Recycled jokes and racism key to ‘Jack and Jill’ comedy
Robin Williams dressed as a woman in Mrs. Doubtfire, Tyler Perry dons a female persona in every dreadful Madea film and now Adam Sandler ungracefully hits the silver screen in Jack and Jill as both Jack Sadelstein and his twin sister Jill.
As with all of Sandler’s previous films, Jack and Jill recycles the same immature fart jokes, has an overtly racist caricature of a minority and makes a failed attempt to weave in a heartwarming storyline.
The film starts off following Jack as he goes about his day-to-day life and prepares for an unwanted Thanksgiving visit with his sister Jill from the Bronx. Jack’s wife Erin (played by Katie Holmes) reminds him to be nice to her, but as soon as he picks Jill up from the airport her nagging begins.
During the Thanksgiving meal, the twins make jabs at each other, quickly escalating into a major argument causing Jill to run into the woods. As a result of their fight, Jill decides to stay in Los Angeles through Hanukkah and New Year’s – much to the dismay of Jack.
Jack’s kids Sophia (played by Elodie Tougne) and Gary (played by Rohan Chand) love spending the extra time with their aunt while going to toy stores and pony rides. As she begins to sadden with the fact that she is single for the holidays, the family decides to help Jill ease into online dating.
Throughout the film, the family’s Mexican gardener Felipe (played by Eugenio Derbez) makes appears in a racist fashion true to form. Similar to previous Sandler film characters such as the “Hawaiian” Ula (played by Rob Shneider) in 50 First Dates, Felipe’s presence in the film is mostly as a means of relief to the rest of this film’s obnoxious comedy.
The acting in this film isn’t necessarily bad, but it also isn’t especially good either – instead of adding a depth of acting skill to the film, guest appearances by Al Pacino come off as silly at best. Sandler’s major way to convey comedy in Jack and Jill is to be loud and annoying, not by having witty and thoughtful one-liners.
Jack and Jill tries to appeal to the whole family, holiday film crowd, but where Big Daddy achieved sympathy from its audiences, Sandler’s newest film merely gets a few cheap laughs. Of course the film has its funny moments, but it proves that Sandler films are starting to be exact replicas of one another.