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Old 07-18-2007, 01:38 PM   #1
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"... more radical than 'Brokeback Mountain' ..."

... is Adam Sandler's, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry." really!?!?!



[q]Queer as Folk
If you can't fix it, you gotta stand it? The 'Adam Sandler gay-marriage movie' crassly disagrees.
by Nathan Lee
July 17th, 2007 2:39 PM

I can't speak to the achievement of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry within the Adam Sandler oeuvre. Geeky Jews are totally my type, but Sandler's never suited my taste in comedy. His enormous popularity has always seemed one of those straight things I'll never understand, like the widespread delusion that Scarlett Johansson can act. Having recently registered for domestic partnership with my geeky Jew (hi, Glen!), and long annoyed by Hollywood homosexuals (suck my balls, Philadelphia), I approached "the Adam Sandler gay-marriage movie" with a little curiosity and a lot of baggage (made in Paris, Martin Margiela).
There are faggot jokes and flaming galore in Chuck and Larry, a movie that exploits gay stereotypes even as it mounts (from behind) an ingenious dismantling of homophobia. Made by straight people for straight people, this lowbrow comedy about super-butch firemen (Sandler and Kevin James) faking a gay marriage is a very queer landmark indeed. No joke, the bar has been raised, not least on the potential of "don't drop the soap" routines.

Somewhere in the cafeteria at GLAAD headquarters, girlfriend is about to choke on her quiche, but here goes: Tremendously savvy in its stupid way, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is as eloquent as Brokeback Mountain, and even more radical. "The gay cowboy movie" liberated desires latent in the classic western, and made them palpable (and palatable) by channeling them into the strictures of another genre, romantic tragedy. Progressive values were advanced by a retreat to a traditional mode of storytelling, the love that dare not speak its name rendered intelligible through the universal language of the upscale weepy.

Chuck and Larry takes this strategy much further, baiting a far less adventuresome demographic. Gay themes won't deter the Sandler cult, who can rely on their man not to be a fag. And that, precisely, is the canny maneuver here. Our pussy-loving men's men are New York City firefighters to boot, the very embodiment of all-American heroism (and object of gay fetishism). Sandler's womanizing bachelor Chuck Levine reluctantly agrees to play the homo husband of his buddy Larry Valentine to help secure pension benefits for Larry's kids—one of whom, a flaming little 'mo named Eric (Cole Morgan), likes to practice numbers from Pippin in an outfit inspired by Flashdance. Oh, snap! Chuck and Larry is the first movie to effectively hijack that all-purpose justification for right-wing bigotry, "protecting the children," and redeploy it as a weapon of the homosexual intifada.

Where the clowning queers of Birdcage invite us to laugh at their antics, the faux-mos in Chuck and Larry disarm prejudice by unabashedly reveling in its idiotic assumptions. "I used to wrestle in high school," is the gayest thing Chuck can think of, "and, uh, I liked it." The movie isn't effective despite the egregious gay stereotypes; it couldn't work without them. Through the medium of an Adam Sandler comedy, with all the requisite vulgarity, we're given access to what it feels like to be ostracized, to live under false pretenses, to suffer a sham marriage. It does with crass what Brokeback did with class, slipping dangerous sentiments into the safest of genres.

This sodomite had a gay old time. The coup of the movie is that Sandlerites will, too. They're the ones unmistakably addressed in the courtroom climax, the moment when Chuck and Larry confess their deceptions and assert their principles. Momentarily possessed by remarkable authenticity, Sandler seems to step out of character as he appeals to the crowd to stop using the word "faggot." I've used it a lot myself in the past, he says in a manner less like a line reading than a mea culpa, but it hurts the same way it does if you called me a kike.

Sandler feels like the authentic auteur of that sentiment, even if the words are credited to Barry Fanaro, a writer-producer of The Golden Girls, and the writing team of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, creators of two or three of the most acclaimed American movies of the past 10 years. It's impossible to know how much of the final script derives from the authors of Election, About Schmidt, and Sideways, and how much flowed from the pen responsible, most recently, for Men in Black II. Kudos to all. I have never heard the cause of gay equality more delectably phrased than as "the right to put whatever you want up your ass."[/q]



i just might go see it. and not just because Kevin James is cuter than Adam Sandler. (yes, really).
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:23 PM   #2
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That movie looks really funny.

