Length: 110 minutes
Director: Dennis Dugan (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Big Daddy)
Writers: Alexander Payne (Election; Sideways), Jim Taylor (Election; Sideways), and Barry Fanaro (Men in Black II; Kingpin)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Dan Aykroyd, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Allan Covert, Rachel Dratch, Richard Chamberlain, Nick Swardson, Dave Matthews, Lance Bass, Rob Corddry, Robert Smigel, Richard Kline, Nicholas Turturro, Dan Patrick, John Farley, Mary Pat Gleason, Dennis Dugan
Alexander Payne and Jim Payne (Election; Sideways; About Schmidt; Citizen Ruth) co-wrote this movie? What the fuck? Okay, now that I got that out of the way, I can start the review (apparently even highly respected Oscar winners still need to earn a living? I don’t know, this still confuses the hell out of me). Hmm, let’s see- oh yes- “I Know Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” is a movie starring Adam Sandler and T.V. “star” Kevin James as a couple of macho fire men who have to get married in order to provide a life insurance policy for widowed James’ children (Cole Morgan and Shelby Adamowsky). Ladies and gentlemen, let the gay bashing and balls and dick jokes commence! And that they do! But don’t worry, by the end of the film, there’s a lesson to be learned- I think it’s that even though gay people are gross and weird and different and stuff they’re okay, you know, “as long as they don’t pull any of that ‘gay shit’ on me”. Just picturing Payne and Taylor sitting at the computer typing some of the dialogue in this movie warps my brain in ways I didn’t think was possible. Still, I’m sure you noticed that I gave the movie a very generous two stars. Why? Because I suppose it serves it’s point. It was made for the exact reason that it displays itself. Is it going to make the frat crowd that worship Sandler any more tolerable for homosexuals? Doubtful. But it kind of tries (in a way like calling a gay guy a “fag” and then telling him later in secrecy that “hey dude, I’m sorry. I know I was out of line”. In fact, one scene even has Sandler protesting the word “faggot”). Sandler’s character, Chuck, of course, is a ladies man- he’s Mr. February in the “Fireman’s Hunk Calendar”- and James’ character, Larry, is still mourning the one year plus death of his wife. So the crazy comic shenanigans they get into while adjusting to their “new lifestyle” are bound to give the usual Sandler fans some chuckles (James is a lame duck- he’s strictly for sitcoms. He just doesn’t have the crossover appeal for the movies)- and granted, a few of the jokes do work. Some fall very flat- including a extended gag involving tough new firefighter, Duncan (Ving Rhames), who is inspired to come out of the closet thanks to Chuck & Larry doing so. The state doesn’t quite buy the marriage so they send an investigator (Steve Buscemi) out to snoop around. In defense, the two have to hire a lawyer (Jessica Biel), who is conveniently super hot, and Chuck falls for. Wonder what’s going to happen there? It’s predictable, occasionally offensive, occasionally stupid, but also occasionally funny. I wonder if we have Payne and Taylor to thank for those funny moments- even though I’m sure they get red faced whenever someone mentions this movie to them. If you had a Best Screenplay Oscar wouldn’t you?
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