I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

2007-12-10 12:14
What it's about:
A pair of burly New York firemen (Adam Sandler & Kevin James) secretly concoct a fake marriage in order to get around the city's ridiculous pension regulations. To their horror, an overzealous anti-fraud agent (Steve Buscemi) begins investigating their domestic partnership and so they hire a buxom civil rights lawyer (Jessica Biel) and do their best to play the loving couple. But when their fellow firemen find out about their "relationship", their lie becomes increasingly hard to live up to.

What we thought of it:
Love him or hate him, at least Adam Sandler is honest. He discovered his macho-plus-mushy formula way back in 1996 with Happy Gilmore and he's been peddling it ever since. But with I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, a shabby, awkward and altogether cowardly affair, Sandler, may finally have swung and missed.

On the surface it seems like vintage Sandler fare – alpha-male firemen feigning what they so eloquently call "man love". But instead of the in-your-face offensiveness that Sandler fans have grown to love, we have a cringing, politically correct morality tale about how "the gays" are people too.

Never mind that this is really just a cover to allow Sandler and company to say "faggot", "fruit", "queer" and every other homophobic epithet they can dream up, and a convenient platform to air their prurient obsession with anal sex. Oh no, the real moral of the movie is "be nice to the gays, they are people too".

But the real mystery here is why the movie is such a departure from Sandler's well worn formula. We could blame the slapdash direction by Dennis Dugan, but he and Sandler have cranked out a couple of big hits together. You could blame his cuddly co-star Kevin James, but he's probably the most honest thing in the film. And no-one's complaining about the presence of Jessica Biel – or, more accurately, Ms Biel's magnificent rear end, on which the camera lingers lustfully at every opportunity (way to improve that credibility Jessica).

No, the real culprits here are the Oscar-winning writers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. They brought us Sideways and About Schmidt, but they fail to add any of that razor sharpness to Chuck and Larry. Granted, they were merely revising the lumbering original script by Barry Fanaro, but if anything they seem to have made things worse, not better.

So, if you like your jokes tepid, your racial stereotypes loud and your homophobia guilt-ridden, then Chuck and Larry is your kind of movie. Otherwise I'd advise doing something more fun with your money. Like dental work.

- Alistair Fairweather
Instead of the in-your-face offensiveness that Sandler fans have grown to love, we have a cringing, politically correct, morality tale about how "the gays" are people too.

Phil 2007/09/07 09:27
A rip-off? Although I haven't seen this film, it sounds like a rip-off of "Strange Bedfellows", a 2004 Aussie movie starring Paul Hogan. It was a sweet, simple film that dealt with the same issues with class and sensitivity. Plus it was really funny. The Americans still have this weird Puritanical hangup about sexuality. I wonder if they'll ever get over it?
Alistair 2007/09/07 13:49
You're 100% right Phil It is a direct rip-off of Strange Bedfellows. The screenwriters effectively conceded as much in interviews. Pity they didn't transfer any of the charm or wit with the basic idea.
boogieman 2007/09/13 10:57
looking good! hey Al&Jean! the movies/music site still looking good! well done! :)
TESS 2007/10/03 16:34
EXCELLENT!!! It was a excelent movie i enjoyed every minute watching it. It was funny yet it had story of what real friendship means. LOVED IT
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