DVD Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
By Jeff Swindoll Nov 7, 2007, 12:10 GMT
Adam Sandler and Kevin James star as best friends and fellow firefighters Chuck and Larry, the pride of their Brooklyn fire station. Chuck owes Larry for saving his life. Larry calls in that favor big-time by asking Chuck to pose as his "domestic partner" so his kids will get his pension. But when a fact-checking bureaucrat becomes suspicious, the two straight guys are forced to improvise as love-struck newlyweds. Jessica ...more
The film is the tender story of two firemen who marry each other to defraud the system when one of them can’t be bothered to open his mail. I jest, but I do wonder what persons of all stripes will think of the stereotypes on display in the movie.
Larry Valentine (Kevin James) and Chuck Levine (Adam Sandler) are two New York City firefighters. It seems that Larry has been mourning over the death of his wife and has let the time expire to change his benefits so that his kids will be the beneficiaries of his life insurance instead of his deceased wife.
This can only be changed in the event of special circumstances, such as a death or a marriage, so Larry comes up with a scheme. Since same sex benefits have been recently granted to New York City employees, he’ll “marry” Chuck and be able to change those benefits.
Since Larry has recently saved his life, Chuck feels obligated to try and help out his buddy. This is supposed to be a “marriage” on paper only and the two take the jaunt up to Canada to get hitched at an Asian minister’s (Rob Schneider) wedding chapel. However, the government has foreseen such loopholes and the boys get a lawyer named Alex (Jessica Biel) to make sure that their union is recognized. They soon have to move in together and make their “marriage of convenience” work.
This puts a cramp on Chuck’s lifestyle since he’s a horndog and starts to have an attraction to Alex. The city sends around the nosy Clinton Fitzer (Steve Buscemi) to try and catch the boys in the act (or not in the act as the case may be). Soon their union isn’t secret anymore and the boys at the firehouse aren’t really reacting positively towards the happy couple.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a film that relies on stereotypes and fart jokes. I’m curious as to what the gay community thought of the film since they’re the ones being lampooned. However, what may be more offensive to some is the Caucasian Rob Schneider getting dolled up in Asian makeup to play the minister (though still very toned down when compared to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but not by much). It’s almost as believable as Adam Sandler being a chick magnet, which means not very much at all.
The film does have some laughs if you like your fart jokes (most of which you see coming). However, it’s one where everyone lives happily ever after and there are no repercussions for those that were faking it. I can’t imagine that the gay community wouldn’t revile Chuck and Larry since they’re faking their relationship, instead in the film they’re embraced and loved.
Not to mention the fact that Larry just could’ve just found some gal to get married to, but there wouldn’t have been a movie if he did that. Depending on your tolerance for the blatant stereotyping you might find a few laughs in the film.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. A fullscreen version is available separately. Special features include 9 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Dennis Dugan.
There are also two commentaries, one with Dugan, Sandler, and James and another with Dugan solo. Next is the 6-minute “Laughing is Contagious” which is a series of bloopers with interviews with Sandler, James, and Jessica Biel. The 5 minute “I Now Pronounce You Husband and… Husband?” is a behind the scenes featurette that adds interviews with Ving Rhames (“Fred G. Duncan”), Steve Buscemi, and Dan Aykroyd (“Capt. Phineas J. Tucker”).
The 6-minute “Look Who Stopped By” talks about the cameos in the film and interviews Blake Clark, Allen Covert, Dave Matthews, Dan Patrick, Robert Smigel, Lance Bass, and Peter Dante (“Tony Paroni”). The 5-minute “Stop, Drop, and Roll” looks at the stunts and interviews stunt coordinator Doug Coleman, director Dennis Dugan, Brad Grunberg (“Bennie”), and Bennie’s stunt double John Clay Scott.
The 5 minute “Dugan: The Hands On Director” is about the director and adds an interview with Nicholas Turturro (“Renaldo Pinera”).
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry does have some comedic bits, but they’re always aiming pretty low with them. It really depends on your tolerance for these types of jokes that will determine what you think of the film. I’m going to have to go down the middle since I did laugh, but felt the film could’ve been better on the social aspects of the comedy.