On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a raunchy, testosterone-driven 5 with a relevant message about tolerance and acceptance.
If you can overlook the slapstick and silly shtick, this mainstream, contemporary satire makes the case for civil unions, domestic partnerships and gay marriages.
Perennial bachelor Chuck Levine (Adam Sandler) and widower father Larry Valentine (Kevin James) are best-friend Brooklyn firefighters who resort to pretending to be gay life partners when Larry has bureaucratic problems with his pension and Chuck offers to repay a life-saving favor. When a suspicious N.Y.C. fraud inspector (Steve Buscemi) questions their legitimacy, they hire a sexy, crusading lawyer (Jessica Biel) to defend their rights Were big-time fruits- not to mention the bodacious authenticity of her breasts.
Screenwriters Barry Fanaro, Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, along with Sandlers favorite director, Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, The Benchwarmers), lack subtlety and credulity, falling prey to gay-cliché moments, like the prison rape joke, the dropping-the-soap in the locker-room shower joke, and a City Council president cameo by out-of-the-closet Richard Chamberlain – and the third-act simply succumbs.
But thats not the fault of FDNYs Engine 506/Ladder 223 firefighters played by Dan Aykroyd, Gary Valentine, Jonathan Loughran, Michael Buscemi, Renaldo Pinera, Peter Dante and Ving Rhames or Saturday Night Live alums Rachel Dratch and Robert Smigel, along with Dave Matthews and Lace Bass, plus Sandler sidekicks David Spade and Rob Schneider, who steals scenes as Canadas Two Hearts Wedding Chapel minister.
As a side note, the usually publicity-shy, Sandler recently revealed he has a gay family member whos in a long-term relationship and is well aware of discrimination faced by same-sex couples.