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I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
The least controversial movie of the year about homosexuals
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Adam Sandler and Kevin James Star in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry."
OPENING WEEKEND: $40,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $135,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Alatriste (7/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

February 12th, 2007: Firemen Chuck Ford (Adam Sandler) and Larry Allensworth (Kevin James) are revered around the firehouse for their machismo. The two are best of friends, but live very dissimilar lives. Chuck loves being single, while widower Larry devotes himself to his children. After saving Chuck’s life in a fire, Larry approaches his buddy with a bizarre favor. Due to unfortunate legal obstacles, Larry is unable to name his own children as his life insurance beneficiaries, but a loophole in the system will allow him to do so as long as he can claim someone as his domestic partner. Since he trusts Chuck, he asks him to go out on a limb and accept the embarrassing proposal. Chuck agrees, with both feeling confident that no one will ever find out the truth. When a meticulous city worker becomes suspicious and decides to investigate the union, the duo’s little secret becomes a city-wide discussion. Now, Chuck and Larry need to move in together and improvise a relationship that’s fresh and blissful enough to convince everyone of their love for each other.

What to Expect: The magic of Hollywood, and summer blockbusters in particular, is that they are able to take an old and proven idea, cast several A-list stars, throw a load of cash into the production, and sell it as the biggest and hottest new product. Unless Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicolas Cage, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, or Julia Roberts are in it or the studio shells out the necessary money to advertise the flick every half hour on television, chances are that the vast majority of the mainstream public has never heard of it. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is essentially a remake of the 2004 Australian comedy Strange Bedfellows, which stars Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) and Michael Caton (The Animal). In the film, the two play elderly widowers who pretend to be gay in order to get a tax break and assume that no one in their tiny little town will ever find out. When a tax inspector arrives to investigate, the news spreads throughout the community rapidly. Star Adam Sandler is reportedly a big fan of Michael Caton, which is one of the reasons this story caught his attention. Since hardly anyone has actually heard of Strange Bedfellows, producers can rest at night knowing that I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, with Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Steve Buscemi, and Dan Aykroyd in the lead roles, will receive all the credit from excited and uninformed moviegoers as a new and highly original story.

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Sandler and James are the perfect duo to carry the movie. Both are likeable enough to keep the story pleasant and amusing regardless of which side of the gay marriage controversy you fall on. The wonderfully zany Steve Buscemi, who has contributed to several of Sandler’s films in the past, including Mr. Deeds, Big Daddy, The Wedding Singer, and Billy Madison, is always a welcome addition, even if only to play another bizarre oddball. As a city worker who will investigate the pair, he is likely to let out more of his soft-spoken loser side as opposed to going for the psychotic killer angle. The nearly forgotten Dan Aykroyd’s appearance as the captain of the fire company is on par with David Hasselhoff’s role as Sandler’s boss in last year’s summer comedy Click. Then again, the honor of cameo-by-a-now-most-obscure-and-irrelevant-star may go to Richard Chamberlain, star of the 1980s television series “The Thorn Birds” and real life homosexual. Still, at this point, only Ving Rhames has been confirmed to actually have a scene where he kisses another man. The red-blooded males should rest assured that it will not be all guys kissing guys in the movie. The sexy Jessica Biel, who has suddenly become one of the most wanted actresses in the business, will join the ranks of Kate Beckinsale and Winona Ryder as yet another attractive love interest that would be way out of Sandler’s league in real life. She will play the lawyer that comes to represent the pair in court and ultimately falls for Chuck, which puts the duo’s entire scheme in jeopardy.

This film was stuck in pre-production for some time before it finally got underway. Several pairs of actors, including Will Smith and Nicolas Cage, Smith and James Gandolfini, and Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, flirted with the project. The original version of the screenplay was written by the Oscar winning duo of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, who have worked together on Election, About Schmidt, and Sideways, with Payne directing all three. Since the two have been responsible for some of the most creative and entertaining comedies of this decade, the promise of them penning one that would be touted as a summer blockbuster really stood out to me in particular. Shanghai Knights and Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin was set to direct, which would have given the project a nice blend of the independent with the mainstream. Soon, however, Dobkin backed out, citing major “creative differences.” The studio claimed that he simply chose to leave the project. Apparently, Dobkin was looking to make a broader comedy that just happened to star Sandler, which would have probably worked out perfectly with Payne and Taylor’s screenplay. Perhaps it would not have had the brilliance of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, but it could have been a similarly wonderful alternative to the usual Sandler comedies. Since Sandler was actually looking for the typical Sandler-type flick, Dobkin lost interest. He’s now making Fred Claus, with Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, and Kevin Spacey and reportedly will still get his paycheck for I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry since he signed a pay-or-play deal.

Consequently, Dennis Dugan, who directed Sandler in Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy, was brought in. Last year, Dugan had his latest “Saturday Night Live” alumni comedy in The Benchwarmers, which, despite its lack of originality, actually fared respectably in the theaters. Barry Fanaro (Kingpin, The Crew, Men in Black II) and first-time writer Lew Gallo rewrote the script with a little help from “SNL” writer Robert Smigel, AKA Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Suddenly, it became painfully obvious what type of movie we were really in store for. Don’t get me wrong, I love the classic Sandler comedies like Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore, which I still cannot resist if I catch them on television, but I think its obvious that the quality of the genre has degraded with each new, similar project. I now know exactly what to expect and that would simply not have been the case if Dobkin were allowed to shoot Payne and Taylor’s script.

In Conclusion: This is simply another high-concept Adam Sandler summer comedy, which is clearly following in the footsteps of last year’s ultra-successful Click. Much like that film, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry will have a solid cast, a hot female lead, interesting cameos, and a big budget, but will probably not contain a lot of original humor or content. The movie has been causing a little bit of controversy among both pro and anti-gay marriage activists, but the idea that this comedy will actually contain anything truly offensive or detrimental to either side or its point of view, makes me want to laugh. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is going to be lighthearted enough to only offend the most humorless individuals, and even then probably more so for its lousy content rather than any of its politics. I can’t imagine any real controversy being found in this project. Whether the characters are gay or straight, the same potty humor applies.

Similar Titles: Strange Bedfellows (2004), Click, The Break-Up, Hitch, Mr. Deeds
July 20th, 2007 (wide)
November 6th, 2007 (DVD)

Universal Pictures

Dennis Dugan

Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Nicholas Turturro, Richard Chamberlain, Ving Rhames, Tila Nguyen, Rachel Dratch

Total: 80 vote(s).


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Rated PG-13 for crude sexual content throughout, nudity, language and drug references.

110 min





I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry at RottenTomatoes.com

I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry at AskMen.com

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