Jack and Jill is a 2011 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan, written by Steve Koren and Adam Sandler, and starring Adam Sandler (in a dual role), Katie Holmes, and Al Pacino. The plot follows an ad executive who must survive the holidays when his annoying twin sister comes to visit. The film was released on November 11, 2011 by Columbia Pictures and grossed $149 million against its $79 million budget.
Jack and Jill received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, and is considered by some to be one of the worst films ever made. It was nominated for a record of 12 Razzies, including Worst Picture as well as Worst Actor and Worst Actress for Sandler, and "won" 10 total awards.
|Jack and Jill|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dennis Dugan|
|Story by||Ben Zook|
|Edited by||Tom Costain|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$149.7 million|
Home videos show fraternal twins Jack and Jill Sadelstein growing up in New York City. Jack is the gifted twin, while Jill constantly tries—and fails miserably—to get his attention by injuring him and/or driving others away from him. In present-day Los Angeles, Jack is a successful advertising executive who lives with his wife Erin and their two kids Sofia and Gary, a Hindu child they adopted at birth. Jill never left the working-class neighborhood they grew up in; she recently inherited the Sadelstein home, having lived with their mother until her death a year ago.
As always, Jack is irritated by the upcoming Thanksgiving visit of his sister. Jill ruins Thanksgiving dinner by loudly embarrassing a homeless guest. Jack snaps at his sister, making Jill run into the woods with her pet cockatoo Poopsie. Erin demands that Jack apologize, which he unwillingly does. Jill has a list of things she wants to do while in Los Angeles: be on a game show (The Price is Right, which gives Jill a carload of prizes after she knocks herself out while spinning the wheel); go horseback riding (she proves too heavy for the pony, which collapses under her); and do a studio tour. Since Jill has an open-ended plane ticket, she decides to stay until after Hanukkah, to Jack's horror. Jack encourages Jill to try online dating, but she is unsuccessful until Jack alters her profile. When Jill's date "Funbucket" meets her, he hides in the men's room until she leaves the restaurant.
Jack's agency client, meanwhile, wants him to somehow get actor Al Pacino to appear in a Dunkin' Donuts commercial to promote a new coffee called the "Dunkaccino". Jack takes Jill to a Lakers game where Pacino is supposed to be. Pacino ignores Jack but is taken with Jill and gives her his phone number. Jack hopes Jill will go home by New Year's Eve, as the family is going on a cruise. Jack's friends and colleagues throw him a birthday party, extending the invite to Jill. Again Jill loudly disgraces herself, Jack, and the various celebrities in attendance. Pacino brings Jill to his home, but despite his infatuation with her, she is uninterested with him and soon leaves. Jack's Mexican gardener Felipe, also smitten with Jill, takes her to meet his family at their annual fiesta, where she hits it off with everybody, and tries Mexican food for the first time, acquiring a horrible case of diarrhea.
Pacino refuses to do the commercial unless Jack gets him another date with Jill; to that end, Jack invites Jill on the cruise with his family. At sea, Jill refuses to see Pacino again, so Jack disguises himself as his sister and goes on her date with Pacino. Jill suspects that she was only invited just so Pacino would do the commercial; that is confirmed when she phones Jack, he answers as Jill, and hears Pacino in the background. Pacino, still believing Jack to be Jill, spells out that he sees Jill as an unrecognized woman proud of her brother's success. Feeling guilty, Jack returns to the ship, only to learn that Jill has gone back home to The Bronx. At a restaurant on New Year's Eve, toting a picture of her and Jack's late mother, Jill comes across a group of former classmates and bullies, led by Monica, who pick up directly where they left off until Jack, Erin and their kids show up. Jack and Jill converse in their made-up twin language (which even Jack finds incomprehensible). Monica attacks Erin and is cold cocked by Jill. Pacino also turns up at the party, dressed as the Man of La Mancha, and tells Jill that while he has feelings for her, there is another man more worthy of her than himself. She goes home, where Felipe and his children await her arrival. Felipe professes his love for Jill, and the two begin a relationship.
The television commercial is made, with Pacino starring and singing a rap song. When Jack shows it to him, Pacino tells him to destroy every copy.
The film opened in 3,438 theaters at #2 with $25,003,575, behind Immortals, which debuted in the top spot with $32,206,425. The film closed on February 26, 2012 with a total gross of $74,158,157 in North America. It also made $75,515,631 in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $149,673,788 against its $79 million budget.
Jack and Jill was widely panned by critics. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 3% based on 108 reviews and an average rating of 2.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Although it features an inexplicably committed performance from Al Pacino, Jack and Jill is impossible to recommend on any level whatsoever." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 23 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale. Jason Buchanan of allmovie gave the film his lowest star rating and described it as "aggressively unfunny".
In The Daily Beast, Ramin Setoodeh said, "This is, without a doubt, the worst movie that Adam Sandler’s ever made. In fact, it could be the worst movie ever made." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone also argued, "Al Pacino said something great. After he looks at himself in the commercial, he says, 'Burn this! Nobody must ever see this!' That's my review of Jack and Jill." Mary Pols of Time magazine ranked the film #1 on the Top 10 Worst Movies of 2011. The A.V. Club ranked it #1 on "The Worst Films of 2011" list (along with Just Go with It). TV Guide included the film on its "The Worst of 2011" list. Andrew Barker of Variety said that the film's "general stupidity, careless direction and reliance on a single-joke premise that was never really funny to begin with are only the most obvious of its problems." Internet review show Half in the Bag from RedLetterMedia criticized Jack and Jill for recycling gags from Sandler's previous films, incessant product placement, and laziness in terms of both writing and production quality, going so far as to characterize the entire production as a sinister embezzlement scam. They would later call it "the worst thing in the world". The film won a total of 10 Razzies in 2012, setting a record and displacing 2000's Battlefield Earth which had garnered 9 awards.
Despite generally scathing reviews, the film did receive some positive reception. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle stated that while he found the character Jill annoying, "almost everything else in this comedy succeeds. The central situation...has comic energy...[the film has] successful bits and big moments of satisfying comedy." Tom Russo of the Boston Globe gave the film two and a half out of a possible four stars, writing "What's more genuinely wacky is what a kick this movie can sometimes be, completely in spite of its big, flat stunt."
In the Razzie Awards, Jack and Jill was nominated for every single category, and twice for Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress, and won all 10 awards.
|List of awards and nominations|
|Award||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actor||Adam Sandler||Won|
|Razzie Awards||Worst Actor||Won|
|Worst Supporting Actor||Nick Swardson||Nominated|
|Worst Supporting Actress||David Spade (in drag)||Won|
|Worst Picture||Adam Sandler, Jack Giarraputo, and Todd Garner||Won|
|Worst Director||Dennis Dugan||Won|
|Worst Screenplay||Adam Sandler, Ben Zook, and Steve Koren||Won|
|Worst Screen Couple||Adam Sandler and either Al Pacino, Katie Holmes or Adam Sandler||Won|
|Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel||Ripoff of Glen or Glenda||Won|