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Starring
Adam Sandler
as Chuck Levine

Kevin James
as Larry Valentine

Jessica Biel
as Alex McDonough

Dan Aykroyd
as Captain Tucker

Ving Rhames
as Duncan

Steve Buscemi
as Clinton Fitzer

Written by Barry Fanaro and
Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor

Directed by Dennis Dugan

Running Time: 1:55

Rated PG-13
for for crude sexual content throughout,
nudity, language and drug references.

C+


THE OPENING

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was pretty much what you expected it to be... it had a few laughs, some groaners and nothing was particularly memorable.

THE STORY

Larry and Chuck are firefighters and best friends. Larry's wife died a few years earlier and only now is he getting around to making his children his beneficiaries. The problem is, the system won't let him make that change, so his only option (other than quitting the force) is to get married to someone else. So he turns to his best friend Chuck and they become domestic partners. This quickly leads to them getting married up in Canada. However, a fraud investigator starts sniffing around their affairs so Chuck and Larry need to turn up the heat in their relationship, otherwise everything will fall apart.

THE REVIEW

Here's my biggest problem with Chuck and Larry, and it's something they even touch on briefly at one point. Larry's wife died, so he's left with his two young kids. Obviously, firefighting is a dangerous activity and every time he goes to fight a fire, there's a reasonable chance he could be injured or die. But his biggest concern doesn't seem to be, who is going to take care of my kids it's, who's going to get my money when I die. He does in fact get hurt in a fire and as he's leaving the hospital he momentarily thinks about getting into a safer line of work. To me, that sounds rather reasonable from the father of two kids. But instead that idea is pushed aside and gay marriage is considered a better solution. Look, I understand that you may like what you do for a living but to me, it sounds like he's putting his career ahead of his kids. And with that as the basic premise the rest of the movie was hard to accept. So trying as hard as I could to put that aside, the rest of the movie was so-so. It relied, as you might expect, heavily on gay jokes. It tried to put a positive spin on the whole deception by having Chuck and Larry start to understand the gay lifestyle and the prejudices involved, but considering they were faking the whole thing, it was hard to really believe they truly understood. Then of course there was the overly hot lawyer that got thrown into the mix whose sole purpose was to look good. Other than a few scenes of her either dressed up as a cat or not dressed in much at all, I didn't see her role as being anything worthwhile. The rest of the supporting cast was primarily there to be the foils for Kevin James and Adam Sandler, who did seem to enjoy what they were doing.

I remember while sitting in the theater, there were a few times where I really was laughing out loud. The problem now is, I can't remember which scenes I thought were funny. The only really memorable scene involved a bunch of guys in a shower. You kind of have to see it to understand, but the end of that scene is truly hysterical. The rest of the movie I felt like, should I be laughing at this? Everything revolved around a gay joke and while it was funny it could also be considered offensive. Trying to even it out by bringing bigger 'issues' into play didn't really help and instead felt like the writers were really just trying to even out the karma points. And of course the ending of the movie was so Hollywood I can't even explain. Let's not forget that everything they were doing, whether it was for the right cause or not, was illegal. Not that that really matters in movies, since people can get away with just about anything and have everyone love them still. It was all tied up a little too nicely. There could have been some bad consequences to their actions. I know that this is only a movie and I should accept it for what it is, but the film felt much too formulaic to be really good. It had moments, I can't deny that, but for the most part it's something that could be enjoyed sitting on the couch on a lazy Sunday, rather than seeing it in theaters.

THE BOTTOM LINE

So overall, I thought I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was a so-so film. It had some laughs, it tried to talk about important issues, but it was much too cut-and-paste from movies of the past to be really memorable. It did have a pretty good soundtrack though.

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reviewed 07/16/07

© 2007 Wolfpack Productions

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