Has it really been almost a year since Chuck and Larry was released? Oh, my. I remember the mini-controversy over whether or not it was homophobic like it was yesterday.
I just saw it Saturday, over at a friend's apartment here. It wasn't really my choice - I showed up unannounced and he was already watching it.
It's about two straight, male firefighters who get married after a long string of highly contrived circumstances forces them to. One's a family man who's wife just died, the other's a selfish, perpetually adolescent player (who grows up because he meets the right woman), but both were pulled off the front shelf in that warehouse that houses stock characters.
Well, they get DP'd in New York City, discover that they could do hard time for fraud since they're being thoroughly investigated by the city, so they marry in Canada and start to act like a couple. It climaxes in a huge trial where they keep on lying, but in the end tell the truth and are embraced by the gays.
Uh, yeah. And the humor wasn't any less forced than the plot. Even as a non-fan I could see that it wasn't Sandler's best. (Although it was better than the horror that was Click. I saw that two weeks ago, and, oh my, there are some things you can't unwatch.)
As for the homophobia, well, I didn't see it. Yeah, there were the tired gay male stereotypes, but far fewer than in any Margaret Cho or Kathy Griffin routine. And there were a few speeches from the characters after they'd played gay for a while about how hurtful the word "faggot" is and why people should accept the gays.
What I did find offensive, which I remember reading about last year, was Rob Schneider's yellow-face character that looked it came straight out of Breakfast at Tiffany's. It made me uncomfortable in my seat. Rob, you can be an animal, you can be a gigolo (twice), but when you play another race in the most ignorant stereotypes of that race for laughs from white folks, it's offensive.
The whole plot was annoying as well - they were being investigated for "fraudulently" entering a domestic partnership. It was portrayed as something the gays would want investigated and punished with imprisonment - we didn't fight hard all this time for recognition to have someone abuse the privilege.
Honestly, I don't think many people in the community would care, especially considering how many people "fraudulently" enter straight marriages. Not only would I personally be uncomfortable with the state investigating a couple to see if they're having sex and if they "truly" love each other, there's nothing fraudulent about marrying or registering for the material benefits if you're honest with your partner. Unless it's in the case of immigration, no one's going to investigate a straight marriage to see if it's fraudulent or not. Hell, we have dozens of openly fraudulent straight marriages on the covers of grocery store check-out line magazines every day, and no one's calling the cops.
I know, I know, that's just another layer of the contrived plot. But underneath that part of the movie is the idea that gay relationships and anyone exhibiting a sex life outside God-ordained heterosexual marriage is suspect. How can they do that? I bet they're lying!
It seems like a variant of "It's just a phase," "She just needs to find the right man," or "If you just pray hard enough...."
All in all, though, if there was a teenage Adam Sandler fan out there, just one, who decided to stop using the word "faggot" as a result of this film, then... then we have an awful long way to go with the teenage Adam Sandler fan demographic.
Just kidding. I'm sure someone liked it.