La cage aux fouls

I NOW PRO­NOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY Di­rected by Den­nis Du­gan. Star­ring Adam San­dler, Kevin James, Jes­sica Biel, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames 15A cert, gen re­lease, 110 min

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Reviews - DON­ALD CLARKE

GREEN CARD with fake ho­mo­sex­u­als, the latest frontal lo­bot­omy from Adam San­dler should, in the­ory, of­fer even de­cent right-think­ing lib­er­als the odd guilty plea­sure. San­dler and Kevin James play two flat­u­lently straight fire­man who, in or­der to se­cure cer­tain ben­e­fits granted to gay cou­ples, travel to Canada and em­bark upon a civil part­ner­ship. Stalked by a char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally ro­dent-like Steve Buscemi, the lads are forced to lis­ten to Boy Ge­orge, os­ten­ta­tiously squeeze one an­other’s but­tocks and en­sure that only “gay trash” finds its way into their bin.

It would, surely, take some­body as patho­log­i­cally un­funny as Rob Sch­nei­der to ex­tract all the po­ten­tial hu­mour from such a sce­nario. Oh no! Look who it is. A third of the way through this use­less pic­ture, the peren­ni­ally un­wel­come comic turns up to demon­strate that the only thing more of­fen­sive than Rob dressed as him­self is Rob dressed as a com­edy Asian.

It hardly mat­ters. By this stage, it’s clear that Chuck and Larry is never go­ing to take off. Oddly, though the film is hardly so­phis­ti­cated in its at­ti­tude to ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, it is its fa­nat­i­cal de­ter­mi­na­tion to reach out to gays that drags it down. The first hour of this lengthy com­edy finds the he­roes in­vok­ing mildly of­fen­sive stereo­types. The re­main­ing time is taken up with demon­strat­ing that ho­mo­sex­u­als can be just as brave, loyal and good-hu­moured as their straight neigh­bours.

How Alexan­der Payne, di­rec­tor of Side­ways, al­lowed his name to ap­pear among the writ­ers of such a wit­less far­rago is be­yond me. It’s like en­coun­ter­ing Pi­casso’s sig­na­ture on a bucket of pigswill.

Sex­ual de­viant: Adam San­dler

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