Alright, so I’ll preface this review by admitting my views on movies are rarely agreeable with what the popular opinion is. For example, I ranted about how much Toy Story 4 disappointed me in my last film review, though it has a 97% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Today’s review follows a similar case.
The 2011 family film Jack and Jill, starring Adam Sandler in a dual role as twins Jack and Jill Sadelstein, is claimed by many to be one of the worst films ever made. On the other hand, I consider it one of my favorite–and most quotable–films.
I was shocked, years after the film’s release, to find that so many people seem to loathe the movie. Today, I’d like to make a case for why viewers should give Jack and Jill a chance.
For those who have never seen the movie, Jill is Jack’s twin sister who lives in the Bronx. While Jack is married, has two kids, and works for a well-to-do advertising firm, Jill is single, has multitudes of weird quirks, and is considered a general nuisance by most who know her.
When the movie begins, Jill flies across the country to spend Thanksgiving with Jack’s family, and ends up staying longer than her brother desires.
Most of the negative reviews I’ve read claim that Jill’s annoying personality is what makes the movie difficult to enjoy. I, for one, believe Jill’s “over-the-top annoyingness” is a phenomenal portrayal on Sandler’s part. The film is a comedy, and instead of Jill’s actions being taken seriously, I found her character to be satirically written. Perhaps Sandler, or one of the film’s writers, has an aunt (or other family member) who acts as far-out as Jill and wants to give other viewers something to relate to with her portrayal. Personally, Jill reminds me a lot of someone in my own family, so I’ve always found Jill to be hilarious.
Perfect for the Holiday Season
Though Jack and Jill is a film that can be watched at any time during the year, the events of the movie coincide with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. Because of this, and the satirical reasons I mentioned above, I feel it’s a perfect comedy to play when the anxiety of holiday family events hits. The painfully awkward conversations that take place at the Thanksgiving table in the film create one of my favorite scenes that my sister and I quote constantly.
A Different Side of Al Pacino
Though Mr. Pacino plays himself in the film (and is a bit creepy when it comes to his relationship with Jill), it is a different, more humorous side of Pacino that viewers haven’t seen in his most-known films like The Godfather or Scarface.
One of the biggest complaints about Jack and Jill by reviewers is that this film is the worst of Pacino’s career, and it hurts his reputation as an actor. I disagree.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen any other Pacino films, but I thought he was absolutely hilarious portraying a well-known actor going through a neurotic episode and going after a woman no one else deems attractive. Though Jack and Jill isn’t his typical genre of film, I found it brave for him to branch out into comedy and poke fun at himself. It’s great that he doesn’t take himself as seriously as film audiences do. Because of this, Jack and Jill won me over as a Pacino fan.
Focus on Sibling Relationships
In a world where children are often bombarded with romantic plots in films that are deemed appropriate for their age, it’s nice to have some variation thrown in to highlight other relationships. Jack and Jill‘s main purpose is to show viewers the importance of sibling relationships, especially after the death of their parents.
The film stresses that, even though family can get on our nerves, that at the end of the day, we need to cherish them while they’re around. Viewers who have lost family members, or have estranged family members, may appreciate this aspect more.
Lastly, Jack and Jill is my favorite Sandler film for a good reason: it is cleaner than most of his previous films. Don’t get me wrong, I like Billy Madison, The Water Boy, Just Go With It, and a few others, but they often feature profanity and nasty (often sexualized) jokes that I’m not comfortable with.
Jack and Jill is rated PG, and features no cussing as far as I can recall. Though there are a couple innuendo jokes, they’re discrete enough to fly right over a kid’s head. It is a much cleaner alternative to Sandler’s Grown Ups that is also geared toward kids.
I’m aware that Jack and Jill isn’t a comedic cinematic masterpiece like Forrest Gump, but for the audience it is geared for, I feel like it successfully completes its purpose as a film. Not everyone likes it, and that’s okay, but I feel like other reviewers are a bit too critical on some aspects. If you’re a fan of clean comedy, you should definitely give it a chance.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Have you seen Jack and Jill? What were your thoughts on the film? Let me know in the comments!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.