Prudence and Madness


I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Anti-Gay or Pro-Gay?
October 10, 2007, 0:40
Filed under: Movies | Tags:

Early this afternoon, with tons of things to do (review, clean up my room, write blog post for Blog Action Day, etcetera) but too lazy to do it, I decided to watch a movie that I’ve kept putting off for some time: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.

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Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude sexual content throughout, nudity, language and drug references
Distributors: Universal Pictures Distribution, Universal Pictures International
U.S. Box Office: $119,318,320

***Warning! Some spoilers ahead! Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you! 😆

Awww…they look cute, don’t they?

I don’t know why I’ve been putting off watching this movie. I love Adam Sandler movies because he reminds me a lot of an ex-boyfriend. Haha.

The story is about two firefighters, notorious womanizer and all-around jerk bachelor, Chuck Levine (Adam Sandler) and father of two kids and widower, Larry Valentine (Kevin James), who are good friends. Larry asked for favor from Chuck, since he saved his life, to help him claim pension benefits for his kids by being his domestic partner, since he doesn’t want to look for a new wife. Thinking that it would be easy, Chuck agreed, after being initially reluctant. They went to get married at Niagara Falls and Chuck moved in with Larry and his unsuspecting kids. However, when a government bureaucrat becomes suspicious of their new arrangement, they had to orchestrate a charade to project domestic bliss, which includes stuffing their garbage cans with “gay stuff”. Things got complicated when Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel) entered the picture as their lawyer and Chuck fell in love with her enough to become less of a jerk and be more the sensitive and warm type of guy. Things get more confused until it ended up in a court room hearing (with a bunch of pro-gay and anti-gay movement around) and there, Chuck and Larry realized that building a family isn’t only about being a man and a woman, but rather sticking together through thick and thin.

chuck_and_larry3.jpg

Some people have criticized this film being anti-gay, since it involved certain gay stereotypes and the characters poking fun at it, like listening to music of Wham!, Village People, and doing musicals. Some also noted that the movie seem to promote a lot of stereotypes for both men and women: that “real” men are those who sleep around, fantasize of sex with lots of women (and actualize these fantasies), play basketball, do “macho” stuff, and overall, treat women as their playthings and that women are the bimbo kind who let themselves be men’s playthings. At the beginning of the movie, Larry was portrayed as being in fear for his son’s “questionable” sexuality, with the kid discovering a fondness for cooking, musical plays, tap-dancing, and a dislike for watching/playing sports and pornographic magazines depicting naked women. Does this encourage viewers to adopt the same perspective? That parents should be in fear if their sons start to display interest in “womanly” activities such as cooking, dancing, and getting dressed up? Also, the movie showed that much of the religious organizations nowadays do condemn homosexuality (“gay is not the way”, they say). Does this movie portray that homosexuals are anti-religion or anti-God?

As the movie plays on, we’re led to see how both the Chuck and Larry characters start to evolve and each are discovering their more “sensitive” or “feminine” side, with Larry starting to accept his son for what he is (even joining him in his practices at home for his audition), and Chuck learning that being a more sensitive and warm guy, something that is oftentimes connected with being gay, who could emotionally connect with a woman, is not going to make him less of a man. Watch out for that scene where Chuck goes shopping with Alex (I love all that lip pointing and making faces!). The complication that is the attraction of Chuck for Alex is a bit of a nice touch for this movie, I think. It adds more to the tension and confusion of Chuck, being caught in between sticking up for his friend and going after the woman he loves.

The “fight” scene was rather cute too. I can’t imagine two heterosexual guys fighting like that. And yet, they are two heterosexual guys fighting like how a husband and wife would.

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And yes, Steve Buscemi never fails to make me laugh. I know it’s bad to laugh at someone’s appearance, but damn, he’s just so effective in being so weird and funny at the same time. Who would forget him? Especially in his roles in Con-Air, as a dangerous, mentally-deranged prisoner, and the homeless guy in another Adam Sandler movie, Big Daddy? And in this movie, he’s the relentless bureaucrat who even digs in Chuck and Larry’s garbage can just to hunt for “evidence” that the two aren’t really a homosexual couple. A parody, perhaps, of those people who spend a ridiculous amount of time prying other people’s lives, especially homosexuals, with the mission of condemning them and then purging them of their “sins”?

Overall, I don’t think the movie is being anti-gay by depicting all these “stereotypes”. I mean, in real life, some people do harbor these prejudices and they judge those around them based on these. But it does not mean that they are correct. This movie is actually pro-gay, I think, and redeems itself with scenes encouraging people to come out of the closet and be true to themselves and be not afraid of how people will judge their sexuality. And this movie shows that people are not correct in telling others how they should live their lives or how they should not be a homosexual because they’re an “abomination in the eyes of God”. Being a “real” man does not mean getting the most number of women to bed or being the toughest guy out there (imagine, Ving Rhames is gay in this movie…and an “axe murderer” too). Gay men are real men too. Perhaps what makes a man (and a woman) is how one stays true to friends and fight for what is truly right, no matter how many people will have the delusion that their twisted version of what is right is what you should follow.

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6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I guess it depends on how the viewer sees it. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t really tell if it’s anti-gay or not, but by the looks of it.. parang mas matutuwa pa ako kaysa ma-offend.

The problem with some people kasi, once na may nakita silang offensive sa isang bagay, yun kaagad ang titirahin nila. Hindi nila tinitignan ang kabuuan ng isang bagay.

“Gay men are real men too.”

Apir tayo jan. Hehe.

Comment by Jhed

[…] Hollywood wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWatch out for that scene where Chuck goes shopping with Alex (I love all that lip pointing and making faces!). The complication that is the attraction of Chuck for Alex is a bit of a nice touch for this movie, I think. … […]

Pingback by Movies » I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Anti-Gay or Pro-Gay?

[…] Erik Davis wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThings got complicated when Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel) entered the picture as their lawyer and Chuck fell in love with her enough to become less of a jerk and be more the sensitive and warm type of guy. Things get more confused until … […]

Pingback by Hollywood » I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Anti-Gay or Pro-Gay?

What i can’t understand is why even in the U.S. sexual orientation is still an issue. In Canada it was already resolved that gays and lesbians are equals and their union (same-sex) now accorded the same rights as between man and woman and enjoys the same benefits. of course union for the purpose of convenience can be dealt with according to law. like doing it to defraud the government of taxes as same-sex unions are also considered as married for income tax purposes, but most of the time the authorities ignore them if it is not rampant since it’s hard to prove in court, like someone marrying somebody for immigration purposes, some even pay for them with substantial amount, especially if some good paying job waiting. there is always loopholes and others will immediately take advantage of them, normal human behaviour…

Comment by vic

It depends, I think..
I haven’t seen the movie actually. But Anti-Gay or Pro-Gay, GAY MEN are REAL MEN still…
People just need to come out, really. And be true to themselves. That’s all that matters… Like the movie Grey Matters (only it’s about gay women).

Bakla, tomboy, tao pa din yan and may feelings…

I’ll watch this movie nga! Haha!!

Comment by mats




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