In “Jack and Jill vs. the World,” Freddie Prinze Jr.’s straight-laced ad man Jack wears black and white even on dates, while unpredictable out-of-towner Jill (Taryn Manning) accessorizes in pink. Can two such fundamentally different souls find love in the big city? Opposites not only attract but also draft a manifesto for modern living in the sort of earnest date movie that suggests Jill-of-all-trades Vanessa Parise (who produces, writes and directs while saving the sassiest part for herself) looks to Cameron Crowe as the paragon of profundity. Idealistic indie faces an uphill battle in theaters, where Parise is self-distributing.
Narrated by sage Robert Forster, pic is almost quaint in its late-20s anxiety, featuring characters far too young for such cynicism. The couple pledges to always be honest, but Jill guards a key secret: She suffers from cystic fibrosis (a cough, so innocuous in real life, can only mean one thing onscreen). Parise no doubt intends the pic’s attention to the disease — plus animal adoption and fair trade coffee — to be socially enlightening, but it feels suspiciously like sympathy-mongering. Without the condition, Jill’s most interesting feature is her unfortunate choice in lipstick.