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PCR # 382  (Vol. 8, No. 29)  This edition is for the week of July 16--22, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

The Tampa Film Review for July  by Nolan Canova, Chris Woods, and Chris Passinault
"I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"  by Mike Smith
Moz Mania: Morrissey in Concert....Crowded House is Back!  by Andy Lalino
Asshole....Anyone Seen Raymond Burr?...Baseball....Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 25: Joe Pantoliano  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel and Dan Aykroyd
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Rated:PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 56 mins

We've all had to deal with bureaucratic mishaps. Expired license, tax extensions, insurance coverage. But when fireman Larry Valentine (James) finds he is unable to leave his benefits to his children because he acted too slowly to list them after his wife had passed away, he searches for the only solution to his problem. If he can only get married again, he can leave his new spouse his benefits and ensure his children are taken care of. Still in mourning for his dead wife, Larry decides to go the "domestic partner" route and enlists his old friend and fellow fireman Chuck Levine (Sandler) in the plan. And, as the old movie trailers used to read, "Hijinkx ensues!"

There is a lot that's right with this film and right at the top is the casting. I'll admit right here that I've never seen an episode of "The King of Queens," so I basically had never seen Kevin James in anything substantial (no, I didn't see "Hitch," thank you). James has a big screen quality that reminded me of Chris Farley, who could also find a way to be both sweet and funny. As a man who is forced to raise his children alone, James brings heart to the film. Sandler, who is beginning to tone down his manic man-child act, is a perfect balance to James and the two begin to come off as what they want everyone to think they are: a couple.

The rest of the cast is equally funny, especially a hilariously cast-against type Ving Rhames as a fellow fireman. And also credit a great cameo by Richard Chamberlain who, after years of rumor, finally came out a few years ago. The way the actors respond to each other is testament to an obviously harmonious set. When Chuck accidentally "outs" he and Larry while participating in an AIDS awareness event, the reaction from their friends and co-workers is easy to expect. The other fireman no longer want to work with them and the other parents lead a quiet protest against Larry having anything to do with Little League or scouts. The script, which was co-written by Oscar winner Alexander Payne ("Sideways") is well crafted and the situations that these men find themselves in quite believable. I did get a little worried when, on a shopping trip, Sandler fills the cart with five albums that he declares will prove he is gay and I found that I owned four of them!

What could have been a one note comedy or, worse, a two hour gay joke (did someone say "Batman and Robin?") is actually one of the more touching and hilarious films of the summer. I should mention right now that I stole the "Batman and Robin" line from Kevin Smith. That being said, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" is a funny way to spend two hours this summer.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"  Three stars.

This week's movie review of "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.