I lost the Sheaf’s Oscar poll to arts editor Aren Bergstrom. As punishment, I agreed to compare Adam Sandler’s recent Razzie champ Jack and Jill with the eternal gong show Bio-Dome, starring Pauly Shore and one of the unfunny Baldwins.
Jack and Jill is very recent and therefore representative of the times we’re living in and Bio-Dome is the only other crappy comedy I’ve watched recently. I’m going to pit them against each other in three categories — story, performance and comedy — in order to determine which movie is less cringe-inducing.
In Jack and Jill, a successful advertising executive, Jack, played by Sandler, is faced with a curious dilemma. His biggest client, Dunkin’ Donuts, wants Al Pacino to star in a new commercial to promote their drink “The Dunkerino.”
The real plot revolves around a visit from Jack’s sister Jill, also played by Sandler. Jack doesn’t enjoy her company. She’s obnoxious, racist, homophobic and horrible in every conceivable way. When Jack discovers that Pacino likes Jill, Jack conspires to use his sister to convince Pacino to appear in the commercial.
In the end Jack and Jill make up and everyone lives happily ever after.
In Bio-Dome, two dudes from the ’90s with hot girlfriends and a decent house but no jobs, enthusiasm or ambition get trapped inside a bio-dome. The bio-dome is inhabited by ingenious scientists trying to study life in an enclosed area.
Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin come across the bio-dome when they mistake it for a giant mall. After sneaking in they are sealed off for a year with the scientists. The dudes screw around until the head scientist banishes them to the desert where they discover a key that allows them to escape.
They return to throw a party, wreaking havoc inside the dome. Seeing the error of their ways, the dudes agree to help fix the dome. But the head scientist has gone mad and wants to blow the structure up. The scientist is thwarted and everyone lives happily ever after.
Winner: I have to go with Bio-Dome. Granted, the story isn’t handled well but Jack and Jill is handled just as poorly and reminds me of a bad sitcom idea.
Bio-Dome — 1
Jack and Jill — 0
The big hook in Jack and Jill is that one twin is Adam Sandler and the other is Adam Sandler wearing a wig. Adam Sandler is convinced that the trick to playing a woman is to speak with a lisp and wear a dress.
The movie has one saving grace in Pacino. Ever a professional, he gives his all in this performance. It’s not a good one—you pity him
— but there are a few moments when you can see that Pacino is still a great actor.
Bio-Dome has no redeeming performances. Pauly Shore is Pauly Shore, which is about as bad as it gets. The other lead is unmemorable Baldwin brother #644. The movie consists of those two going nuts with no character growth whatsoever. They just run around being their annoying selves the entire movie.
The other performances are just as bad. The villain is so cliché that you’ll want to draw a moustache on the TV. The girlfriends are completely underwritten and not respectfully treated. They are shown as uninteresting killjoys who want to change their men but seem to have no interest in lives beyond them. Abysmal.
Winner: By a Pacino (which in this case is still not much), Jack and Jill.
Bio-Dome — 1
Jack and Jill — 1
That leaves one last category to examine: comedy. Which movie made me laugh… at all?
Jack and Jill scrapes the bottom of the barrel for its attempts at humor. When it’s not busy with confusing slapstick or reducing a family of Latinos to a border-crossing joke, Sandler brings in every celebrity cameo imaginable in the hopes that they might capture your interest long enough to get a chuckle. This happens endlessly, with the appearance of everyone from Norm MacDonald to Johnny Depp.
Bio-Dome’s comedy is dependent on the two leads. They do not deliver. They run around smacking their heads into things, making noises and annoying the scientists. Handled properly, their antics might have been endearing. However, their inanity makes the viewer want to side with the bomb-crazy villain.
In one scene, the two leads are driving to meet their girlfriends when they see the bio-dome.
“What does bio-dome mean?” one asks.
“I dunno. Think it goes both ways?” the other responds.
“I dunno but we do!” the first one replies. They then pretend to make out, and afterwards sit blankly starring. So do we.
Don’t make me do this
Winner? You’re really going to make me decide?
Pacino has one funny joke in Jack and Jill, which he delivers when Jill destroys his Oscar.
“I’m so sorry, I’m sure you have others,” she says.
“Well, you’d think so,” he replies. “But oddly enough I don’t.”
So there you have it. That kind of got a chuckle out of me.
Bio-Dome — 1
Jack and Jill — 2
Winner: Jack and Jill.