By Mike A.Smith
Mike here, with a look at a film that, well, wouldn’t have been out of place as one of the films-within-the-film that was “Funny People”. You’ll remember in that flick that Adam Sandler played a riff on his own superstar persona by playing a bankable comic superstar who has starred in a string of high-concept comedies.
Movies like this….
In a strange, spewy twist of fate, Sandler’s now headlining this…
Seth Rogen’s chuckling in a public toilet somewhere as he flicks through the print ads and cinema session time guide in the local newspaper..
As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to make way for a new comedy starring the hilariously funny…Al Pacino? That’s right. Pacino has a small but pivotal role in “Jack and Jill” and, in a film full of people known for being funny, pretty much stands alone.
Jack (Sandler) is a successful creator of television commercials. One of his clients, the folks over at Dunkin’ Donuts, wants him to secure the talents of one Al Pacino to promote their new product, Dunk-A-Chino. But Jack has other things on his mind, mainly the upcoming yearly Thanksgiving visit of his twin sister, Jill (also Sandler). Where Jack has always been the popular twin, Jill has taken a back seat. Now, with their mother recently passed, the two must find a way to tolerate each other during the sure to be festive holiday season.
A one note joke that runs an hour and a half, “Jack and Jill” gives Sandler the chance to use the same “funny lady” voice that he used on his early comedy CDs. With his high pitched whine you almost expect to hear Jill proclaim, “they’re all gonna laugh at you,” or perhaps implore you to “play with your cock and balls for mama.” Along the way we meet many of the Sandler comedy troupe, including Allen Covert, who appears to be channeling the homeless man turned caddie he played in “Happy Gilmore.” Along with the regulars are some fun bits from such well known people as Jared from Subway and Vince, the Shamwow! Guy. We are also joined by his two young children: a young boy adopted from India when less than two weeks old and a little girl who is always curiously dressed exactly as her doll. The boy has discovered scotch tape and it’s fun to see what household item he’ll apply to his body next.
The premise gets annoying after awhile, but that is when Pacino shows up to make things interesting. He gets great laughs spoofing his serious side while on stage and, when his Oscar is accidentally damaged, zings the Academy Awards. He even manages to belt out “The Impossible Dream” from “The Man of La Mancha.” Pacino is truly, as they say in show business, a triple threat! And to see him play off his very stern on-screen reputation is a welcome treat. Hoo-ah!
The script loses steam shortly after it begins to boil, with the only new “idea” being to put Jack and Jill in another unusual situation. Look…they can jump rope! If anyone but Sandler had been playing Jill the film may have worked better. But his constant whining makes Jill more sympathetic, to the point where you can forgive her the occasional break of wind. Heck, when Pacino is on screen you can almost forgive anything. Almost. Maybe. I dunno…