Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (Dennis Dugan, 2007)

The theory behind Dennis Dugan's I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, shallow as it may be, is that crossing over from one spectrum of sexual preference to another is simply a matter of necessity. When Larry Valentine (Kevin James), a firefighter who is singly raising two kids (a Broadway-adoring and tapdancing diva and a regular tomboy), realizes that the easiest way to change the beneficiary of his pension funds from his deceased wife to his kids is to remarry, he asks Chuck Levine (Adam Sandler), a regular Casanova who beds multiple women nightly, to clandestinely execute an affidavit for domestic partnership. Little did they know that their harmless fraud would catapult into a near-lifetime of pretending to be gay.

Well, at least gay in a funny way --- or gay in the mindset of Hollywood. That type of gay consists of terms like faggots, chubby chasers, fairies, drag queens, and the entire gamut of stereotypes raised to the screaming level to inflict the basest level of crass humor. A fund-raiser for AIDS becomes the melting pot of every gay stereotype imaginable and every possible joke conceivable (like never pee in a rest room in a gay event, or all gay men can groove, or that not-so-original joke of looks like a sexy girl on the backside, but its actually David Spade on the front side). The film's love affair with crassness culminates in a shower scene where two straight firemen drop their soaps in the midst of their two wedded comrades, climaxed by angry-looking Ving Rhames, who plays a closeted firefighter, singing and dancing to a soapy musical encore.

The humor is enough to turn any gay rights activist to turn red with anger. It seems that Hollywood has started to use their plight to rake in some much-needed dough. Yet, there's enough humility and humanity in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry to cause a mighty huge group hug for both straight and homosexual viewers in a unified applause (while the rest of high-brow film watchers start running out of the theaters with the look of disgust and indifference on their faces).

The straight community got what they wanted: to see Sandler and James (and macho Rhames), get down and dirty with the entire gay business; the homosexual community gets a thumbs-up for their cause: a genuinely Hollywood creation whose thesis statement is exactly what they have been fighting for decades, tolerance and acceptance.

The film makes it look mighty easy though, to the point that it makes the statement look rather trite or shallow (which we all know isn't true). Also, there's not much filmmaking involved in the entire production. Unless we count out the contributions of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor (whose writing bravura seems to have been overshadowed by the typical humor that should be in a Sandler movie --- including an inappropriately laughable cameo by Rob Schneider; but I can see traces of genius with the character of Cinton Fitzer (played with oozing sleaziness by Steve Buscemi), the government fraud investigator whose shrewdness is epitomized by his opting to keep a used bubblegum in his belt bag for later use), the film looks, feels, and resonates like every other comedy that comes out of Hollywood these days --- momentary fun for those of us gullible enough to fall in line to see what the rest of this gullible world is laughing about.


Anonymous said...


Oggs Cruz said...

An anonymous guy is telling someone in blatantly bad grammar (it's "YOU'RE GAY!! not "YOUR GAY!!") a statement that reflects his own insecurities. I wonder who really is gay.

fetus said...

lolz. :D

Anonymous said...

Would be good if you were gay, Oggs. been dreaming about you since law school. :)

Anonymous said...

Date? With me?