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I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
DVD disk
11.19.2007 By: Mathew Plale
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry order
Director:
Dennis Dugan

Actors:
Adam Sandler
Kevin James
Jessica Biel

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
To ensure his kid's get his pension in the event of his death, firefighter/widower Larry (James) involves himself and his co-worker/macho man Chuck (Sandler) in a domestic partnership.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a movie that should have been innocent enough: a few puns here, a couple Happy Madison regulars there. Instead, Dennis Dugan’s (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy) latest is a crude exhibit of intolerance engulfed in clichés of race, gender, and orientation…and Happy Madison regulars.

Adam Sandler and Kevin James (The King of Queens, a title the creators passed on) are the titular firefighters of the movie: Sandler is Chuck, the most macho womanizer (and also Mr. February) of the Guiliani-loving Engine 223. His BFF is Larry (James), a widower who asks Chuck, after a near-fatal fire (for Chuck, ironically enough), to pose in a domestic partnership so his kids can receive his pension in the event of his death. One hell of a union he’s untrusted…

Of course, the strange bedfellows aren’t gay and, side-by-side, resemble Laurel & Hardy on a bad day—images that open the closet door to a moldy smorgasbord of juvenile Shamu and Barry Manilow jokes. The occasionally funny screenplay (by Ben Fanaro and Sideways team Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor—I had to triple-check this) is vicious, hosing homosexuals in Chaka Khan lovin’, wrinkle-free slacks wearin’, Annie Get Your Gun quotin’ stereotypes. And yes, almost three decades after their heights, the Village People are still being ragged on.

Fun, right? Not so much for C & L, who have their chief (Dan Aykroyd) breathing down their neck, along with a trash-picking fraud investigator (Steve Buscemi), who inspires the duo to “gay up” their garbage—who knew they still sold Wham! vinyl in supermarkets?

The fun for the male audience comes not just in gay-bashing, but in, on, and around kitty-cat Jessica Biel as the couple’s lawyer who develops a very Sex and the City bond with Chuck, foot massages and breast exams et al (they’re real, by the way). Biel is a decent enough backbone to Sandler & James, who have some genuine rom-com chemistry themselves.

The supposed moral, which flashes itself in the trailer, takes a while to get to, and when it does we’re expected to forgive Chuck, Larry, and the 223 truck because they’ve “changed.” But C & L are still homophobes, their faces painted with disgust when asked by the prosecutor to prove their homosexuality with a peck, in fear of confronting their own sexuality and being labeled “faggots.” Have they learned nothing? Have the filmmakers?
THE EXTRAS
Feature Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan, Adam Sandler, and Kevin James: The three are comfortable with each other, but are constantly overlapping while Sandler (jokingly) bullies Dugan throughout the commentary. Fans will get a bigger kick out of this one.

Feature Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan: Sort of what you’d expect from a less-than-mediocre filmmaker. Fans will want the above commentary.

Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Dennis Dugan (9:44): Dugan guides us through these seven scenes that try their hardest to stall the plot.

Laughing is Contagious (6:41) has quite the misleading title, considering how little we’re actually laughing with the cast through these outtakes.

I Now Pronounce You Husband and…Husband? (5:11): This piece puts focus on the chemistry between the cast, who share their experiences while filming. Heavy emphasis on ass-kissing.

Look Who Stopped By (6:33) points out the countless cameos in Chuck & Larry, from Dave Matthews and Lance Bass to ex-SNLers Rob Schneider and David Spade.

Stop, Drop and Roll (5:25) is a piece devoted to the stunts of Chuck & Larry. Nothing too wild, but might be fun for fans.

Dugan: The Hands-On Director (5:36): Dugan, who played the cab driver, is the centerpiece here, with the primary players offering their praise…that’s right, their praise.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is, for the most part, a homophobic disaster, disguised as a moral film. Don't be fooled--the screenplay (which I'll reiterate was worked on by the Sideways team!) is a vicious attack, expecting us to forgive in the third act. But there is a crowd out there that will find "faggot" jokes hysterical and chances are, they'll want to feel Biel's boobies more than Sandler.
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