Jack and Jill / An Open Letter to Adam Sandler

WARNING:  The following review in written completely in the form of an open letter to its star, producer and writer, Adam Sandler.  In doing so, I can not only give you, the readers, my honest opinion on his most recent film, Jack and Jill, but also share my thoughts on his career in general.  It is my hope that by some chance, Mr. Sandler finds this article and decides to give my humble opinion its due consideration.  I do not have a degree in journalism nor do I have any credentials (unless you count that useless film degree) beyond my nearly thirty-year love affair with cinema and that is exactly why I feel my opinion should matter.  I am not a high minded critic who thinks Steve Coogan is the only person who can make a funny movie.  I am not a film executive who is worried about the bottom line.  I am a fan.  I am the kind of person comedians like Mr. Sandler should be making movies for.  I am the rain-or-shine best-or-worst fan of film.  I see everything that comes out and I judge them all on their own merits.  The entire thing will also be written stream of consciousness, without editing.  I have limited myself to one hour and thirty-three minutes, as that was the runtime of Jack and Jill.  While the time constraint may mean that this will not be the most eloquently written appeal, it will verify that it is honest.  And with that, on to the review.

Dear Mr. Adam Sandler,

What happened?  Seriously.  What happened?

A few months back, fellow Fandom Menacer and I saw Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, a film you produced.  It was so terrible that, although I promised to write a review for this site, I still haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.  In the past, we overlooked your B-Team’s films (Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, The Benchwarmers and who could forget Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo) because we knew that wasn’t the best you had to offer.  Those movies showed your incredible charity towards the people in your life and while they rarely proved to have any comedic or financial value, they gave your lesser known friends the opportunity to showcase themselves in starring roles.  We happily ignored them like the dog-farts they were because we knew that you would deliver with your own bigger, funnier picture later that year.

The problem is, this is no longer the case.  While you still follow the formula of producing two or more pictures a year, one for you and one for your friends, the quality of your own films have spiraled to the point that they are now often on-par with the worst of your friend’s offerings or, in the case of Jack and Jill, much much worse.  Like Matt said coming out of the theater, “Jack and Jill is more offensive then Bucky Larson because unlike Nick Swadson, Sandler used to be funny.”  And he’s right.  You have a long history of movies that have made us laugh and smile.  Happy Gilmore still stands as one of my favorite comedies of all time and films like Punch Drunk Love showed that you have an extreme potential for dramatic work.  So again, I ask, what happened?

While the Happy Madison logo was once a promise of quality, it has now become a sign of dread.  Each new film becomes more and more insulting.  Grown Ups was annoying, Just Go With It was abysmal, but Jack and Jill, your latest attempt at “comedy,” is just depressing.  The story makes no attempt at making any sense.  Characters are infused with personality traits that serve no purpose beyond being the source of cheap “jokes.”  Bland jokes, badly constructed one-liners and inexplicably boring bathroom gags (how do you screw up poop jokes?!) drip off the screen like applesauce out of a retard’s mouth.  Jack was a bi-polar mess and Jill was racist, annoying and repulsive which made it incredibly difficult to feel sorry for her in the least.  The lack of effort put forth in the writing, acting and directing make it hard to invest in the film at all and without investment, its hard to make an audience laugh.  While your older films used to be based in interesting characters and situations with clear motivation driving the story forward, Jack and Jill stumbles like a drunk with no direction, never finding its footing.  What makes it really hurtful though is that none of you seemed to care.

I don’t know if its that you have become jaded by your success, bored with your fame or that you’ve completely lost faith in your audience, but it needs to stop.  We want to love you, we really do.  But like anyone in an abusive relationship, things eventually need to come to a head.  I sat idly by for the past five years watching it happened and, outside of conversations with friends, kept it to myself.  But no more.  This latest affront to audiences stands as a call to arms.  I almost wonder if you are daring your fan base to stand up and demand that you return to your comedic roots loud enough that the studios stop pressuring you to do family-friendly films and beg you to go back to what you do best.  But part of me fears that the studio has little to do with the choices you’ve made over the past five years.

Whatever the case, I’m not asking for an apology.  What I am asking for is an explanation.  If it’s about the money, say so.  I can accept that.  But to keep releasing more and more of this nonsense is offensive.  You have all the potential to stand as a comedy legend but if you keep on your current path, all you will be remembered for is shit like this and none of us want that.

So please, Mr. Sandler, explain it to us.  Our email is always open to us.  We would all love to hear your side of the story.  If you don’t offer one, we will have to assume you have no interest in earning back our trust or respect because Jack and Jill, to paraphrase principal in Billy Madison, “was one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen.  At no point in this film were you even close to anything that could be considered comedy or logical storytelling.  Everyone in this theater is dumber for having watched it.  I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

Andrew Craig
The Fandom Menace

RATING: 0/10

Jack and Jill currently has 3% on Rotten Tomatoes.

~ by Andrew Craig on November 13, 2011.

7 Responses to “Jack and Jill / An Open Letter to Adam Sandler”

  1. This is excellent. I refuse to watch anything remotely associated with Adam Sandler. Happy Gilmore I will accept, but nothing else.

    • To be fair Laura, I also enjoyed his 05 remake of The Longest Yard, but most of that is due to the strong ensemble cast. Perhaps if enough internet bloggers/reviewers band together, these people will start to take responsibility for what they put out.

  2. Truer words have never been spoken Craig.

  3. This may be the greatest thing we will ever put on this site.

  4. When and where, sir. When and where.

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