Sunday, 16 September 2007

Michael Clarke says "Dennis Dugan's new film is as awkward and clunky as the 2004 Australian movie [Strange Bedfellows]."

I beg to disagree.

But first we must all admit that, yes, the script is a rip-off, using the story from Dean Murphy's movie (with Michael Caton and Paul Hogan). The two Aussie actors are iconic (that word!) and the situation needs to be recognised. Copyright will not apply, but kudos must be granted.

The new movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, however, has a secret weapon guaranteed to make any straight guy take notice: Jessica Biel (pics).

First, she's a lawyer. Second, she's got a great smile. Third, her hall table probably cost around $2000. Fourth, there's a full-frontal (next pic) in skimpy underwear during which Adam Sandler gropes her tits. OK, it's not subtle, but this is frankly not an unpleasant scene to watch.

The Australian original didn't have such a character, nor:

  • Firemen fighting fires (danger, cameraderie)
  • Two devastatingly charming children (enlightened, honest)
  • Ving Rhames as the black guy who comes out (stunning acting)
  • Steve Buscemi as the dastardly city investigator
  • Dan Ackroyd as the crumbling fire chief
  • A Japanese-Canadian minister (Rob Schneider)
  • A gay mailman (beautifully played by Robert Smigel)
  • A 'crazy homeless man' (Blake Clark) who witnesses their marriage and does a Russian dance before hooking up with the mailman

The fireman thing (heavy symbolism post-9/11) is exploited and, as I said, the film isn't subtle. It's vaudeville, complete with pratfalls and slapstick. People fall down, take off their clothes, do the splits, tap-dance, fight, hit each other, and mug. To promote tolerance.

So if the film can entertain as well, that's a good thing.

You'll pardon me for returning to Jessica Biel for a moment. It's not just the semi-nudity. There's also this: she's in charge.

When I worked for the cops back in the 80s, the door guard talked with me about his domestic situation on occasion. He married a woman who subsequently went through law school and became a lawyer. He felt out of his depth and I think they split up.

It's sad. Why shouldn't the woman be the more successful, the more powerful, the more in control of her life? And, in Biel's case, be beautiful as well. The Cat Woman outfit floated my boat, for sure.

Clarke and, I suspect, others dump on the film due to Sandler's caddish rep and the clunky mechanism but we can't have everything all at once. One day a great Hollywood movie on gay desire will be made to rival such classics as Caravaggio (Jarman, 1986) and Querelle (Fassbinder, 1982).

They are the touchstones from my youth and I, for one, hold with the program.

1 comment:

Miao said...

I agree with you on Jessica Biel. She's beautiful.