I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

  • Review Date: November 5, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Typical Sandler comedy overflows with stereotypes.
  • Review Date: November 5, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Many, many gay and fat jokes. Before Chuck realizes firsthand how homosexuals are discriminated against, he's the first to say hateful words about homosexuality; later he changes his tune -- as do the rest of the firefighters. But there's no redeeming the movie's painful Asian stereotypes, which take the form of a Canadian wedding chapel owner (it's obviously Rob Schneider dressed as an East Asian man).

Violence

Chuck punches a protesting minister who calls him a "faggot."

Sex

Chuck is known as a womanizer; he has five lingerie-clad girlfriends spending the night. He makes twin sisters kiss each other (off screen -- viewers see the firefighters' reactions). A woman discusses how "freaky" she can get in bed. Firefighters' bare buttocks are visible in a fairly long shower scene. Many jokes about all the "hot gay sex" Chuck and Larry are having while they're pretending to be a couple. Chuck receives pornographic material (a blow-up doll, brown paper packages marked "explicit," Trojan XL condoms case, etc.) in the mail. A calendar shows hetero men in homosexual poses.

Language

Homosexual hate words like "faggot" and "fag" are used for the first half of the movie; later, a character explains why it's insensitive to use those words. Other curse words include "ass," "a--hole," "s--t," "bitch," "whore," "dick," "fatboy," etc.

Consumerism

Trojan condoms

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Chuck shows an obviously stoned store employee the marijuana joint that started a fire; Chuck and another character drink wine; partygoers drink.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie was originally rated R and had to be resubmitted to earn its PG-13 rating. As with many Sandler movies, the jokes make fun of people -- in this case, mostly homosexuals and the obese. It's 90 percent lowbrow shenanigans and 10 percent heart, with an oversimplified message that discrimination is bad and tolerance is good. (Also good: best friends who would do anything for each other.) Expect raunchy setups (Sandler plays a womanizing, "hot" fireman who can apparently bed five women at once), tired stereotypes (the firefighters look horrified when they accidentally drop the soap in a butt-baring shower scene), and strong language ("s--t," "dick," etc.). Even if tweens and younger teens are Sandler fans, they may be too young to separate the juvenile jokes from the underlying do-good message.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

The setup of NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY is simple: pudgy firefighter Larry (Kevin James) is a widower whose New York City fire department benefits can no longer be changed to make his children his beneficiaries -- unless he remarries. Enter Chuck , a loud, offensive, womanizing firefighter. After Larry saves Chuck's life during a fire, Chuck tells Larry he owes him "anything" he wants. What Larry wants is a fake domestic partnership so the kids will be taken care of ... so, naturally, Chuck and Larry have to pretend to be gay life partners. At first, the charade is low-key -- a civil ceremony at a courthouse and a few weeks of Chuck's mail forwarded to Larry's address. But the pals have to really let their rainbow flags fly when the benefits department sends an intrusive auditor (Steve Buscemi) to find out whether they're trying to defraud the government. Enter gay-friendly defense attorney Alex (the lovely Jessica Biel), who believes her new clients, even though Chuck can't keep his bedroom eyes off of her. To kick up the facade a notch, the couple endures getting outed, literal "don't drop the soap" jokes in the firehouse shower, a ridiculous marriage ceremony in Canada, and their first taste of discrimination. All of a sudden, they realize how insensitive they've been in the past.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Adam Sandler is a comedian who occasionally astonishes audiences with his range (Punch-Drunk Love) and sincerity (The Wedding Singer). But, for the most part, he makes his living playing and acting the crass fool and this "comedy" is not one of the exceptions in the Sandler filmography. Even the addition of lovable everyman Larry Valentine, the Chuck factor dominates the movie.

For of all the movie's borderline -- and outright -- offensive laughs, there's a well-intentioned message of tolerance, diversity, and so on. Under so many layers of tired humor, the tiny kernel of wisdom easily gets lost, and its message about tolerance apparently doesn't extend to the obese (who are cheaply made fun of in the majority of Sandler's movies) and East Asians, who will no doubt cringe at the horrifying sight of Rob Schneider -- one of the many Saturday Night Live vets to cameo -- playing the Asian wedding officiant. With his bowl cut, buck teeth, and thick glasses (not to mention the awful accent) Schneider is the worst caricature of an Asian man in nearly half a century. On the bright side, at least there's a hilarious moment when a hitherto scary Ving Rhames starts belting out a Diana Ross tune in the shower. That alone was worth one star.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the issues raised by the film -- particularly discrimination. Why do Chuck and Larry's firefighter friends start treating them differently once they're outed as a couple? What do Chuck and Larry learn about homophobia? Do the stereotypes in the movie (about gay people, overweight people, and Asians) detract from its intended message? Is it OK to use hate words in comedies? What would you have done differently if you were making this movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 19, 2007
DVD release date:November 6, 2007
Cast:Adam Sandler, Jessica Biel, Kevin James
Director:Dennis Dugan
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:115 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:crude sexual content throughout, nudity, language and drug references.

This review of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was written by

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  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byAnimeGirl-Nikki January 26, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Only for diehard Sandler fans

Well, it's Adam Sandler, so that ought to tell you something right off the bat. The movie's chock full of crude stereotypes and sex jokes. Once you get past all of that, however, the messages of the movie get through fairly clearly- acceptance, sticking together with friends and family, etc. If you're a Sandler fan, pick this up. If you don't mind some pretty lowbrow comedy, you might enjoy this. If you don't like watching homosexuals, fat people, or women portrayed in a stereotypical manner, then skip this flick.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Adult Written bypdxparent April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Unwatchable except for Biel

I think this movie is entirely inappropriate for all ages. While ostensibly having a positive social message (tolerance for homosexuals), it glorifies all manner of dysfunctional hetero and homosexual behavior while essentially saying that the means justify the ends. Plus it is not funny.
Teen, 13 years old Written bybethlovesmaltese April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

horrible

no one sould see the movie

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