STUCK ON YOU

3 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 127 minutes
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In comedy history, there is an unwritten rule that says you can make fun of a minority or specific class of people if you belong to that group. Mel Brooks and Woody Allen can make fun of Jews because they’re Jewish. Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock can make fun of African Americans because they’re black. And even Jeff Foxworthy can make fun of rednecks because he is one.

Apparently Peter and Bobby Farrelly think they’re freaks. With “Stuck on You,” the Farrelly Brothers continue their cinematic tradition of making fun of freaks – “Dumb and Dumber” (idiots), “Kingpin” (amputees), There’s Something About Mary (retarded people), Me, Myself and Irene (schizophrenics) and Shallow Hal (fat people).

In the Farrelly Brothers’ latest film, Bo (Matt Damon) and Walt (Greg Kinnear) are conjoined twins, but they’re as different as they can be. Bo is a homebody while Walt is a playboy. Together, they run a burger joint in Martha’s Vineyard (a big stretch from the standard Rhode Island location the Farrelly Brothers love so much), but Walt has greater dreams. He wants to be a big time Hollywood actor. He convinces his brother to move out to L.A. with him so he can chase his dream.

Luck comes their way when Cher, who is desperately trying to unload a stinker of a TV pilot, casts Walt as her co-star. She’s banking on the fact that an unknown conjoined twin in the part (which does not include Bo, so he’s not-so-cleverly hidden with furniture, frame lines and blue screens) would kill the series. To her chagrin, the show catches on and becomes a surprise hit.

Meanwhile, Bo is trying to make good with his Internet girlfriend May (Wen Yann Shih), whom he has never met in person and doesn’t know he’s got a brother who’s very, very close. And the hilarity ensues…

Now, I don’t happen to be a retarded schizophrenic idiot missing an arm. But I do happen to be fat, and I did notice that much of “Shallow Hal” made fun of fat people in an often mean-spirited way while hiding behind the filmmakers’ other imperfect friends. “Stuck on You” is no different. In one scene, Bo and Walt defend their retarded friend who works at their diner, which I guess is suppose to make up for all the cheap shots at conjoined twins. I’m also not a conjoined twin, but I’m sure that most conjoined twins might have a problem being the freak du jour for the Farrelly Brothers.

Now don’t misunderstand. I’m not complaining about political incorrectness. I happen to love political incorrectness. I find the politically correct police revolting. As a nation, we need to thicken our skin and stop getting offended at every stupid thing that we see in a movie or hear on the radio.

My beef with the Farrelly Brothers isn’t that they are making fun of people. My beef is that they try to hide behind other sympathies by saying, “It’s okay that we’re making fun of conjoined twins. We like retarded people!” I would have more respect for them if they didn’t hide behind fake compassion. If you’re gonna make fun of something, make fun of it like a man.

Before I get off my soap box, I can’t help but wonder if the Farrelly Brothers could make a decent film without finding some freakish deformity or ailment to wrap it around. In fact, their funniest film is “Dumb and Dumber,” which is just about two stupid characters rather than them being specifically retarded or handicapped. Just make a comedy, for crying out loud! Lately, the Farrelly Brothers have been relying on gimmicks instead of the good, old fashioned slapstick that made them famous.

In closing, I must reserve a few words for Eva Mendes, who plays Walt’s L.A. girlfriend April. The character may be two dimensional, but Mendes is definitely not, if you get my drift. After parts in Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Out of Time, it’s nice to see Mendes in a film where she can really be sexy. My sister once complained about her, saying that Mendes looked “mannish.” Shame on my sister. After seeing Eva Mendes in “Stuck On You,” calling her “mannish” is about as silly as calling Steven Seagal svelte.

If you’re a big fan of the Farrelly Brothers’ films, you should like “Stuck on You.” If their films repulse you, stay home and rent The Hours again. “Stuck on You” isn’t their greatest work by far, but it has some decent laughs.
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Posted on December 13, 2003 in Reviews by
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