As this blog exists for the sole purpose of discussing and celebrating the worst that Hollywood has to offer; a post that explores what actually constitutes bad film-making is long-overdue. And who better to illustrate this concept than Adam Sandler? He, of Jack and Jill and Waterboy fame, has been nominated for eleven Razzie Awards, a number that makes him the most nominated individual in their history.
Adam Sandler is a contentious issue amongst most mainstream cinema-goers. My boyfriend, for instance, loves him, as do most people under the age of eleven I know. I personally have woken up in a cold sweat after having had nightmares about Sandler in his ‘Jill’ drag, screeching at me. Sandler has been accused of (in no particular order): racism, sexism and homophobia. I would include ‘ableist’ in this list, as I consider Waterboy, and it’s use of the word “retard” as a punchline to be offensive. Many critics, however, disagree with me and it’s 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes makes it ineligible for inclusion in this post. Vice Sports even described it as “Adam Sandler’s Least Bad Football Movie.” 2011’s Jack and Jill is not so lucky. It holds a 3% ‘rotten’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest film reviewed so far.
That should have been obvious from the premise, considering that if there is anything worse than one Adam Sandler’s, it’s two Adam Sandler’s. It centers around Jack, an ad exec and the mayhem that ensues when his twin sister Jill comes to stay for the holidays.
Some movies, as was discussed in the cult cinema post, are considered so bad they’re good. There are a variety of factors that determine this, the most fundamental being a certain ironic self-awareness. Jack and Jill does not possess such a quality. Instead, it is a succession of fart jokes and poorly disguised product placement. Low-brow humor does not necessarily a bad film make, but, as was illustrated with The Brothers Grimsby, there is a fine line between a guilty chuckle and outright disgust. Low-budget films do not mean low quality, on the contrary, they often feel more genuine than their bland, Hollywood studio counterparts.
Finally, acting plays a major role in a film’s watchability. Sandler has become so lazy that he isn’t even bothering to act anymore, his characters are just recycled versions of him. It is a true testament to his lack of a ability that the previous statement remains true, even when he is playing a woman. Things are reportedly looking up for Sandler though. His new film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) got a four-minute standing ovation at Cannes.
Here’s hoping that he is able to shed his Razzie Repeat Offender status and never wears a dress again.