Although Sandler still hasn't made anything close to as funny as Happy Gilmore. Ahhhhahahaha that's such a great movie.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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It's been done
Quote:
A struggling widower businessman (Paul Hogan) finds a new tax loophole offered in Australia to same sex couples. Needing a tax break, he cajoles his best friend (Michael Caton), also a widower, into filing papers indicating they are a gay couple living together and assuring him that the small town (population 652) they live in will never have a clue. However, their return letter from the government pops open and the town busybody (Monica Maughan) soon has it spread all over town without the two men's knowledge. Meanwhile, the letter tells the men that a tax inspector (Pete Postlewaite) will be coming to investigate their claim. The two decide they have to learn to act gay, so they get lessons from a local hair dresser and visit a gay nightclub in Sydney. Contains adult situations and sexual dialog.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0360032/

And so many times before
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:35 PM   #4
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I'm normally a Sandler fan, but this movie looks atrocious.

It's not going to say "it's okay to be gay," but say "I'm a man's man pretending to be gay, I couldn't be even farther from it! Give me a beer and a porno mag! I'll prove to you how un-gay I am!" If that makes any sense. I bet the jokes for this movie were written before they even started on the script.

I'm saving my money for Hot Rod or Superbad.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
It's been done




Paul Hogan has done a movie that isn't part of the "crocodile dundee" franchise?
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:38 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Irvine511






Paul Hogan has done a movie that isn't part of the "crocodile dundee" franchise?


Surprised me, too.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:35 AM   #7
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So I haven't followed the supposed plot closely, but if I understand it, they are both firefighters for the same department, right? Shouldn't they get the same benefits without being married? Did they want a tax break or something?
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMacPhisto




Surprised me, too.


i always thought the "Dundee" movies were documentaries.

you're saying Paul Hogan is an actor?
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:19 AM   #9
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[q]Good old days: Tough on gays on film
Worried ‘Chuck and Larry’ is anti-gay? You ain’t seen nothing yet
COMMENTARY
By Dave White
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 6:49 p.m. ET July 17, 2007
In the line of duty for my job as a professional watcher of movies, I saw “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” last night. And for all my fellow gays out there who were put off by the trailer — you know, the one where Adam Sandler and his faux-boyfriend Kevin James would sooner give each other a knuckle sandwich than a chaste little kiss, even if it means blowing the scam they’re running and losing pension benefits for James’ children — I can officially tell you that it’s not an anti-gay movie. It is, in fact, so cutely rah-rah-gays-rah it makes “Hairspray” seem like it was created by a think-tank of bigots. Everyone learns a lesson about how it’s wrong to say that six-letter (or three-letter, depending on your preferred spelling) F-word that Ann Coulter likes to toss around, and then there’s lots of warm hugs for everyone.

This type of film, though, is still relatively new on the mainstream landscape. Because while gay filmmakers have been making gay-themed films for a while now, movies that have moved past the whole “I am not an animal! I am a human being! I need the approval of Adam Sandler!” thing, it turns out that — surprise — lots of heterosexuals still seem to need reminding that gays deserve simple common decency and respect.

The evidence? Only the history of gay characters from the beginning of Hollywood till… oh… now. It’s enough to make you thank your parents for waiting until after the Stonewall riots to conceive you. And here’s the tangible proof, a batch of movies (and really, just the tip of a huge iceberg) from the pre-rainbow days of homo unhappiness and invisibility. Watch them if you dare...

“Some of My Best Friends Are” (1971)
This “Boys in The Band” knockoff, set in a gay bar on Christmas Eve, is populated by morose, mean-spirited, family-less drunkards, closet cases and drag queens (like future “Buck Rogers” TV star Gil Gerard and Warhol Superstar Candy Darling in a surprisingly affecting wallow), all of whom obviously have nowhere else to go on Christmas because, really, who wants to spend the holidays with those people? Thanks to gay cable channel Logo, this obscure (and never-released-on-video) piece of sad-sploitation pops up from time to time. Call them and ask for it by name, if only to see Rue McClanahan and Fannie Flagg mouthing off as the biologically female queens of the roost.

