Fart jokes at age 45?
Adam Sandler is still doing them and usually within five minutes of the beginning of a movie. Hard to believe isn’t it? And he doesn’t stick with just one. Sandler’s form of “humor” can be found twice, thrice, sometimes even four times in a film.
Prepubescent boys find a toot a hoot. By the time you’re 15, fart jokes are pretty much passe. Maybe it’s Sandler’s signature. Modern comedians tend not to use them. Billy Crystal is one of the few. He’s simply marvelous. A lot of old-time comedians did. Jimmy Durante said goodnight to Mrs. Calabash. Bill Cosby’s signature is, “Hey, hey, hey.” George Burns told his lovely bride to, “Say goodnight, Gracie.”
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Fart jokes as a signature? Whatever. Sandler’s maturity level is questionable, and the older he gets the more questionable it becomes. Great comedians usually ripen with age. Sandler gives us a different kind of ripe.
What’s ironic is the funniest bits in Jack and Jill are the fart jokes. I almost laughed. Almost.
Here’s the premise. Ripping a page from Eddie Murphy and Tyler Perry, Sandler plays both Jack and his twin sister, Jill. He’s happily married to a character done by Katie Holmes, and they have two adopted children. The kids are roped into doing some badly conceived sight gags and Holmes has nothing at all to do other than deliver her lines like she’s reading them off a teleprompter.
Anyway, twin brother and sister don’t really get along. She’s obnoxious and loud, while he’s manipulative and does everything he can to avoid contact with her. Jill comes for Thanksgiving. About that time Jack’s ad agency learns that it must land Al Pacino for a part in a commercial or lose a very, very big account.
As the film progresses, you get the former Godfather prancing about and over-emoting while expressing his undying love for Jill. Jack — of course — uses that to his advantage. We see no advantage at all for Pacino doing the part other than collecting the paycheck.
Jack and Jill is bothersome. As you may have guessed from my comments, it’s a terrible movie. A zero rating is not easy to earn, but the movie is the worst I’ve seen in a year full of really bad films. Even the zero-rated and mindless Anna Faris flick What’s Your Number is better.
Is it possible that one zero can be better than another? In this case, yes.
I don’t expect much of mostly talentless Faris. I’ve always had high hopes that Sandler would mature and grow. He’s flirted a time or two with mature roles — Punch Drunk Love, Reign Over Me and Funny People — but like someone out of their comfort zone, he quickly slips back into comedy mode.
Only he’s not funny.
Unlike Faris and some of his SNL alumni, Sandler has tons of talent. He’s a natural comedian with pitch-perfect timing. He is charismatic, lights up the screen and you can’t help but like the guy. And on the rare occasions when he turns it on — in the films just mentioned — Sandler is a very good dramatic actor who shows exceptional emotional depth.
So what does he do with that talent? Nothing. He produces and stars in crap such as Jack and Jill. The last decent Sandler film was 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore. The chemistry between the two stars — who also sizzled in The Wedding Singer— drove the movie.
Sandler has been making really bad movies for a really long time. They didn’t screen Just Go for It for this critic, but his last flicks Grown Ups, Don’t Mess with the Zohan and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry really sucked.
And now Sandler has crowned a new champion. Jack and Jill now has the distinction of being the worst Adam Sandler movie ever.
Mr. Movie rating: 0 stars
Rated R for mature themes, sex and language. It opens Friday, Nov. 11 at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at the Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.