With the ongoing and never-ending battle for gay rights erupting from coast to coast, it was only a matter of time until the issues were touched in a main-stream movie. Marriage, union, or contract, the benefits are the same, but the terms are different. Though there have been other movies getting close to this concept, only I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry examines what happens if two straight men attempt to get unionized simply for the benefits.
Chuck & Larry tells the story of two best friends. Chuck Levine (Sandler) is a firefighter who happens to hook up with almost every single female in the world. Larry Valentine (Kevin James) is also a firefighter, though he recently lost his wife and has two kids to take care of. The two men are extremely close, and they serve on the same line. Throughout the movie, this relationship – that of platonic love between two men – is stressed repeatedly.
After Larry's wife dies, he forgets to change his life insurance and other legal documents to be in his kids names. Instead, the benefits and money remain in his wife's name, and if Larry died at some point, everything would be stuck in probate court instead of going straight to his kids. To name his kids beneficiaries, Larry would need to either get married or divorced, and the later is not possible. Instead of finding a mail-order bride, he convinces Chuck, who owes him for a previous life saving, to become his "partner."
They head to Canada, get married, and come home; everything should be done and good. Of course, that wouldn't make for a good movie, now would it? Instead, the city for which they work becomes suspicious and thinks the two might be trying to cheat the system (which, of course, they are). To fight these charges, Chuck and Larry must start looking and acting like a couple. They move in together, start shopping together, and publicize their relationship. After hiring the very sexy Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel) as their lawyer, the two men plan to fight the city's investigation. This is the meat of the movie, as the friends are forced into a life they never anticipated, though one with which they are oddly comfortable.