I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY: DVD
Chuck (Adam Sandler) owes his fireman colleague Larry (Kevin James) a big favour for saving his life in a fire. Larry, recently widowed, calls in that favour when red tape prevents him from naming his two kids as his life insurance beneficiaries. He needs a domestic partner and Chuck's the nearest thing he's got - plus they trust each other. At first it seems a simple signature on a form is all that's required, but to their horror,
overzealous bureaucrat Clinton Fitzer (Steve Buscemi) starts investigating their domestic bliss, and declares their garbage to be 'not very gay'. They hire beautiful lawyer Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel), who sends them off to a gay wedding capital in Canada to get married and add hard evidence to their claim. Soon they discover that anti-gay prejudice, even among their closest colleagues, is alive and well - and begin to stand up for gays, affecting the lives of others around them.
Review by Louise Keller:
There's nothing believable in Chuck and Larry, but with its ultra likeable cast, there is some fun to be had, despite the politically incorrect, homophobic, trite, dated and predictable laughs it generates. Yes, the premise is familiar (after all, our Paul Hogan hooked up with Michael Caton in Strange Bedfellows, pretending to be gay to offset red tape), and the filmmakers have pulled out every old gay joke in the book to make sure we get the gag. But although the film is set in contemporary Brooklyn, its narrow approach to gay issues would have us believe its setting is 30 years ago. In the morality stakes, it doesn't fare well, with the scriptwriters (including Sideways screenwriters Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor) opting for Chuck and Larry to persist with their lie as they maintain the central theme of mateship. The result is cheap laughs at any cost.
The film begins with blokey bonding - on the basketball court, at the firestation and on the job putting out fires. Adam Sandler's womanizing Chuck is making the most of his Mr February calendar status and bedding bimbos by the handful, whereas Larry is doing his best as a single father, concerned that his young son wears sequins and tap dances. Highlights are Steve Buscimi, wonderfully droll as Clinton Fitzer, the assessor who checks the garbage checking for its degrees of 'gayness', and Ving Rhames as a closet homosexual who picks up the fallen soap in the shower scene (yes, the old soap in the nude male shower scene). There is no shortage of colour: Chuck plays a vampire and Larry a red apple at an outrageous fancy dress party. Plus there's the chintzy wedding ceremony, Chuck's 'girlie day' with Jessica Biel's lawyer Alex, who insists he feels her breasts to prove they are silicon free and the gay local postie who has invented a new suggestive, gay postie-speak.
Everything is over the top and the humour is broad and crass. I must confess, I did laugh, and the film has an exuberance but it is a shame the talents of all concerned could not have been channelled into entertainment that doesn't rely on outdated homophobia to glean its laughs.
DVD special features include deleted scenes with commentary by Director Dugan, outtakes, alternate takes, and a featurette in which the stars explain how the stunts were performed.
Published December 12, 2007
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I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY: DVD (M)
CAST: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Dan Aykroyd, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Cole Morgen, Shelby Adamowski, Nicholas Tarturro, Allen Covert,
PRODUCER: Michael Bostick, James D. Brubaker, Jack Giarraputo, Adam Sandler
DIRECTOR: Dennis Dugan
SCRIPT: Barry Fanaro, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dean Semler
EDITOR: Jeff Gourson
MUSIC: Rupert Gregson-Williams
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Perry Andelin Blake
RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 16, 2007
SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes with commentary by Director Dugan; Outtakes, alternate takes, and funny moments with the cast...; Join the stars of the film as they explain how stunts were performed
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
DVD RELEASE: December 12, 2007