With dismal reviews from critics all across the country, ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’ still managed to make over 100 million dollars domestically. It just goes to prove that it doesn’t matter what movie it is, Kevin James and Adam Sandler are cash cows. People love their humor I guess. I’m not sure how else to account for movies like this and ‘Paul Blart’ making such ridiculous amounts of money.
‘Chuck and Larry’ revolves around a simply stupid premise. Larry (Kevin James) has two kids, and his beloved wife has passed away. As a New York firefighter he spends his days putting out fires with Chuck (Adam Sandler). Chuck is a womanizing chauvinist pig who has a constant flow of scantily clad women at his beck and call. He’s a man’s man.
After saving Chuck’s life in a near fatal fall, Larry finds himself needing his friend's help, badly. In order to keep his pension, Larry must marry someone, but since he’s too distraught over his wife's passing to date anyone else, he will do the next best thing… marry Chuck. Hijinks ensue.
After Chuck signs on the dotted line the two are officially recognized as a gay couple. To really seal the deal and make sure there aren’t any pesky questions, they head up to Canada to really get married. The ceremony is presided over by Rob Schneider, doing another one of his insanely racist, stereotypical impressions. This time it’s an Asian character, and Schneider pulls out all the stops.
Chuck and Larry soon find themselves under investigation by the state to see if their partnership is real. They hire a lawyer (Jessica Biel) who lets Chuck fondle her, because she thinks he’s gay. Chuck has gone from having a house full of women every night, to sleeping next to Kevin James, and it’s starting to wear on him.
The film meanders along from one gay gag to another. It covers the litany of gay jokes, and even throws in a bunch of fat jokes for good measure. But, then the film has the gall to preach about treating everyone with equality. After using every stereotypical gay joke in the book, we then get the “everybody is equal” speech.
‘Chuck and Larry’ does provide some semi-decent laughs every once in a while, like when Dan Akroyd, the fire chief, can’t stop talking about his swollen prostate. But, the film seems so hypocritical and heavy-handed in its message that you’re left wondering if the filmmakers actually believe what they’re preaching.
The 1080p/VC-1 transfer has a little bit of everything in it. This isn’t one of the best HD presentations by any means. Skin tones seem to suffer from a slight orange skin effect. It’s like most of the people here have a bad spray-on tan.
Outdoor scenes, on the other hand, turn out quite nicely. The scenes where fire is billowing out of downtown New York buildings are beautiful. The brickwork is stunningly clear, and the fire is a good mix of all the right reds and oranges.
Aliasing is a problem toward the end, with Sandler’s outrageously striped suit. Some noticeable edge enhancement plagues the film. Delineation is nice though, and aside from the aliasing and edge enhancement, other digital oddities are kept out of sight.
‘Chuck and Larry’ doesn’t need a loud, boisterous soundtrack. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 does just what it needs to here to give us some great lossless audio. The sound is immersive. Ambient crowd noises are supplied well from the rear channels, while fires raging out of buildings are cleanly presented in the side and center channels.
The dialogue is presented cleanly and never sounds muffled or low. The sub even fires on a few occasions when it’s called on.
Being mainly a talking comedy, the soundtrack for ‘Chuck and Larry’ still holds some surprises. Like the film or not, it’s hard to find any fault with its audio track.
What a shame. How in the world does this Blu-ray release not include at least the same special features that were on the 2007 HD DVD release? It just doesn’t make any sense. Production featurettes, a few deleted scenes, and a blooper reel are all missing. Instead all you get are two lame audio commentaries that can be used as sleep aides.
Universal tries to make up for not including any of the old special features by waving a worthless “Friendship Test” you can take via U-Control. You can also save your favorite clips from the show using My Scenes. I assume that this will only be used to skip straight to the Jessica Biel in her underwear scene.
I will never understand when studios re-release a movie on a different format, but they don’t port over the original special features. It’s unforgivable. They can’t even be bothered to give us the old special features let alone make any informative new ones.
A lot of people liked ‘Chuck and Larry’ you can see that just by looking at how it did at the box office. I suppose it can be viewed on a turn-off-your-brain-and-veg-out level. Maybe then it will provide some amusement, but it’s hard to get over the backhanded way it tries to get its point across using every gay joke in the book, before reminding us that everyone wants to be treated with respect. Oh the hypocrisy!
With an average video presentation and an above average audio presentation I’ll have to give ‘Chuck and Larry’ a rent it for anyone who wants to watch it. It’s definitely not worth owning though.
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