Look, we’re not saying that Adam Sandler doesn’t care about his fans here—on the contrary, he thinks about them too much. Rather than push himself creatively and see if his supporters follow, Sandler has always reheated his own stale goods just to give his easily satisfied fan base what is wants, no questions asked. But, and we’re quite aware that we’ve attacked this film numerous times in this list, an effort like Jack and Jill is, whether he realizes it or not, an insult, as if to say, “I know you’re all going to pay to see this just because I’m in it, so here goes nothing—literally!”
There once was a time when Sandler took risks, like when he signed on to make 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love, or when he worked with the reputable James L. Brooks on Spanglish (2004), or his brave decision to play a post-9/11 fractured soul in Reign Over Me (2007). Clearly, from ’02 through ’07, he had bigger things in mind for his career than fart jokes and employing Nick Swardson—yes, he gave a shit about the artistry.
Perhaps the underwhelming box office performance of 2009’s daringly dramatic Funny People left a bitter taste in Sandler’s mouth, prompting him to retreat back to his idiot-proof, and idiot-serving, methods.
But, if that’s the deal, he should go back and read Funny People’s reviews from the game’s most respected critics. Roger Ebert, for one, had this to say: “I realized here, as I did during his Punch-Drunk Love, that [Adam Sandler] contains an entirely different actor than the one we're familiar with. His fans are perfectly happy with Sandler's usual persona, the passive-aggressive semi-simpleton. This other Sandler plays above and below that guy, and more deeply.”
See, people recognize genuine talent when it’s before them. If only Sandler cared more about respect and admiration than surefire dollars and hanging out with less gifted friends.