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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
Steve Buscemi was actually a New York City Firefighter before he became an actor. His brother is an actor, Michael Buscemi, who plays a firefighter -- "Higgy" in the credits, "Higgins" on his uniform. In turn, an actual firefighter named Mark Higgins (and childhood friend of Sandler's) appears in the movie, but is credited only as "Fireman", along with several other actual firefighters. See more »
When Chuck and Larry are in the cab in Canada, Chuck's necklace appears and disappears between shots. See more »
Seven One Eight
Written by Matt Goias, Keith Grady
Performed by Fannypack
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Entertainment
By arrangement with Shelly Bay Music See more »
Quite a bit better than advertised
In "I NowPronounceYouChuck and Larry," Adam Sandler and Kevin James play two New York City fire fighters who pretend to be gay so that Larry's two kids can be raised by Chuck in the event of Larry's untimely death (Larry's wife has been dead for two years and he has not been able to bring himself to date another woman in all that time). The hitch is that to bring this about, the two of them will have to officially register as "domestic partners." Originally, they intend on keeping their "relationship" a secret, but when the government starts sending inspectors around to verify the validity of their claim, Chuck and Larry are left with the choice of admitting to the scam and going to jail or convincing everyone around them that they are indeed an actual couple.
As a "high concept" comedy, "I NowPronounceYouChuck and Larry" is pretty much a contrived manufacture from the get-go, mixing equal parts humor and sentiment in an attempt to play to the broadest possible audience - which is probably the only way the filmmakers could reasonably have gone with material this dicey. Yet, while the movie traffics in any number of lame stereotypes (gay as well as ethnic), it also has some important things to say about equality and acceptance in an ever changing world. The script achieves about a 50/50 ration in its humor - about half the jokes are zingers while the other half are clunkers - but the movie's heart is definitely in the right place, so much so that you will forgive the filmmakers when the story turns all heavy-handed and preachy towards the end, in what is surely one of the least plausible courtroom scenes in motion picture history. As compensation, the movie actually places its characters in some pretty sticky moral dilemmas at times, the prime one being that, much as we may like and admire Chuck and Larry for all the social barriers they are tearing down, we still hear that little nagging voice in the back of our heads telling us that they are defrauding the public and breaking the law while doing so. Such moral ambiguity is actually a pretty rare commodity for a mainstream American comedy these days.
Sandler and James imbue their roles with a great deal of charm and gusto, and they receive strong support from Dan Aykroyd, Jessica Biel, Ving Rhames and Steve Buscemi.
"I NowPronounceYouChuck and Larry" certainly isn't up to the level of "Knocked Up" or "Superbad," its summer 2007 comedy contemporaries, but neither is it the cinematic disaster most of the critics have accused it of being. It's an uneven but largely likable romp that makes you feel good about the world when it's over.
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