler movie.  If so, he did.

It's a relatively kid friendly movie as well.  There are a few gross and suggestive moments, but nothing you have to cover any eyes or ears over.

The Down Side:  It's an Adam Sandler movie.  Yep, pretty much the same movie devices that have been used since Happy Gilmore get paraded out once again.  There are often moments when the characters are talking loudly or overreacting to something and you realize that it is supposed to be a joke, but you aren't really laughing.  While there are some very funny moments, most of the film feels like you're waiting for something funny to happen instead of laughing at it.

Perhaps the biggest mistake Sandler made with this film, however, is the cameo he left out this time.  No Steve Buscemi.  I, for one, was extremely disappointed.

The Wrap Up:  This is not a great movie.  This is not a good movie.  It's an Adam Sandler movie.  Not as good as Happy Gilmore, but not as bad as Grown Ups, you get what you more than likely expect from this film with a little extra thrown in my Al Pacino.  Your kids will laugh more than you, but you'll laugh too, and pretty hard at times.  With a lot of new movies coming out for the elongated Thanksgiving weekend, you may want to look for a movie that has been out for awhile to view with your family.  This is one you can probably look past on the listings.

TGD Rating: At my wife's request (some may say demand...semantics), I am officially rescinding our extremely confusing rating system for the use of a simple icon showing who will like this movie between adults and kids.  You're welcome, honey.

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