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DVD Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

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In I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Adam Sandler and Kevin James play firefighters Chuck Levine and Larry Valentine, best friends who couldn’t be more opposite.  Where Chuck – Mr. February in the firefighters calendar – is a ladies' man who dates strippers and Hooters girls, Larry is a family man with two children.  Larry is also a widower who has missed the one-year deadline after his wife's death to change the beneficiary on his life insurance.  It’s been three years, so now his children will get nothing if he dies, and after Chuck and Larry have a close call at a fire, where Larry saves Chuck, Larry realizes he must make sure his kids are taken care of.

When Larry goes to the insurance company to try to fix the problem, an agent suggests that if Larry remarries, his new spouse would be the beneficiary.  In a 3 AM panic, he sees a newspaper headline about domestic partnerships, and that gives him an idea.  He goes to Chuck to call in his favor (which Chuck says he owes Larry for saving his life): he wants Chuck to marry him so his kids will be provided for.  Chuck reluctantly agrees and the two are married in a Canadian chapel.

An insurance agent, checking up on the policy change, meets Chuck and Larry and suspects something, so a second investigator is sent to check on the legitimacy of the marriage.  The weaselly agent Clinton Fitzer is played to perfection by Steve Buscemi, who does everything he can to prove Chuck and Larry aren’t a real couple.

Knowing they will need help, Chuck and Larry get a lawyer, Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel). Chuck ends up falling for her, but can’t do anything about it since he’s pretending to be gay.  Still he does what he can, including feeling her up when she says her breasts are real and insists he feel them as proof.

I enjoyed I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and, intentionally or not (probably not), it conveyed a message about how stupid some bureaucratic laws can be, and did a funny job doing it.

The DVD is packed with extras, including "Laugh-Out-Loud Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Dennis Dugan." In this case the deleted scenes are funny, and they fill in the gaps of how some characters got from one scene to another.  For the most part you can understand how characters got from Scene A to Scene C without seeing Scene B, but there were one or two scenes that should have been left in, like when Clinton Fitzer interviews Chuck's parents about him being gay, and it was a total shock to them since he was a ladies' man going back to Little League.  Ultimately it was cut because of time, so it’s nice to see it here on the DVD.

"Laughing is Contagious" is "a collection of outtakes and funny moments with the cast hosted by Kevin James and Adam Sandler," and the featurette "I Now Pronounce You Husband and Husband?" goes behind the scenes with the cast as they reveal their favorite moments from the film.  In "Look Who Stopped By," Adam and Kevin talk about the actors who did cameos: Richard Chamberlain, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Lance Bass, Dave Matthews, and more.

"Stop, Drop and Roll" is a humorous featurette in which the cast explains how the dangerous stunts were performed.  In "Dugan – The 'Hands On' Director," Sandler and James take a amusing look at Dennis Dugan’s directing style.  There are not one but two Feature Commentaries, one with Dugan, the other with Dugan, Sandler, and James.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a funny film that shows how two friends go above and beyond the call of duty to be there for each other in ways they never imagined.

Grade: B+


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