I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a real equal-opportunity offender. There is something to affront everyone--women, fat people, Jews, minorities and, oh yes, the gays.
Brooklyn firefighters Chuck (Adam Sandler) and Larry (Kevin James), although straight, get married in order to enjoy domestic partner benefits, and pure, unfunny agony ensues. The film starts out on a low level--Chuck induces a bimbotic pair of twin sisters, warring over his supposedly irresistible ass, to tongue-kiss--and manages to go even lower. You watch with mounting nausea as Chuck and Larry get married by Rob Schneider, playing the most offensive Asian stereotype since Mickey Rooney shrieked, "Miss Gorightry, I must plotest!" at Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. (And after this, the groveling, part-Filipino Schneider can collect his Asian version of the Stepin Fetchit Award; move over, Gedde Watanabe.)
The partners' idea of a gay sensibility encompasses dropped soap, Wham! and Boy George, dated evidence that this script was penned a decade ago by Barry Fanaro (Men in Black II), although it feels even older. There doesn't seem to have been a single actual gay person with any self-respect (or wit) working on the film, so clueless are its references and comic m.o. Even more off-putting than the incessant faggot jokes is the movie's pandering for tolerance, which is queasily sentimental and patently unconvincing. It's a particularly malodorous deal, this wanting to have it both ways by getting snarky laughs at homosexual expense while being congratulated for so-called acceptance.
Through it all, James actually manages to retain some centered likability (and, indeed, even does come off a little gay), but what is any intelligent filmgoer supposed to make of the loutish Sandler? One wonders if his devoted fan base will follow him with this one: There's that gay thing, of course, and when his buddy David Spade pops up, dressed as a Playboy bunny in an abysmal gay party scene, there isn't a laugh in the theatre. As producer of this drek, Sandler has cast himself as a supreme lothario, despite his weasel face and grating, whiny voice. And he droolingly takes the opportunity--as a "harmless" queer--to squeeze the breasts of Jessica Biel, playing an attorney and wearing glasses to prove it, in one of the most humiliating scenes ever endured by an actress on film.
An excellent cast carries this familiar crime story that relies on revelations a little far-fetched. More »
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