Combustible Celluloid
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With: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Dan Aykroyd, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Nicholas Turturro, Allen Covert, Rachel Dratch, Richard Chamberlain, Lance Bass, Mary Pat Gleason, Gary Valentine, Rebecca O'Donohue, Jessica O'Donohue, Chandra West, Rob Schneider, Candace Kita, Jina Song, Jamie Chung, Tila 'Tequila' Nguyen, Lena Yada
Written by: Barry Fanaro, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, based on a treatment by Lew Gallo
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude sexual content throughout, nudity, language and drug references
Running Time: 116
Date: 07/12/2007

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

There's Something About Married

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This film is stupid, but it has a reckless bravery toward the subject matter that the more celebrated Brokeback Mountain couldn't muster. Director Dennis Dugan looks at his comedy from exactly the right place, as a clueless nimrod blundering into a foreign land, with no timidity or safety nets. Moreover, others have pointed out that while Brokeback Moutain was aimed at an already open-hearted, liberal audience, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was probably seen by brain-dead, bigoted frat-boys everywhere, and hence probably did more to pass on its message of tolerance. Adam Sandler and Kevin James play Brooklyn firefighters. Chuck (Sandler) has appeared on a calendar and thus has no end of hot women parading through his apartment, while Larry (James) is a broken-hearted widower with two kids. Since he has ignored his mail, he has trouble with his benefits and decides to "marry" his best friend to get them reinstated. Of course, their ruse is exposed, and they must continue "playing gay" to avoid getting into trouble. But in doing so, they enter into the "gay world" and find that it's not so bad. Unfortunately, the film also spends time ridiculing fat people and Japanese people; Rob Schneider plays an Asian stereotype easily as offensive as the one played by Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's. And Jessica Biel plays Chuck's potential love interest, a subplot we could have perhaps done without, although in one scene she looks great dressed up as the Catwoman at a costume party. A huge, impressive supporting cast -- including Dan Aykroyd, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi and Richard Chamberlain -- turn up and I found myself giggling more than once. It's certainly funnier than Good Luck Chuck, The Heartbreak Kid, Balls of Fury and Dan in Real Life put together. Improbably, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor (Election, Sideways, etc.) are credited as screenwriters.

DVD Details: Universal's new DVD comes with deleted scenes & outtakes, several featurettes (a 'making-of,' a look at the film's cameos, etc.) and two commentary tracks, one featuring Adam Sandler.

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