Monday, December 03, 2007

That was unexpected

Did you see Adam Sandler and Kevin James in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry? My wife and I rented it this weekend, and I was blown away. The story begins with Mr. James's character, a firefighter named Larry, saving Mr. Sandler's character's life (Sandler = Chuck). Thanking Larry, Chuck explains that he now owes Larry a life-debt: "Whatever, whenever." As it turns out, "whenever" = today. Larry learns that, because he did not act quickly enough after his wife died, he can no longer change the designated beneficiary of his pension to his kids. So, if Larry died tomorrow, his kids wouldn't get any of his pension. There is a loophole, however--if he marries again, he can designate his new spouse as his beneficiary. With no female offerors, he convinces Chuck to drive up to Canada and become his lawfully wedded husband. The City of New York, however, smells something fishy and assigns Steve Buscemi to investigate. The movie ends memorably, but my lips are sealed.

You know, I was a little surprised when Ms. Avacado suggested we watch it. You would think that if one of us had suggested, it would have been I. But--seriously--she wanted to watch it. (Heh--then she fell asleep halfway through.) As expected, it had scenes obviously targeted toward the male audience, but it was an amazingly sophisticated and complex story. Think John Howard Griffin's Black Like Me, but with straight guys pretending to be gay instead of a white guy pretending to be black. As the story develops, the viewer glimpses the strife of being a gay American through the eyes of characters who are just like us and have no obvious gay-rights agenda. Just like Griffin, Sandler and James show us how the other side lives.

As a law student, I am a student of argumentation. This movie argues very effectively in favor of gay marriage, or at least fighting sexual preference-based hatred. By the end of the movie, you find yourself asking "Why not?" to the question of gay marriage. Brangelina's reported refusal to marry until everybody can get married, on the other hand, only annoys me. I don't care if Mr. and Mrs. Smith ever get married--but Chuck and Larry made me think about how I think about homosexuals.

I recommend I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. (I just wish they had given it a shorter title.) Watch it, think about it, see if it inspires you. Black Like Me made me conscious of how I think about and interact with those who are visibly different from me. Chuck and Larry just may make you think about how you think about and interact with those who are not so visibly different.

Let's erase the hate. ¡Somos todos americanos!


Mark S. said...

I also thought the movie was good when I saw it.

But you know, I was also disappointed with how the priest was portrayed.

Typical asian sterotype with the accent and all...and of course they openly made fun of him.

I mean sure, it was entertaining, but with the movie being what it was about...aren't you disappointed with how the china-man was treated?

Jeremy Masten said...

I probably would have been disappointed, but I didn't realize he was supposed to be Asian. I just thought he was just the typical weird character Adam Sandler always throws into his movies.

Did you know Rob Schneider played the priest?