“The Children’s Hour” (1961)
Audrey Hepburn was never more tragic than in this fearful fable about keeping your mouth shut if you know what’s good for you. And even then, as this movie shows, keeping your mouth shut may not be enough. Two teachers at a school for girls (Shirley Maclaine is the other one) wind up ruined when a student simply accuses them of being lesbians. The answer to this situation? Well in that era, killing yourself was thought of as a reasonable response, a choice these characters are quite ready to oblige. Society thought lesbians and gay men were mentally ill then anyway, so it was a logical next step.

“Gigli” (2003)
After failing to turn Joey Lauren Adams completely heterosexual in 1997’s “Chasing Amy,” Ben Affleck retreated into his lab and perfected his game, emerging for this laugh-challenged mess where he becomes the Doug Henning of sexual orientation, turning devoutly queer Jennifer Lopez into his adoring-yet-sassy girlfriend. And he does this pretty much overnight. Like on a dime. It proves what everyone secretly already knows: that lesbians just need a good man. It also proves that you don’t have to make your film in the 1960s in order for it come off as clueless and insulting. You just have to be clueless and insulting.

“Partners” (1982)
After “Cruising” and the resulting spectacle of emerging gay anger over the final product, it wasn’t like anyone was clamoring for another dark drama about cops going undercover to catch a killer of homosexuals. What the makers of this one were banking on was the idea that audiences were clamoring for a comedy about cops going undercover to catch a killer of homosexuals. Starring Ryan O’Neal as the put-upon, understandably embarrassed straight cop paired with gay cop John Hurt, the movie puts the golden-haired star in one shirtless, objectified moment after another to humiliate him and then asks him to constantly save the terrified sissy Hurt from scrape after scrape. This is because (and it’s a corollary to the whole lesbians just need a good man rule) any homosexual man who is also a trained police officer will invariably crumble into a heap of gay-weeping at the first hint of danger.

“St. Elmo’s Fire” (1985)
Gay director Joel Schumacher? Check. Gay supporting character Ron? Check. There he is, the barely mentioned friend of Demi Moore’s party girl. He saunters in holding a giant strawberry margarita with a big strawberry perched on the side of the glass, waiting patiently for Andrew McCarthy’s character to notice him, hoping to score like Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink.” But wait, Andrew McCarthy’s character isn’t gay here, his possible homosexuality is only a running joke to cover for his incessant pining for Ally Sheedy. Which means we didn’t actually need that incidental gay guy after all. Oh, wait, there he is again being ineffectual (like gays do) while Demi bawls through her cocaine-induced-nude-fetal-position-next-to-artfully-billowing-curtains freak out. Thanks, gay director Joel Schumacher.

“Ode to Billy Joe” (1976)
Bobbie Gentry’s spooky, enigmatic hit 1967 song of the same name, about a teenage boy in Mississippi who jumps off the Tallahatchie Bridge, was the subject of intense pop-culture speculation in its day. The mystery of why her fictional Billy Joe jumped to his death was the fun part. So Hollywood decided to ruin that fun and made a movie that provided you with the concrete solution you never asked for. And why would a handsome country boy leap to his drowning death in muddy water? Because as Robby Benson, the doomed title character, says in the film’s climactic confession moment, “I been (sic) with a man!” This makes perfect sense to Glynnis O’Connor, his girlfriend, who keeps his horrible secret after the fact.

“Windows” (1980)
One of the creepiest films ever. Sadly stuck in not-on-DVD limbo, it’s for people who think “Misery” is a love story. Predatory lesbian Elizabeth Ashley, smitten with Talia Shire (already post-“Rocky” typecast as a mousy waif), hires a man to rape the object of her desire, thereby driving the young woman into her arms. As diabolical plans go, it’s perverse and despicable, and the movie’s perverse despicability (as well as its unintentional hilarity) stems from its matter-of-fact presentation. Of course lesbians are out to get innocent young women. Of course they’d hire a rapist to do their dirty work. Of course lesbianism is simply an anti-male lifestyle choice. In other words, it’s like “Cruising” for women.

