By Jeff Walsh
Umm, I try not to be overly-sensitive about things. In fact, I sort of hate political correctness, but I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was just amazing in its ability to cart out every gay stereotype known to man, but tag one little message at the end and get the GLAAD seal of approval (further proof of its uselessness).
Granted, we are shown that this movie exists in a different reality from the start because every girl under the sun wants to sleep with Adam Sandler and he is the hot guy used on their fireman's calendar for February (Was James Mr. January and the calendar gets hotter as the year progresses?). I did like how that was used as a clue to the audience that the movie was not going to exist in actual reality. From the very start, we are given the rules by which the movie will play: Adam Sandler is one of the hottest things going on in this town. I'm fine buying into the conceits of any film, though. But come on, sure Adam Sandler can get any girl now, but I can't imagine that pre-SNL this was the case.
So, a homophobic ladies man and a guy who wants to provide for his kids because he is at risk as a firemen decide to pretend they're gay for the insurance coverage. I don't know much about insurance policies, but this flawed premise is required for the rest of the movie to work, so we'll have to let it go.
They go get married by Rob Schneider in Canada, who decides to balance out the homophobia by doing an offensive Asian stereotype. Instead of kissing during the ceremony, which they need for pictures to put around the house to show they are really a couple, Sandler slaps Kevin James across the face, telling Schneider "that's how we roll in our house, baby." This is amazingly stupid, but gets an appreciative guffaw from Schneider.
As soon as it is revealed they are gay, even though their intention was to be, in Sandler's term "paper faggots," aka keeping it quiet except for the paperwork, every guy they meet wants Sandler. Again, since every woman wanted him, I guess we have to accept that in this version of reality, Sandler is some hot commodity in the gay world now. Of course, their mailman is gay and will "hand deliver" any "big packages," and every other postal double entendre you can think of. Ving Rhames plays the silent, menacing new guy on the squad, leading to rumors that he killed a man. Once Sandler and James come out, he reveals his secret and before long is singing "I'm Every Woman" in the communal showers after, of course, not one but two bars of soap are dropped, and none of the straight firemen can pick them up, fearing for their receptive anal purity.
The movie plays both sides of a bad coin for the sake of comedy. When there are laughs to be made being homophobic, they go there. When the laughs come from Sandler and James arguing in a way that makes them seem like an old married couple, such as Sandler saying he pretended to laugh at all of James's jokes, then they go there.
Ultimately, the thing crashes down around them, they are revealed to be straight and Sandler makes some uplifting speech about how faggots are OK or somesuch tripe. So, 105 minutes of homophobia and 5 minutes of redemption makes everything fine?
This is, of course, what got them their GLAAD seal of approval. But, to think that this compared to Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, which got GLAAD in a hissy fit, despite Smith being so pro-gay and always putting the homophobic stuff in the mouths of his dumbest characters while everyone around them clearly knows better, it is just phenomenal. (In fact, some of the anti-gay stuff happened in editing, as Smith's original girl group in the movie were supposed to include a lesbian couple, so his "anti-gay" stuff actually was a result of editing, unlike Sandler and James where it happened in the writing room).
GLAAD extorted $10,000 out of Smith, by way of a donation to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, as a form of public apology. Yet this movie gets the papal dispensation? Unbelievable.
You can say it's just a dumb Sandler movie, but I've always liked dumb Sandler movies. That it's not meant to be taken seriously, and it's clearly not. But I don't think it can be denied that the movie is 95 percent homophobic stereotypes, and five percent BS to get the movie released without controversy. Had the movie derived comedy playing off the stupidity of homophobia, perhaps I'd thinking differently, but that wasn't the movie.
In any event, I think GLAAD owes Kevin Smith $10,000.