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Movie Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Bad Monkey   |  

Chuck and Larry PosterGoing to an Adam Sandler movie is pretty much hit or miss. You’ll either get big comedy fun like 50 First Dates and Happy Gilmore… or formulaic idiocy like The Waterboy. With his latest film, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry you end up somewhere in-between. There are definitely funny moments, but a majority of the film struggles to find memorable material to fill the gaps between laughs.

Firefighter Larry Valentine (Kevin James) is so distraught after his wife’s death that he can’t even bring himself to open mail with her name on it. Unfortunately, this causes him to miss the window for transferring his life insurance benefits to his kids. Three years later after a near-death experience in the line of duty, Larry is so desperate to make sure his children are taken care of, that he concocts a sham marriage with the only person he can trust… best friend and fellow firefighter Chuck Levine (Adam Sandler). In an attempt to pile on the funny, Chuck happens to be a notorious womanizer and self-proclaimed “man-whore.”

This marriage of convenience quickly starts spinning out of control as a fraud investigator (Steve Buscemi) makes it his mission in life to expose the truth. Alas, since the truth can land them in prison, Chuck & Larry have no choice but to live the lie they’ve created. This leads to a parade of every gay stereotype you can imagine, as our heroes face bias and intolerance now that their secret is out.

It will surprise no-one that all this ultimately leads to a not-so-subtle lesson that intolerance is hurtful and wrong. What is surprising is that the movie chooses to ridicule women, Asians, the homeless, people who are overweight, and actual gay people along the way. This sabotages a lot of what I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is trying to set up in the final act, but the worse offense is that it’s an obvious attempt at cheap laughs that never really pays off. It’s hard to appreciate just how amazing Kevin James is at creating such a likable and sympathetic character in Larry, when he is undermined at every turn by something as offensively un-funny as Rob Schneider playing Asian… badly.

In the end, I found myself enjoying the movie, but with reservations. For every bright spot (like terrific comedic performances by Ving Rhames and Dan Aykroyd in supporting roles), you have to sit through inexplicable bits that go nowhere. A running gag where Larry’s son would rather sing show-tunes than watch baseball, or tap-dance instead of play sports, hints at a depth to the story you never see. Chuck’s lust for their lawyer (played by the beautiful Jessica Biel) has scenes that are funny and heart-felt one minute, then painfully contrived the next. It’s enough to make me think there was a great movie in here somewhere, but the script and director weren’t strong enough to find it.


  1. I love both Adam Sandler and Kevin James and would give any movie they are in a chance. But I watched the movie clips available online and none of them are funny, aside from THIS ONE called “Is That Right?” I actually laughed aloud to that one, because it’s a typical scenerio and it was more like James’s King of Queens character — oh, and there were no gay or racial jokes involved. I bet if they’d just made a movie where Adam Sandler and Kevin James are friends who just hang out and do stupid shit, I’d be a great movie, lol.

    Comment by Empress Eve — July 21, 2007 @ 11:19 am

  2. […] Original post by Bad Monkey […]

    Pingback by — July 21, 2007 @ 11:31 am

  3. I thought that the concept for the film, while implausible, was actually a good one, and the casting of Adam Sandler and Kevin James seemed a perfect fit. Sadly, any potential was squandered away by lazy writing for cheap laughs and offensive stereotypes instead of anything even remotely insightful. Only a few scenes were funny enough to be memorable, which doesn’t bode well for a movie that’s supposed to be a comedy.

    Comment by Dave2 — July 21, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

  4. […] Efron Link to Article jessica biel Movie Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry » Posted at […]

    Pingback by University Update — July 21, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  5. This is similar to the review I read in the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday. It’s too bad it is not better – it could have been really funny.

    Comment by kilax — July 21, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

  6. I was hoping that Sandler and crew would have maybe picked up a few things from Judd Atapow- A man who knows how to take an obviously farcical premise and created a comedy around it that works on more than just the slap-stick level.

    I find that it’s usually a lot funnier and memorable when it’s done in a style where despite its unlikeliness, on some level you feel comfortable believing that the situation is possible ‘in real life.’

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this is the case with Chuck & Larry.

    Comment by Dave3 — July 21, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

  7. Actually, Rob Schneider is asian, 1/2 Fillipino if my memory is correct.

    Comment by Matt — July 22, 2007 @ 1:11 am

  8. If anyone reading this actually wants to see the movie which this piece of trash was a total rip off from, go hire ‘Strange Bedfellows’ (if you can find it).
    Although the setup is slightly different, the basic plot and several of the situations are identical, the jokes are good natured and not offensive (but still funny as hell) and the cast including Pete Poselthwaite are all top notch.

