Look, terrible movies are released every week. I understand that; I don’t love it, but I will allow it. But the fact that Jack and Jill opens this month instills in my heart a righteous fury that can only be quelled by a blog rant.
How did we get back here? The early aughts were a dark time when marquees were lit up with titles like Big Momma’s House, Sorority Boys, White Chicks and Juwanna Mann. Haven’t we as a society evolved past films whose sole premise consists of men playing women for comedic effect? And why hasn’t Adam Sandler personally evolved past this idiocy? I would never argue that Sandler suffers from an overabundance of artistic integrity, but Punch Drunk Love, The Wedding Singer, Funny People–those are real movies. Movies with plots and characters and stories. In Funny People, Sandler plays a sold-out, bitter, insincere comedic actor who’s made millions of dollars acting in substance-free movies in which he dresses up as women (well, mermaids) to entertain the unwashed masses. Sandler is clearly that sold-out actor. Are we those unwashed masses? Is this movie going to make him millions of dollars? Please don’t let it be so.
The “funny” bits in the trailer are entirely bereft of humor. Fraternal and nocturnal sort of rhyme! (Never mind that the set-up for that “joke” involves someone asking the nonsensical question of whether a brother and sister are identical twins.) Twister and sister also rhyme! Adam Sandler admits that he looks like Adam Sandler in a wig! Al Pacino wears a fake beard and hits on Sandler via hot dog!
Everything about this trailer is offensive: the implication that audiences are imbecilic enough to buy this shit; the fact that director Dennis Dugan is still allowed to make movies; the fact that it took THREE writers to cobble together this screenplay; the fact that this is the only kind of movie Tom Cruise will allow Katie Holmes to make these days; the sing-songy cornball narration; the bland and generic title; the excruciating agony of watching Adam Sandler play straight man to himself. I’m offended that people will defend this movie as a family film, something to entertain the kids. The trailer alone is a lesson in what NOT to teach children: it’s funny to make fun of overweight people. Hitting is cool. And most importantly, women are ridiculous.
Yeah, that’s my real problem with Jack and Jill and all of the crap movies it’s emulating. When women cross-dress in movies, it’s a crucial part of the story. The woman is transforming herself into a man in order to accomplish something she is forbidden as a woman: Just One of the Guys, Yentl, Shakespeare in Love, etc. When men cross-dress in movies, it’s in order to mock women. You know that speech in Kill Bill where Bill says that Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race: weak, unsure of himself, a coward? Jack and Jill, Sorority Boys, Big Momma’s House–those movies are man’s critique on woman. We’re fat, we’re loud, we’re over-emotional, we’re graceless. We’re irritating and asinine, irresponsible and without sense, but deep down we’re here to help men learn a lesson about themselves and open up their hearts a little in the process.
Well here’s a lesson, fellas. This minstrel show shit has got to go. Adam Sandler acting like a dumbass in a wig looks a whole hell of a lot like Mickey Rooney acting like a dumbass with slanted eyes in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and I am utterly and wholly sick of it.