Jill and Jack (both, Adam Sandler) in Columbia Pictures' JACK & JILL.
Is it possible that "Jack and Jill" did what hypnotherapy was unable to? Make Dunkin Donuts unappealing?
Yup. It sure did.
Flooded with blatant product placement for Dunkin Donuts, Carnival Cruises and Pepto Bismol, which actually would have helped our churning entrails after sitting through what might be the most painful 91 minutes of 2011, we emerged from witnessing Adam Sandler play twin versions of himself—the dull, sardonic Jack and nails-on-a-chalkboard, forgotten Bosom Buddy Jill—with one burning question: Why?
Why make a film this rancidly unoriginal? Why pretend it's a movie and not a commercial? Why did all those big names agree to cameos? And why release it in America when it was so obviously made in the international language of "Funny man in a dress fall down," where every time the box office hits another overseas $100 million dollar ca-ching, an angel cries?
But then came the how's?
How did they get Al Pacino—an Oscar winner, Michael Corleone for crying out loud—to sign on for this dreck? How could Katie Holmes have possibly thought playing the near-mute, cardboard standup, bobble head wife of Sandler would be a good career move? How many fart jokes can one movie have?
Recently we ran into "Jack and Jill"'s co-screenwriter Steve Koren, a former "SNL" writer who went on to pen both the failed Will Ferrell vehicle, "A Night at the Roxbury," and Molly Shannon's nonstarter, "Superstar," as well as "Bruce Almighty" and "Click." A little bitterly, when we he told us he had a hand in "Jack and Jill," he added, "I'm sure you'll hate it but, like [Adam Sandler] always says, the lower the Rotten Tomato meter, the higher the box office."
As much as we hope audiences will prove him wrong, the sad truth is, "Jack and Jill," for all of its painful execution and middling humor, will probably kill at the box office even as it tops many critics' Worst of 2011 lists.
And the worst part is; now we can't even eat a donut to make ourselves feel better.