Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he's finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day.
Chuck Levine and Larry Valentine are friends and Brooklyn firefighting partners. Widower Larry, who still mourns the death of his wife Paula, is having problems changing the beneficiary on his insurance policy from Paula's name to his children's. He is worried about his children's future if he were to be killed in the line of duty, and is contemplating quitting his job for something less risky, but he also does not want to forfeit his firefighter's pension as he also see it as a safety net for his children. Larry saves Chuck's life on one of their calls. So when Chuck tells Larry that he owes him one, Larry takes him up on his offer. Larry's favor: despite both being heterosexual, that they enter into a domestic partnership, in name and paper only, to provide that much needed protection for Larry's children. Chronic womanizer Chuck reluctantly but eventually agrees. The one person who knows for a certainty that they are both straight is their boss, Captain Phineas J. Tucker. Their ... Written by
Producer Tom Shadyac had planned this film as early as 1999. I Now Pronounce You Joe and Benny, as the film was then titled, was announced as starring Nicolas Cage and Will Smith with Shadyac directing. See more »
When Captain Tucker is shown holding a piece of cake and offering some of it to Tori, the hand he's using to hold the fork changes between shots. See more »
May I have my cake and eat it please? Oh, no need to worry about the taste.
Chuck and Larry are buddies and fellow fire-fighters in New York. They are very close and would do anything for one another so, when a problem with Larry's pension arrangements comes up that can be solved by entering into a civil partnership, Chuck agrees to pose as his "husband" in order to solve the admin problem. Sadly a high profile fraud case in another state means that the "couple" are under scrutiny from obsessive investigator Clint Fritzer and must play their roles to the full. Hilarity naturally ensues but can everyone also learn a lesson as well?
It dismays me to hear people praising this film for its "sensitive handling" of the subject of homosexuality and the way it challenges bigoted thinking on the subject such thoughts can be found in the comments section on this site and they dismay me because sadly to some viewers this film may be the nearest thing to "discussion" on homosexuality that they have had. In this way maybe one could make a case for this film being an effective but blunt tool for the mostly teenage male fan-base of Adam Sandler to be "reached" and "educated" by giving them what they want in terms of crude humour and broad stereotypes but then also leaving them with a message that will teach them the error of their ways. It would certainly be nice to say that but one cannot help feel that this is not the reality and that, rather than using the crude stereotypes as a vehicle to deliver a message to a traditionally homophobic fan-base, the film is actually using the message to facilitate lots of homosexual stereotypes, jokes and clichés.
This is what the film does throughout it wants to have its cake and then also get to eat it. So, spoiler alert, it turns out that homosexuals are people too. Apparently (according to the film) it is NOT OK to treat them differently and exclude them from things and anyone who does, well, y'know what, ell, turns out those that are do are the real jerks. That is about as sophisticated as the message gets but that is perhaps to be expected and for the target audience maybe that is challenging enough. Unfortunately for the wider audience or casual viewer it will come off as little more than patronising and not make up for the fact that the majority of the film flies in the face of this. What the rest of the film does is draw laughs from the fact that two straight characters have to "be gay" which of course means all the stereotypical stuff that we all know. So nobody wants to pick up the soap in the shower (because all a gay man needs to be aroused is the sight of someone's ass), disco music is played, finger-snapping is everywhere and so on. Fortunately it is sporadically amusing and provided me with a few chuckles whether I wanted to give them up or not. It is not THAT funny though and the casual viewer will mostly just let the brash, obvious humour wash over them without it doing much.
The cast buy into it well though and do their best to sell it. Sandler is his usual rather annoying self and does his best to prove he cannot act by being the usual "irresistible to women" thing rather than the "creepy man-child" that he would be were his character real. James comes off a lot better I'm not really seen him before although he probably does fit TV better than films but he does have a good comic presence and also does OK with coming over more of a regular guy. Loved Ving Rhames in it sending up his tough guy image while Buscemi, Aykroyd and a few others are amusing in support. Biel has an amazing body and that is pretty much what she is asked to do be in underwear and look stunning, both of which she effortlessly does but nothing else comes forward.
This film is not the awful piece of comedy that some critics have said but it is a simple, stereotypical comedy about homosexual clichés that tries to justify it by having a very basic message that most people should have already learnt in the 1990's. While some may praise the film for having this message I find it more concerning that people still see this message as somehow "worthy" rather than "d'uh of course". Some laughs help it through and Sandler's fans will enjoy it despite the "message" but for the casual viewer it is just another clumsy and crude Adam Sandler film.
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