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It is with a hazy feeling somewhere between personal contempt and accomplishment that I admit that since the release of Happy Gilmore in 1996, I have seen all but two of Adam Sandler’s starring vehicles in the theaters – even Bulletproof and 8 Crazy Nights. One of the omitted two – 50 First Dates – I lament missing because it proved to be a sweet and uncompromising romantic comedy. However, I have no qualms about abstaining from The Longest Yard and plan to keep it that way. His latest film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry – which arrives on the heels of his absolute best acting to date in Reign Over Me – is one that could have been skipped.
The Sand Man plays Chuck Levine, a womanizing Brooklyn firefighter (a lean, bronzed 29-year-old Sandler was somewhat believable as a lothario, a puffy, pasty 40-year-old Sandler is not but I digress). His partner is Larry Valentine (Kevin James), a good-hearted widower struggling to raise his two children. After a near-death accident on the job, Larry realizes that due to some disregarded paperwork, if anything should happen to him, the only way his kids can receive the proceeds of his life insurance is if he is remarried. A shut-in from the dating community for the past three years, he concocts a cockamamie scheme to have his best friend Chuck pose as his homosexual lover so the two can file as domestic partners.
But signing the proper forms and forwarding mail proves not quite enough when the government sends around creepy spot-checker Clinton (Steve Buscemi) to try and expose their fraud. At the behest of their beautiful and misinformed lawyer Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel), the two take a trip up to Canada to get hitched and realize that they’ll have to make their ruse a lot more convincing than they had planned in order to avoid being fired and thrown in jail.
I remember first hearing about this project many years ago, at a time when Will Smith and Nicolas Cage were attached to headline. That movie could have been quite interesting. Heck, even a Hitch reunion for Smith and James could have been promising. But as it ultimately stands, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is a mostly unfunny, fiercely homophobic piece of Big Hollywood conservatism.
That the film is interested in a homosexual lifestyle only for the purpose of ridicule is made abundantly clear in the opening scene in which Chuck dares a pair of twin sisters to make out. A later scene in which hack director Dennis Dugan cameos as a vile homophobic cab
- I.Now.Pronounce.You.Chuck.And.Larry.DVDSCR.XviD.[USABIT.COM].avi (696.6 MB)