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'Jack & Jill' has good family message

By Shawn O'Neill

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Nov. 11 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

In this image released by Sony Pictures, Adam Sandler portrays both Jill, left, and Jack in a scene from "Jack & Jill."

Associated Press

"JACK AND JILL" — ★ ★ ★ — Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Eugenio Derbez; Rated PG: mild vulgar language, comic violence, crude humor; general release.

The word "family" can be the catalyst for so many different emotions.

For some, family is the epitome of joy, happiness and all that life can offer. Then there are those who dread the time they are forced to spend with relatives.

In the film "Jack and Jill," there is an example of both — and they are twins.

Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler) is straddling the fence on his family. He loves his wife and kids and in fact has booked a cruise with his family for the week after Hanukkah. What he doesn't like is the yearly visit from his twin sister, Jill (Adam Sandler).

Jill is her own person. She does things her own way, which for Jack seems as though she is imposing on others. Like when she changes her flight so he must pick her up at the airport at 4:30 a.m. instead of in the afternoon.

Jack has moved on from his days in the Bronx. He is now making commercials in California and is married and has two kids. Jill on the other hand stayed in the borough and took care of her parents and never married. Now that her mother has died, Jill is alone.

This year Jill is supposed to stay for four days around Thanksgiving and then go home. Jack keeps telling himself that it's only four days. As it turns out, Jill has purchased an open-ended ticket and can go home whenever she chooses.

Jack and his wife, Erin (Katie Holmes), realize that Jill is lonely and so they invite her to stay even longer. The family also helps her sign up for an online dating service. After Jill is devastated by not getting any response online, Jack hopes he can get her out of his house by getting men to go to her profile by posting an ad on Craig's List. The date she goes on is not successful.

Jack and Jill is another one of those movies that you will have fun watching. Then you will ask yourself, "Should I be laughing at this?" There is a bit of potty humor. Of course, I'm not sure there has been an Adam Sandler film without those kinds of gags. Some will find that funny, but it can get old as well.

Sandler had a challenge to pull off, playing two characters. Yes they are twins, but he had to play a female role. He did so very well. The proof comes when his male character must dress up as the female character. He made it feel like he was Jack dressed as Jill, instead of playing the Jill character. Another good performance came from Al Pacino. He plays himself in this film and has a good time poking fun at himself.

Parents, you will have to take the potty humor into consideration when deciding whether or not your kids should see this film. There is some sexual humor as well. There is some smoking and some violence, though it's fairly comedic in nature.

Overall, this film does have a good family message. Sandler and his Happy Madison production company have been doing more family-relatable movies lately, and they need to continue. It is possible "Jack and Jill" could help you deal with your own family this holiday season.

If nothing else, maybe you can get away from them by going to the theater.

"Jack and Jill" is rated PG for mild vulgar language, comic violence, crude humor; running time: 90 minutes.

Shawn O'Neill is the Family Man Movie Reviewer on BYU Radio. His reviews can be heard on BYURadio.org and on SiriusXM Channel 143.

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