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  Publicity Stills of
"I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast : Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: UIP
M18 (Some Homosexual Content)
Official Website: www.chuckandlarry.com

Opening Day: 20 September 2007


Chuck Levine and Larry Valentine are the pride of their Philly fire station: two guy's guys always side-by-side and willing to do anything for each other. Salt-of-the-earth widower Larry wants just one thing: to protect his family. His buddy Chuck also wants one thing: one hot woman after another. Grateful Chuck owes Larry for saving his life in a fire, and Larry calls in that favor big time when civic red tape prevents him from naming his own two kids as his life insurance beneficiaries. All that Chuck has to do is claim to be Larry's domestic partner on some city forms. Easy. Nobody will ever know. But when an overzealous, spot-checking bureaucrat becomes suspicious, the new couple's arrangement becomes a citywide issue and goes from confidential to front-page news. Forced to improvise as love-struck newlyweds, Chuck and Larry now fumble through a hilarious charade of domestic bliss under one roof.

Movie Review:

Kudos to our censors. Our very own Singaporean version of this comedy has been chopped for a whopping 25 minutes. Frankly, no one will bat an eyelid. It is a crass and lowbrow Adam Sandler movie after all. But it is the principal that counts. Why not ban the movie altogether, since it has a pro-gay rights message in it? One wonders if it is because of the portrayal of homosexuals as dolled up, loud, frenzied, musical loving, limp-wristed shopping obsessed freaks. Oh, and don’t forget the Asians.

One does not come to an Adam Sandler movie looking for good direction, writing and witty repartee. Here, we find the usual crude and basal sophomoric jokes. Then, there are the stereotypes. Sometimes, we need to be able to laugh at stereotypes, to be look and laugh at ourselves. But when the comic timing and delivery is deplorable as is the acting, direction and jokes, the audience tries hard to figure out the whole point of the movie. Perhaps most insulting is Rob Schneider’s (not credited) portrayal of the Japanese wedding chapel owner. Society certainly must have taken a regressive step back to have Asians still seen in this light. It’s just not funny.

The pro-gay rights message is appreciated. Perhaps this is a more accessible way to educate less discerning moviegoers and homophobic heterosexuals about acceptance and tolerance etc. We need to take steps to progress wherever we can find it, no matter how small. But, the comedy makes a mockery of the very people it purports to ‘help’. In this film, all homosexuals are reduced to its lowest common denominators. They are also portrayed as hapless victims, unable to fend off or fight back bigots and other bullies, needing straight people to protect and fight their battles for them. Worse, in the closing act, the deceitful duo are dubbed heroes by the community! Somehow the message is lost or at the very least watered down. The fire chief’s (Dan Aykroyd in one of his career lows) less than inspiring speech does nothing to help in the resolution.

Can one really believe a flambouyant playboy/love machine such as Sandler? Sandler is a bad actor in any sense. He is not funny and possesses no screen charisma of any kind. Yet, the masses flock to see him on the big screen. Kevin James on the other hand, is probably one of the few saving graces of this nonsensical flick. He is everything Sandler is not, is altogether more believable as chubby Larry Valentine and clearly steals the show. Jessica Biel is no more than a glorified piece of meat as she is paraded in sexy undergarments meant to calm down the male heterosexuals who may have been overwhelmed by the comedy’s ‘gayness’.

Movies such as these are timely, especially in times like these, where hatred and intolerance are perhaps at an all time high. But surely, with an over the top budget, it could have been executed better.

Movie Rating:

(Comedy with a good message but ultimately rubbish and clichéd. Assured of box-office success.)

Review by Darren Sim

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