Gay jokes and fart jokes and fat jokes — Oh, my!

By Gus Bode

“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry”

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd

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Directed by Dennis Dugan

Runtime: 110 min

There is something very problematic about a film that goes to such great lengths to be pro-gay, yet is simultaneously built upon gay jokes and stereotypes.

“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” is a farce of a social statement about homosexuality, centered around two heterosexual firefighters, Chuck (Adam Sandler) and Larry (Kevin James), who declare a domestic partnership in order to secure Larry’s pension for his children in the case of his death. Unfortunately, the faux-lovers’ scheme goes awry when their partnership is brought into question by the city, forcing the two friends to assume the superficialities of a gay lifestyle.

Like most Sandler movies, “Chuck and Larry” aims its jokes right at the funny bone of the junior high audience, busting out a plethora of fart, fat, gay and sexist humor.

In one of the opening scenes, in which Chuck and Larry flex their heroic firefighter muscles, the two characters rescue a morbidly obese man from a burning building. After taking the time to crack a few jokes about his weight — while the building is burning down, no less — they attempt to carry him down the stairs. Regrettably, the man’s girth prevails, causing him to fall forward, landing on top of Chuck. It is at this moment the man lets fly a cathartic bellowing of flatulence across Chuck’s face.

This style of highbrow humor permeates throughout the film.

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The most interesting element of “Chuck and Larry” is the involvement of the Academy Award-winning duo, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, in the screenplay. Over the past decade, Payne and Taylor have produced a string of great comedies (“Election,” “About Schmidt” and “Sideways”) that portray a great deal of character insight and do not rely on hackneyed comedic antics. One can only hope contractual obligations were all that tied these two to this venture.

As a whole, “Chuck and Larry” is a pseudo-progressive film that attempts to encourage the acceptance of homosexuality by stereotyping it. There is not one gay character in the film that is not a defined stereotype and there is not one adult female character that is not sexually objectified in some way. With this in mind, one might seriously doubt the sincerity of the involved filmmakers in making this ‘pro-gay’ film. “Chuck and Larry” is essentially “Brokeback Mountain” for frat boys.

Daily Egyptian reporter Devin Vaughn can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 275 or [email protected]

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