A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like all Adam Sandler movies aimed at families, Jack and Jill includes lots of potty humor and crude jokes at the expense of women who don't fit the Hollywood ideal of beauty. Since Sandler plays both Jack and his twin sister, Jill, the movie "allows" him to make many jokes about women's bodies and personalities -- not to mention bodily functions. There's also plenty of insult language ("freak," "stupid," "loser," etc.), some suggestive comments/humor, and an extended sequence featuring a stereotypical Mexican family that may offend some viewers. Parents concerned with commercialism should note that the comedy is chock-full of product placements, from Sony (which is also the movie's distributor) to Dunkin Donuts and many, many more.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Jack (Adam Sandler) is a successful Hollywood advertising agent who dreads the annual Thanksgiving visit he receives from his Bronx-dwelling twin sister, Jill (also Sandler). Tactless (and loud) but sweet, Jill incessantly annoys Jack. When, during her most recent visit, Jill decides to stay past Thanksgiving through Hanukah -- and then New Year's -- Jack threatens to kick her out ... until Al Pacino (the star that Jack's client, Dunkin Donuts, wants to land for their new "Dunkaccino" campaign) shows a romantic interest in her after a brief encounter at a Lakers game. Jack is forced to decide whether he should respect Jill, who isn't interested in actor, or pretend to be her to score his business deal.
Is it any good?
There is precisely one reason to see JACK AND JILL: Pacino. The Academy Award winner chews up the scenery while poking fun at himself (particularly his penchant for losing his cool and channeling his iconic characters like Michael Corleone and Tony Montana), and he's hands down the movie's one hilarious gag. Once Pacino enters the picture, it's redeemed by his simultaneously self-deprecating and self-aggrandizing performance.
Without him, watching Sandler times two would be torture, not entertainment. How many fart and Mexican jokes can boys (and men!) endure before realizing that it's just not funny? How many times must Sandler play another version of a very rich man with few redeeming qualities whom the audience is supposed to root for? Gone is Sandler the underdog, the Everyman of his youth. He's been replaced with Sandler the King Midas of rude comedy geared toward boys who don't care whether his movies are more or less 90-minute commercials for the many products stuffed into them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Adam Sandler's movies are so popular. Are fart jokes and gags about people's appearance that funny? What's the difference between his "family" movies and the ones for older audiences?
How does Jack and Jill portray women? What message is it sending about appearance and body image?
Does the movie undermine or reinforce stereotypes? When does portraying an ethnic group shift from comedy to insulting?
Do you think that all of the companies and products featured in the movie are necessary to the plot? If not, why are they included?
- In theaters: November 11, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: March 6, 2012
- Cast: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes
- Director: Dennis Dugan
- Studio: Columbia Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Book Characters
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: crude material including suggestive references, language and comic violence
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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