“The Sergeant” (1968)
If you think “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is an unwinnable situation for gays in the military, try being one in 1968 when it was assumed that there simply were no gays in the military. That’s what happens to Rod Steiger as he battles his attraction to “Barbarella” male bimbo star John Phillip Law. Ultimately, he shoots himself after the angriest man-on-man kiss in screen history. So at least he got a little action before doing the only honorable thing.

“The Fox” (1967)
Put some lesbians on a farm and you’d think they’d turn the place into an organic co-op, but in this movie they simply come undone. One (Anne Heywood) gets cured of her lady-attractions — that whole “right man” scenario again. The other (Sandy Dennis, subverting stereotypes by being the “feminine” one) dies when — and I am not making this up — a giant tree falls between her splayed-wide-open legs and crushes her. If you’re going to die symbolically then that’s the way to do it.

“Staircase” (1969)
The most mind-boggling one of all. Richard Burton and Rex Harrison star as a long-time gay couple who seethe with stunted fury and attack one another with a seemingly endless supply of hateful insults. They spend their days bickering in a shabby, claustrophobic apartment, pursing their lips and squealing, “Oooh!” like they were an eternally damned pair of old British women in a Monty Python sketch dunked in a vat of pathetic existential despair. And unlike more obvious targets like “The Boys in the Band” or “Cruising,” films where at least the self-hating gay men held a semblance of control over their own lives, these two suffer from a variety of outside problems they can never fix. Try finding the retro appeal in this one. In fact, try sitting through it until the end. Afterward you’ll feel like sending Adam Sandler a cookie bouquet.[/q]



what strikes me is how much death -- often through suicide -- is presented as a perfectly reasonable response to being gay in these films. that there's punishment, and perhaps some pity. is it any wonder so many gay people, especially those over 40, have grown up hating themselves? is it any wonder that straight people need to have certain things explained to them -- like, as Adam Sandler apparently explains in the movie, using "faggot" is just as bad as saying "kike."

so, anyway ...
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:51 AM   #10
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That's one hell of a sad history of gays on film.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
[q]Good old days: Tough on gays on film
(Sandy Dennis, subverting stereotypes by being the “feminine” one) dies when — and I am not making this up — a giant tree falls between her splayed-wide-open legs and crushes her. If you’re going to die symbolically then that’s the way to do it.

What a horrible and weird way to die. But anyway, I'm planning on seeing the "Chuck & Larry" movie with some friends when it comes out. It looks funny, plus I like Adam Sandler.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:33 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting that review! From the trailers, I was thinking that the movie would be awful. Now I'm willing to give it a try... albeit on video. I'm looking foward to what other reviews will have to say about it
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:04 PM   #13
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I generally don't really like these kinds of comedies, even when the reviews are good (example, just saw Knocked Up because of the off-the-charts reviews and it was amusing for 20 minutes and then I was bored and almost left but the popcorn was good, it was hot as hell outside and the A/C felt good so I stayed). But I like Adam Sandler and when I saw the trailor I thought the movie looked dumb (like Knocked Up) but "anti-gay" never entered my mind. I'd go see it if a friend twists my arm, otherwise I'd rent it during a dry spell on netflix. I just find these kinds of movies predictable and it's hard to sustain the humor for the length of the film. But I'm glad Sandler did it. He's a good guy, is my impression, and whatever it takes to get the message out there to a mainstream audience that gay is good is okay by me.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:28 PM   #14
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sandler's always predictable, but it's fun to watch him scream and hit things.
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Old 07-20-2007, 10:55 AM   #15
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Memphis and i discussed seeing this tonight, but i think we're going to do the actual gay thing and go see "Hairspray" (!!!) instead, which is probably much more subversive in that it's supposedly a hugely enjoyable, candy-colored, PG-rated, misfit championing, just-be-yourself messaging filim that's as thoroughly gay as can be in form, content, and execution, and features John Travolta in drag and a fat suit and who's knock-down-the-walls-with-exuberance finale song -- "you can't stop the beat" -- is about the inevitability of progressive social movements, which, in this film, is the civil rights movment, but could just as easily be about gay rights.
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