JACK AND JILL VS THE WORLD
Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Taryn
Maning, Vanessa Parise, and
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 89 minutes
Distributor: Empera Pictures
Director: Vanessa Parise
Executive Producer: Jordan Gertner, Michael Z.
Gordon, Stephen Hays, Michael
Jaffe, John N. Kozman, and
Producer: Robin Dunne, Vanessa Parise
and Nicholas Tabarrok
Writer: Vanessa Parise and Peter
Address Comments To:Empera Pictures
9000 West Sunset Blvd., Suite 505
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Jill (played by Taryn Manning) is a romantic looking to live life to the fullest since she doesn’t know how long she may live because of her condition. She’s outgoing, energetic and loves life. Jack (played by Freddie Prinze Jr.) is an uptight advertising exec who cynically sees the world from his Madison Avenue perspective. When they meet, opposites attract. The plot turns on Jill not revealing her condition to Jack, building to when he eventually finds out. Jack has a choice to make, since being with Jill has many uncertainties.
While it is clearly a low budget movie, JACK AND JILL VS. THE WORLD does succeed as a pleasant romantic comedy. The performances are very strong by Prinze and Manning. The writing and direction succeed in keeping the tone light and not becoming maudlin. It is a “message” movie that affirms good things like relationship and loyalty. The pacing is tight, the music understated, and the production values engaging. It’s an entertaining movie.
JACK AND JILL creates characters that are instantly empathetic. The movie walks a fine line between being a light comedy and a more serious story dealing with Jill’s cystic fibrosis. Jack and Jill write a “manifesto for life” that values many good things such as honesty and beauty. However, in their “rules for life,” there is no mention of God or spirituality. Given that Jill must face her own mortality, you’d hope that she would look beyond her humanist worldview and find God, but that’s not even in the discussion. The world of Jack and Jill is a world that has hurts and salvation is found in romantic relationship. The message of not abandoning someone who is ill and has “defects” is central to the story and is a strong moral element with a biblical base. The movie has a few problematic elements. The two unmarried characters are often seen in bed together and on one occasion engaged in sex. There’s smoking and drinking throughout. Jill is seen in lingerie and a bikini and Jack is bare-chested often in the movie. Though the count of foul language example is smaller than other movies, it is still there.
While Jill has a terminal disease, the truth is that we all have a “terminal disease” that leads to spiritual death now and physical death eventually. That sickness is the immoral things we’ve done, which is part of our sinful nature and rebellion against God. Yet, we don’t need to wait and hope one day for a cure. The cure for our moral sickness is Jesus Christ dying on the cross, forgiving our immoral choices, and then conquering death by coming back to life, thereby proving that he’s God. If only the characters in this movie could embrace that cure.
JACK AND JILL walks a fine line between being a light comedy and a more serious story dealing with Jill’s cystic fibrosis. Jack and Jill write a “manifesto for life” that values many good things such as honesty and beauty. However, in their “rules for life” there is no mention of God. Given that Jill must face her own mortality, you’d hope that she would look beyond her humanist worldview and find God, but that’s not even considered. Their world has hurts, and salvation is found in romantic relationship.