Monday, 28 September 2009

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

Lowdown: Two heterosexuals get married and fall in love.
Why I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry? Because it was a midweek night, we were seeking light entertainment, and we needed to clear some space on our PVR – and a high definition feature film takes up a lot of that. And besides, I thought Chuck & Larry was a pretty good film. I guess what I’m trying to say is that under certain circumstances, a classic Adam Sandler film can be a good thing.
Sandler stars together with Kevin James as two New York firemen. Since September 2001 all American firemen are considered distilled altruism, but there is more to life than this for our pair: Sandler is rather promiscuous with the ladies while James and his two kids are mourning the loss of a wife and mother.
The chain of events that is the bulk of the film starts when James learns that he needs to get remarried in order to change his will and secure a future for his kids in the event of his death under professional circumstances (I have to add the point does not make sense at all, especially given its key position with the film’s plot; I wonder if it’s an American thing). And who can James marry quickly but his best friend, Sandler?
Thus the pair heads away from American backwaters to get married in enlightened Canada, where gay marriage is allowed (for the record, Australia is just as backwards as the USA is when it comes to gay marriage; only recently did our enlightened Prime Minister repeat his objection to gay marriage). Upon returning home they discover that getting married was the easy part: in order to be able to receive the coveted financial benefits they need to prove their love to the world. Thus starts a whole charade of foolish setups where every gay cliché ever conceived is “explored” in order to make sure that all the least sophisticated jokes possible are covered as the film tests us to see how far will our pair of lovers go with this cheat of theirs.
Don’t, however, think even for a moment that I’m condemning Chuck and Larry here: the formula, while basic and low, works very well: I caught myself laughing loudly on numerous occasions. There can be no denying the comedy talent displayed by the two leads.
It’s not only the gay world that is rinsed for jokes in Chuck and Larry, it’s also feminism. Except for one fat old ugly lady, all the women in Chuck and Larry look and behave like porn stars (including the one that, in typical fashion, falls for Sandler because she thinks he’s on “her” side of the fence). The difference between the gay jokes and the treatment of feminism is that while Chuck and Larry go out of their way to very bluntly deliver the point that it’s not your sexual habits that determine whether you’re a good member of society or not, when dealing with women there is no such protection to hide underneath; women are just demeaned through and through. In Chuck and Larry’s world, a woman doctor is only as good as her performance in bed (as demonstrated by a character called "Dr Honey").
To Sandler’s credit, the pro gay agenda covers for the treatment of women as far as offering viewers a movie they can watch is concerned. And he does have a thing or two to say to those holding on to the words of their gods while attacking gays, a move that takes a bit of courage in today’s USA.
Best scene: There are several artificially enhanced setups contending for the title here. I thought the one to rule them all was the shower scene at the firemen’s office. Imagine the communal shower; imagine the big muscly men having a shower. And now imagine the soap slipping of the hand…
One question, though: why didn't they think of liquid soap?
Overall: Shallow yet highly entertaining. 3 out of 5 stars, and I’m being rather harsh on this very funny film.

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