Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)

I mourn the movie that could have been if this had been made by Alexander Payne, who co-wrote a version of it with his partner Jim Taylor - it could have been a modern-day satirical masterpiece worthy of Billy Wilder. Instead, we have something fairly blockheaded and dopey.

Yet, like most of Sandler's movies, there's a core here of decency, and in its own clumsy way the movie ends up being progressive, in spite of numerous compromises. It's a temporary transvestite movie like Tootsie, and as such gives the audience an entry point into an identity they'd otherwise never experience, so that the scenes where Adam Sandler and Kevin James experience discrimination and homophobia and fight back give the movie a kick of relevance.

Unfortunately, Sandler needs to overcompensate in making his character aggressively heterosexual, by hitting on every female in the movie and ordering an absurd amount of pornography in the mail to his new address at Larry's house. Also, Jessica Biel should be embarrassed by her role in this. Talk about being complicit in your own exploitation, Biel's role in this movie is to deliver exposition and have tits. It's about five times more demeaning and exploitative than Elisha Cuthbert's role in Captivity, where she at least got to play an actual human character.

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