Jack and Jill
Al Pacino romantically pursuing a cross-dressing Adam Sandler around a medieval castle should be stunningly surreal, so it’s a not-inconsiderable failure that Jack and Jill manages only dim, desperate outrageousness instead. Credit some of that misfire to director Dennis Dugan, whose aesthetic rule of thumb remains: “The visually flatter, the better.” Yet Sandler is equally responsible for the literal and figurative flatulence of his latest, in which the star assumes the dual roles of advertising bigwig Jack and his whiny, clingy Bronx-born twin sister Jill, who comes to stay with Jack and his multicultural family in L.A. for Thanksgiving and then refuses to leave. Sandler coasts by as the mean-spirited, eye-rolling Jack and hams it up as Jill, prancing about in ugly dresses while making silly faces and speaking in the nasally voice of his Saturday Night Live Gap girl. It’s a dull drag-show routine headed nowhere until Pacino (playing a self-important version of himself) begins stalking Jill, along the way riffing on his dearth of Oscars and pretentiously pretending to speak foreign languages. His self-mockery is delivered with wild-eyed zest, though not enough to overshadow the one-noteness of the shoddy sibling-centric shenanigans, and definitely not enough to overcome Sandler’s sub-Peter Sellers schtick.
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