Review in a Hurry: Adam Sandler once again takes the low road to laughs by playing identical twins: One’s a dude and the other looks like a dude in bad drag. It plays out as lame as you might think with the dude version being Sandler in “angry” mode and the sister nothing more than a collection of obnoxious traits.
If not for a few sorta funny scenes with Al Pacino (playing himself), this would be the worst film of the year. As it is, it’s merely one of the worst films of the year…so hooray for that.
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The Bigger Picture: Turns out all those trailers and posters for Adam Sandler’s latest romp really are for an actual movie. We thought it was a riff on his character from Funny People, a famous comedy actor who’s finally succumbed to making the dreaded man-in-drag flick. Nope, it’s a real film that will play at the multiplex. Sadly, there’s never a moment where Sandler looks at the camera and says, “Just kidding, I mean, that would be terrible if I had actually made that!”
None of the gags in this laugh-free zone are even remotely funny. From the moment sister Jill shows up for an extended visit with her brother Jack and his family, everything is played to the hilt. Gross sweat stains, a gas explosion from Mexican food, and really horrible computer-generated FX with donkeys and JetSkis. Didn’t anyone think that Sandler with his pretend lady voice would have been a bad idea for a five-minute SNL skit let alone an entire feature?
A number of Sandler’s usual suspects make cameos like a fake cleavage-baring David Spade as a Jersey girl. But clearly, Sandler has a lot of friends in Hollywood as, in addition to getting Pacino, there are a host of other appearances. (Poor Katie Holmes plays Sandler’s wife.) And what is Johnny Depp doing in this? Depp shows up during a courtside scene at a Lakers game, so we’re hoping he was just there and Sandler started filming?
Pacino as Pacino has the hots for Jill, and while that doesn’t work, there are a few scenes that indulge in the usually serious-minded actor’s traits that do work. While it isn’t memorable, exactly, seeing Al take a call while doing Shakespeare is slightly amusing.
The strangest thing about this turkey? Near the end of the film (Spoiler! Oh, who cares), Jack realizes that social outcast Jill is a good sibling and worth caring about, and, well, that scene actually works. Though it’s totally obvious and uninspired, somehow at the very end, Sandler manages to eek out some semblance of a character in both the brother and the sister. And it lasts all of five minutes…
The 180—a Second Opinion: If you’re a die-hard fan of Sandler and his Happy Madison productions, you know what to expect. The many poop jokes, over-the-top stereotypes and Sandler’s cringe-worthy falsetto are packed into the (mercifully) short 90 minutes.
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