Has Adam Sandler Fallen Down the Comedic Hill With “Jack and Jill”?
“Happy Gilmore.” “Billy Madison.” Within my circle of friends, these Adam Sandler vehicles are as close to comedic masterpiece as you can get. Heck, I’d even call myself a fan of later (and lesser) films like “Big Daddy” and “The Wedding Singer.”
What do these movies have in common? One, they’re side-splittingly hilarious. Two, they came out pre-Happy Madison Productions, Sandler’s film/TV production company. The first Happy Madison Production? 1999’s horrific “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.” That was just a taste of things to come.
As not to stray from its string of unfunny, but money-making movies (e.g. “Click,” “Grown Ups,” “Just Go With It”), Happy Madison has released the dismal “Jack and Jill.” If you haven’t seen the embarrassing previews, Sandler’s in drag playing a twin brother and sister. That’s right; he’s treading Eddie Murphy territory – and we know how things worked out for him.
Unfortunately, the likes of great comedic writers Steve Koren (“Seinfeld”) and Robert Smigel (“SNL”) can’t save this bomb. It’s currently got a 3% Fresh Rating at Rotten Tomatoes (that’s less than Bennifer’s “Gigli” for those keeping track.) The thing is “Jack and Jill” isn’t an anomaly, rather a sad inevitability.
It seems when Sandler transformed from a comedian into a brand, his films became less of a showcase for great jokes and funny story lines and more about how Adam Sandler-y he could be. Sure, “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” gets laughs, but we’re laughing at how bad it is, not with it.
Maybe I’ve grown up. Maybe Sandler has always catered to 14-year-old’s and I grew out of that demographic some time ago. Are Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore funny because I thought they were when I was still shedding baby fat? The only thing I can say is Sandler didn’t have to resort to wearing a dress a la Tyler Perry’s Madea back in the mid-to-late 90s. Back then he just wore hockey jerseys.
See for yourself if Sandler’s comedy is still up to snuff and dare to see “Jack and Jill.” You might be part of the 3% that found it worthwhile. If you’re like me, you’ll probably have more fun watching Sandler pelt kids with kickballs and get in a fist fight with Bob Barker.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.