Movie Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

By Amy Lamare, July 20, 2007

Lighthearted, thoroughly non-PC laughs abound in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (INPCL), the new comedy from Adam Sandler (ASAND) and Dennis Dugan, the team that brought you Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy. Co-starring Kevin James (KJAME), Jessica Biel (JBIEL), Steve Buscemi (SBUSC), and Ving Rhames (VRHAM), audiences hardly have a moment to catch their breath before the next laugh rolls on in.

Kevin James plays Larry Valentine, a widowed father of two who makes his living as a firefighter. His partner in fire fighting is Adam Sandler’s Chuck Levine, lothario extraordinaire and Mr. February in the firemen’s calendar. It is quickly established that Chuck and Larry are best friends, but that they also could not be more different from each other. Larry is a family man still mourning the tragic death of his wife a year earlier. Chuck is a ladies man with an over-inflated sense of self. We soon find out Larry, busy dealing with his grief, did not file the paperwork to switch the beneficiary of his pension from his wife to his children before the deadline. As a fireman, he realizes his life is in danger on every shift, and he worries his children will be left without a means of support should he meet an untimely death. Getting married again is the only way to ensure his children are taken care of.

Conveniently, New York City has just enacted a civil domestic partnership law that Larry seeks to take advantage of. He convinces his friend Chuck, they’d be “homos on paper” only and the two set off for City Hall to make it legal. Yes, it seems like a thin plot device to go from grieving heterosexual widow to civil union with your best same sex friend. The chemistry between James and Sandler makes an improbable scenario work.

The pair soon finds themselves under investigation to determine the legitimacy of their union. Jessica Biel enters the story as their gorgeous attorney, whom Sandler falls for-but of course Biel thinks he is gay and so he must settle on being her girlfriend only. Steve Buscemi is deliciously creepy as an investigator convinced Chuck and Larry are trying to defraud the City with an illegitimate domestic partnership. High comedy ensues when the two very hetero men take on the mannerisms of stereotypically homosexual behavior.

At times throughout this film I was laughing so hard I snorted. Uncontrollably. It. Is. That. Funny. One evening, after a costume ball, Sandler’s Chuck gets into it with some anti-gay protesters. Suddenly his picture is splashed all over the front page of the newspapers. Sandler and James thrust into the gay community and held up as poster boys for discrimination against Gays and Lesbians is your classic fish out of water tale. Of course this does not do much to help relations down at the firehouse. All the firemen instantly believe that Chuck and Larry are a legitimate couple, whereas fire chief Dan Aykroyd knows they are pulling a swindle on the pension people and it does not sit well with him.

Sandler does one to two films per year and has proven to be quite savvy at choosing his projects. In 2006, Sandler’s Click grossed $137.3 million. In 2005 The Longest Yard grossed $158 million. In 2004, 50 First Dates grossed $120.9m. And in 2003, Anger Management grossed $135.6 million. Look for Chuck and Larry to make a similar amount.

Cameos by Richard Chamberlain, Dave Matthews and Lance Bass are worked to great advantage and many laughs. All in all, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a leading candidate for funniest film of the year, and Rob Schneider (RSCHN) has a lot to do with that.

This work is the property of Stock Exchange and Amy Lamare. It is not to be reused, reprinted or stolen under any conditions.

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