Everyone's a critic: 'I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry'

Friday, July 27, 2007

Three stars (out of four)

I had a bit of trepidation about seeing "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry." Though I am a big fan of Kevin James and have always enjoyed Adam Sandler's movies, I was afraid that this movie was going to be 90 minutes of homophobia. That was definitely how the previews portrayed it and until at least halfway through it seemed like that's what it was. However, there was a positive message about tolerance and acceptance in the end.

Firefighters Chuck and Larry have been through it all together and are best friends, despite having completely opposite home lives: Larry is a widower and devoted father and Chuck is a bachelor to the fullest extent. When Larry saves Chuck's life in a collapsed building, Chuck offers Larry a favor in return, to be named at Larry's discretion. Larry failed to switch his pension benefits to make his children the benefactors after the death of his wife and a marriage of convenience quickly seems like the best solution. Chuck, a trusted friend, seems like the best person for the job, despite both men's heterosexual status. The state smells fraud immediately and opens an investigation, sending Chuck and Larry to a beautiful lawyer, Alex, who becomes the object of Chuck's affection, creating many problems for the recently wed pair.

There were a ton of great cameos in this movie, alongside the usual Sandler players. I thought "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" was funny and had a lot of heart. In typical Sandler style, this movie is pretty vulgar, so it's definitely not one for younger viewers. All in all, it was a good movie with an open-minded perspective.

-- Kendra Eads

Three and a half stars (out of four)

Larry Valentine, a recently widowed firefighter, and his best friend, Chuck Levine, a single, womanizing firefighter, become involved in a fraudulent scheme that could send them both to jail. Attempting to assure that his children receive his pension when he dies, Larry convinces Chuck to marry him and pretend that they are a gay couple. While carrying out the scheme, the two realize how important friendship and respect for one another are.

This is a comical story that keeps you laughing throughout. With Chuck's (Adam Sandler) quick wit and cynical attitude and Larry's (Kevin James) earnest desire to do the right thing for his children, the movie keeps you wondering what the two are going to come up with next. I would not recommend this movie for children younger than 15, even though it is rated PG-13. There are several nude scenes as well as sexual undertones, yet both are done without offensiveness or vulgarity.

My husband and I enjoyed it for the adult comedy that it was, so I give this movie 3 1/2 stars.

-- Angie Flieg

Three stars (out of four)

"I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" does a good job combining humor with life lessons. Larry (Kevin James) is trying to find a way to secure the financial future for his children, due to the inability to change his pension plan over to his children should he die, and Chuck (Adam Sandler) does what any good friend would do: He marries Larry and challenges society's look at domestic partnership.

A multitude of underlying messages were found in the movie: 1) Friends are friends through thick and thin, no matter what, 2) Stereotypes are not always right, 3) If you are put into a situation you may find that your own beliefs are challenged and changed and 4) People are just people no matter what.

I like both of these actors and was delighted when Dan Aykroyd showed up in the movie. Be ready to answer some of the tough questions in life if you take young children. I love how Chuck helped Eric prepare for his upcoming audition and accepted him just as he was, tap dancing cleats and all.

-- Barb Gleason

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