Ever have a family member you just can't stand? What about one who's obnoxious, smelly and kind of looks like you? That's the idea behind Adam Sandler's new family comedy, Jack and Jill, a movie about twins who are anything but close.
What can you expect from a Sandler movie? Everything you love (and hate, but love while you're hating it) about the 45-year-old comedian whose films have consistently been box office successes. Bathroom jokes, wacky pet birds, a homeless guy who's more than a little weird, great cameos (Johnny Depp? yes, please!), hairy armpits and much, much more.
Jack Sadelstein (Sandler) is a successful advertising man whose twin sister Jill (also played by Sandler) is visiting for the holidays.
Jack's wife, Erin, played by Katie Holmes, is sweet, down to earth and never gets mad at her sister-in-law no matter how weird things get.
Usually, Jack suffers through Thanksgiving gritting his teeth while his family seems to get along fine with his overly-chatty, somewhat tough, sweetheart of a sister who has a penchant for meddling in other people's business.
Not only is it tough having his sister around, Jack's work isn't as stable as it could be. He's stuck in a situation where he needs to book the legendary Al Pacino for a donut commercial or he's going to lose all his business and eventually his whole company.
That means Jack can't worry too much about his annoying sister, he's got to get in front of Al. But when Al falls for Jill, well… things get complicated, and definitely more interesting. Convinced his sister would be better off if she had a mate, Jack finds the perfect scenario to fix his work problem and his family problem, once and for all.
Pacino plays himself beautifully, never afraid of making fun of who the audience thinks he is -- an angry, self-absorbed, Godfather addict who loves to yell as much as he can. In one scene, Pacino performs Shakespeare onstage and takes a call on his cell phone. Priceless.
Nick Swardson, Sandler's partner-in-crime from Just Go With It, returns as the daft assistant who is racist, anti-semitic and an atheist. How is that funny? Sandler makes it so. Famed Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez makes a comical appearance as the gardener, Felipe, who has a great time poking fun at immigration, Latin stereotypes and white people.
In fact, there's almost no room in this movie for anyone not willing to make fun of someone or something. Atheists, Jews, Germans, Mexicans, actors, basketball players, people from the Bronx -- if you're nearby, you're bound to get hit. So, sign up for an Adam Sandler movie, if you're comfortable with laughing at yourself. He's looking for targets!
What's surprising about this film is that Sandler as a woman is almost funnier and more endearing than Sandler as a man. Empowered with the skirt and lipstick, the man who usually plays the curmudgeon gets to let loose and have a lot of fun.
In fact, Lady Sandler steals almost every scene she's in with Man Sandler, and if you think that's confusing, you'll really be stumped on how they did the special effects. After a while, even the audience forgets about trying to keep track of the two Sandlers and starts to root for the Lady Sandler.
Following this? Don't worry, it's easy. Imagine everything you hate about yourself personified in someone who looks exactly like you, and worse, they're staying at your house and they just won't leave. Question is, how are you going to deal with it?
In classic Sandler style, he confronts the issue with love and a strong family message. The film pulls at the heart strings even when the fart jokes just keep coming and coming. Ever heard of chimichanga bombs? Don't ask. A little bit Grown Ups, a little bit drag comedy, a smidge of the awkwardness of The Waterboy and a whole lot of the heartwarming feel of Big Daddy, Jack and Jill is a very funny family film.
Bottom line: Jack and Jill might surprise you with its heartwarming look at how to love your family when all you want to do is run when you hear the doorbell ringing this holiday season.
Photos courtesy: Sony Pictures
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