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Wednesday 14 April 2010

Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

Posted in: Movies
By Matt Akersten - 18th October 2009

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry plays on TV3 this Saturday. Here's's review of the 2007 film from when it was out at the movies.

As cliché after cliché was piled on in the first few minutes of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, I was keen to walk out and try to sneak into another movie… any movie.

Well what did I expect? The plot: two straight New York City fire-fighters (Chuck and Larry, played by Adam Sandler and Kevin James) pretend to be a committed gay couple to receive domestic partner benefits. As the authorities investigate the 'relationship', our idiot heroes must go through more and more camp comedic high jinks to convince everyone that they ARE actually in love.

Such an unlikely plotline makes for an excruciating first fifteen minutes, as the writers try desperately to convince us that two guys like Chuck and Larry would actually end up in this sort of situation. To make matters worse, Adam Sadler's character is a womanising man-whore calendar pin-up. His endless girls are 'bimbos' with no self respect, and I hope any women watching would have enough self-respect to get quite angry at those early scenes of ghastly nonsense. Like, "OK, we get that Chuck's hetero, we don't need sluts everywhere to prove it, ta."

The bulk of the movie plods along with endless old 'gay' gags. Chuck and Larry make every stereotypical homo joke in the book (the shower soap gets dropped -- twice!). It's only when the word 'Faggot' is used that the twosome take umbrage (with vile comedy violence) but it's open season on soft homophobia until the final courtroom scenes.

Yup, we end the movie with a ho-hum courtroom battle scene, but don't expect any Boston Legal greatness here. It's the wishy-washy condescending 'it's OK to be gay' conclusion you'd expect.

I can understand why Adam Sandler and Kevin James took this movie on -- previous cinematic stinkers show they don't know any better. But why did Jessica Biel lower herself to this? Did she not read the script? Plus, Dan Aykroyd didn't even get any good lines, and 'out' former boybander cameo Lance Bass didn't even get a proper chance to sing. Other characters include a fake-Asian wedding celebrant (it really is this bad, I'm not making this up) and a gay child (just like Ugly Betty has!).

It's hard to know how anyone over the age of eleven would enjoy the comedy in Chuck and Larry, but the many sexual jokes mean it's not a kid's movie so I have no real idea who the target audience is. Is there really anyone out there stupid enough to (a) be a homophobe; and then (b) after watching this film, decide gays aren't that bad after all? Even in America, I suspect not.

So basically what we have here is a waste of time which is borderline offensive to women, Asian people, real New York fire-fighters, and the viewing audience. And remember, this movie's entire plot has all been done a couple of years ago in Australia, with a vastly superior film called 'Strange Bedfellows'. See this one, not the Chuck and Larry rip-off.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry plays on TV3 at 8:30pm this Saturday 24 October.

Matt Akersten - 18th October 2009

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