‘Jack & Jill’ is a disaster

Kathryn Brostowitz

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There comes a time in every celebrity’s life when family comes before work. Unfortunately for movie goers, this means there is more of a chance that our favorite actors and actresses will choose to make kids’ movies over stories with any real credibility. As is the case with the slew of celebrity cameos in the new feel-good holiday movie “Jack and Jill.”

Director Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy) teams up with Adam Sandler for the seventh time to direct “Jack and Jill” starring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino.

The movie starts when we first meet Jack hard at work making television commercials. When he remembers his “identical twin” sister is coming to town for the annual Thanksgiving get-together, he is less than thrilled.

When we finally meet Jill, we see it is none other than Adam Sandler dressed in drag with a comically exaggerated New York accent. During Thanksgiving dinner, we see how awkward she is and why Jack dislikes her so much. Unfortunately, some of the awkwardness is due to the fact that many of the jokes simply aren’t funny.

Jill continuously pushes back the date of her return to the Bronx, and nothing much happens in terms of story progression other than the fact that she is still there, intruding on Jack’s family time.

After many minutes of trying to figure out where exactly the story is going, Jack has an opportunity to get Al Pacino (as himself) to do a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. Pacino agrees to do so only under the condition that Jill goes out with him because he’s fallen in love with her. The obligatory “Scarface” and “Godfather” references are made, but their placement felt forced. Since the majority of the theatre was filled with 13-year-olds, the references were missed entirely.

Although the movie is rated PG, there are plenty of adult-related scenes, including Pacino miming an obscenity with a ball bat. It would have been cleverly placed if Sandler’s character hadn’t pointed it out, asking audiences to please take notice as if we weren’t smart enough to figure it out ourselves.

What is supposed to be a family-friendly holiday film really is little more than one awkward moment after another with horrible acting and bad jokes. The fact that names such as Al Pacino and Johnny Depp (who makes a cameo wearing a Justin Bieber t-shirt) are associated with this film make this film a little embarrassing. If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving movie to watch next week, skip this one and just stick with “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

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