Archive - Jul 2007
A Pronouncement Of My Own
20 July, 2007 - 19:48 — Bryan Lambert
Memo to Adam Sandler and Kevin James: NICE TRY.
Quick caveat. For the purposes of this column, I am not criticizing the film "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry". I can't criticize the film, because I haven't seen it, and more importantly, YOU CAN'T FUCKING MAKE ME. Instead, I will be criticizing everything I know about the movie to date, plus related items I know about society and media.
With that in mind, you know what the most astonishing thing about "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry" is? It's less palatable to me than Three's Company, because, in a sentence I never, ever thought I'd write in my life, at least Three's Company is intellectually honest.
Hear me out. Three's Company features a character who pretends to be homosexual for personal gain, and wacky hijinx ensue when authority figures try to prove that they're really straight. "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry" features TWO characters who do the exact same thing.
What Jack Tripper gets out of the deal are cheap rent and access to Suzanne Somers' 1970's breasts. He doesn't understand homosexuality. When necessary, he puts on a ridiculous flaming gay stereotype, because, well, it was the 70's, and that's what people did. Not people in the 70's. People on TV in the 70's.
In "Chuck and Larry", though, it's much... "nicer". It's all about a pension for Kevin James' kids. Providing for family. Presenting gay stereotypes, but in an allegedly enlightened manner. It's these man-children who have all these misconceptions about what being gay is like, and it's funny, and by the end I'm sure they'll learn something about the gay community... and themselves.
Like I said, at least Three's Company is honest about it. "Chuck and Larry", like so many other modern comedies, want to make the coin that comes with sophomoric audience members who want to laugh at the icky, uncomfortable fake gay. But they need plausible deniability to get away with it. And that's where the heartwarming shit comes in. You know, like the kids asking if Chuck and Larry are "homosexicals". Awww. Don't it make one want to fwow up?
Beyond that, though, do we really need a movie about how straight, white Average Joe Americans just can't cut a break, so they have to masquerade as minorities to get all the sweet, sweet extra benefits being gay gets you? I don't think we do.
You know what version of "Chuck and Larry" I want to see? I want to see the version where they have to have sex. They could do it tastefully. Actually, please do it tastefully. I don't need to actually see Sandler and James having sex - gay or straight, individually or together. But the movie should make them have sex.
In fact, the movie should have them have sex, and then the movie should have one or both of them enjoy it. Now THAT'S some uncomfortable, awkward comedy. And heck, if they both enjoy it, you could even give the movie a happy ending. So to speak.
But there will be no happy endings in Chuck and Larry. Just a lot of jokes about man-kissing, underpants, and Rob Schneider in Charlie Chan yellowface (but it's OK. Really. Because he's half-Filipino.) Hollywood must actually think there still aren't enough movies I want to punch.