    Comment by zybch — July 22, 2007 @ 2:33 am

  9. Matt is correct. Rob Schneider is part Filipino.

    Comment by Vicious — July 22, 2007 @ 2:37 am

  10. … so what if Rob Schneider is part Filipino. He was completely mocking a “Japanese” person… it was racist and is completely comparable to the anti-Japanese propoganda in America during World War II.

    Filthy and disgusting.

    Comment by brian — July 22, 2007 @ 5:23 am

  11. You lost all credibility at “50 first dates”.

    Chuck and Larry is hilarious.

    Comment by wilson — July 22, 2007 @ 7:34 am

  12. The entire plot sounds similar to strange bedfellows:

    Comment by whoknows — July 22, 2007 @ 8:47 am

  13. who cares? it’s just a simple movie. people that get offended too easy are too uptight for their own good and no one likes them.

    Comment by Gordy — July 22, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  14. […] roles), you’ll have to sit through inexplicable bits that go nowhere. […]

    Pingback by Prime News Blog — July 22, 2007 @ 9:40 am

  15. […] have to sit through inexplicable bits that go nowhere. […]

    Pingback by Cartoons Plugin — July 22, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

  16. So someone made a movie that ridicules ass bandits and everyone is pretending to be above it all. Get over yourselves, homos are funny material.

    Comment by movieexpert — July 22, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  17. Saw it this weekend and was hardly offened by anything……and i find it hard to believe that a moive would bash gays when they consulted with gay rights grps heavily during filming to AVOID offending them…but hey whatever

    Comment by saint — July 22, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

  18. This movie was hilarious! Rob Schneider playing an asian was hilarious! Adam Sandler punching the gay-hater in the face for for calling him a faggot was hilarious! For some reason everyone thinks that pointing out the fact that people are different is somehow hateful, but it’s not. People are different and it’s okay to laugh about it. Especially in a fictional tale told at a movie theatre.

    Comment by Lance Bass — July 22, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

  19. […] you’ll have to sit through inexplicable bits that go nowhere. […]

    Pingback by SearchRoads — July 22, 2007 @ 6:37 pm

  20. […] have to sit through inexplicable bits that go nowhere. […]

    Pingback by Cartoons Fans Lounge — July 22, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

  21. This film is a blatant ripoff of the Australian comedy starring Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan, “Strange Bed Fellows”. Michael Caton (The Castle) who co-starred in Strange Bed Fellows also starred with Rob Schneider in “The Animal” and is reported to have apparently given Schneider a copy of the SBF script. All a little coincidental to me :) But i’ll still watch the Sandler version. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery :)

    Comment by Star Adrael — July 22, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

  22. Here is a bashing of your review!

    Comment by Mike — July 24, 2007 @ 3:04 am

  23. @Mike

    I have to assume that you didn’t actually take the time to read this review you linked because that *actual* review and the headline that someone else chose to post it on digg with bear little resemblance to each other. [Go ahead, read it. I’ll wait.]

    You must be intelligent enough to realize that, on the whole, Digg posters lean toward sensationalism in order to grab votes, yes?

    That said, thanks for linking to Geeks of Doom!

    Comment by Dave3 — July 24, 2007 @ 7:58 am

  24. @Mike
    You definitely didn’t read the review that on G.o.D., otherwise:

    — you’d have seen the true title.
    — you’d see that the review said NOTHING about Paul Hogan’s film (don’t blame the reviewer for comments left on the review);
    — you’d realize that the reviewer was NOT highly offended and that his review was quite fair;
    — you’d also see that the reviewer did NOT bash the film. He gave the pros and cons, much like YOU DID in your entry in the section “What Didn’t Work.” Should I go on to “bash” your assessment? Because, I got all day.

    Also, you said that the actors have nothing to do with the script and that Adam Sandler’s company Happy Madison only paid and provided the equipment for the film. That sound like a boatload of involvement to me. And I’m positive that the actors actually READ the script before signing on.

    Comment by Empress Eve — July 24, 2007 @ 9:56 am

  25. […] read more | digg story […]

    Pingback by Michele's Movie Center — October 30, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

  26. […] Larry you end up somewhere in-between. There are definitely funny […]

    Pingback by Movie Information blog — December 4, 2007 @ 5:15 am

  27. I’m part Indian, but for me to make Indian stereotypes woul;d be rasict. Rob only has a tiny bit of Filipino in him and self-identifies as a Jew. He IS racist and a hypocryte after what he said about Mel Gibson. Seems you can make fun of one race but not another

    Comment by Mischa — September 14, 2009 @ 3:50 am

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