Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Chuck and Larry’ full of stereotypes, crude humor

It’s not easy being gay. Or, at least, that’s the sentiment expressed by “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” the stereotype-laden comedy starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James. The two play a pair of straight, manly Brooklyn firefighters who enter a clandestine domestic partnership to salvage lost pension money. James has just lost his wife and Sandler sleeps with about a dozen foxy female strippers in the film’s first twenty minutes; they obviously can’t be gay. Right?

Unlike other mainstream comedies that have focused on the gay community, such as “In & Out,” every person who is gay in this film is presented as an impetuous freak of nature. Take the creepy mailman, who informs James that he is looking for afternoon delight and knows how to “handle with care.” Or the closeted fireman who proceeds to sing Gloria Gaynor nude in the firehouse showers after coming out of the closet. Or the man who dresses in nothing but lace wings and a skimpy thong after changing his middle name to ‘Butterfly.’ The movie doesn’t even try to make the seemingly obvious point that homosexuals are just people like anyone else; instead, they are shown as weird and obscene, but to be tolerated anyway.

The conflict in the movie stems from a sort of gay gestapo, fronted by an ambiguously gay Steve Buscemi, who attempts to flush out anyone taking advantage of domestic partnerships for illicit means. James and Sandler seek legal representation in this ridiculous matter from Jessica Biel, who provides ample eye candy by strutting around in a cat suit and her skivvies over the course of the film. Sandler, being a creepy middle-aged lothario, attempts to seduce his lascivious lawyer, but there is some drama because he still has to pretend to be a gay “chubby chaser.” Compelling pathos there.

The humor in the film consists of petty gay jokes that are insipid without being too demeaning. Since this film doesn’t even try to represent gays in a realistic light, there is nothing here to be offended or shocked about.

“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” avoids any real depth instead of actually trying to tackle the presence of baseless prejudice and hatred in American society. Regardless, there are few redeeming elements present. Surprising celebrity cameos help move along the two-hour film – look for Dave Matthews somewhere in there. James and Sandler pretending to be lovers wobbles between embarrassing and hilarious, like the scene in which Sandler tells Biel he enjoyed the rope in gym class because he liked to imagine it was a man.

How could these two rubes fool anyone, let alone their lawyer, into thinking they are gay? I don’t really know, and I’m not even going to bother to think about it.

Reach Andrew Sheivachman at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Chuck and Larry’ full of stereotypes, crude humor