out of Five
Running time: 100
Enjoyable, sharply written and frequently hilarious, this is Adam Sandler's best comedy since The Wedding Singer.
What's it all about?
Adam Sandler and Kevin James (Hitch) play Chuck Levine and Larry Valentine, a pair of Brooklyn firefighters who are best friends. However, when civic red tape prevents recently widowed Chuck from naming his two kids as his pension beneficiaries, he asks Larry to pose as his domestic partner in order to receive his benefits.
Being a notorious womaniser, the resolutely single Larry is initially reluctant to help out, but agrees because he owes Chuck his life. However, things get complicated when an officious investigator (Steve Buscemi) begins to suspect their claims and Larry falls head over heels for their sexy lawyer, Alex (Jessica Biel).
Sandler and James make a strong comic duo and they spark off each other well. Biel makes an attractive love interest, even if she's not really given much to do beyond gamely dressing up in a catsuit and allowing Sandler to cop a feel (no doubt the We had to do several retakes
joke has already provoked riotous laughter at press conferences).
Rather surprisingly for an Adam Sandler comedy, the script isn't nearly as offensive as you'd imagine, reigning in the gay jokes (relatively speaking, anyway) and concentrating on character-based humour. As a result, there are some extremely funny gags, although it's probably the most puerile jokes that'll stay with you, such as Chuck's gay postman reeling off a string of post-related innuendo, like I'm used to handling large packages
Aside from Rob Schneider's obligatory racist cameo (this time he's the horribly unfunny Chinese minister who marries them in Niagara Falls), the film's biggest fault is that it cops out of making the actors actually kiss, which seems like a bit of a cheat.
In short, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a likeable, frequently amusing comedy with a decent premise and strong comic performances. Worth seeing.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (12A)