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Dennis Dugan
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel
Writing Credits:
Barry Fanaro, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Two straight, single Brooklyn firefighters pretend to be a gay couple in order to receive domestic partner benefits.

Box Office:
$85 million.
Opening Weekend
$34,233,750 on 3495 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 116 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 7/21/2009

• Audio Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan and Actors Adam Sandler and Kevin James
• Audio Commentary with Director Dennis Dugan
• Interactive “Friendship Test”


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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


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I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry [Blu-Ray] (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 21, 2021)

In 2007, audiences again made their choice clear: they like “funny Sandler”. Adam Sandler took one of his occasional forays into more dramatic fare with spring’s Reign Over Me and totally fizzled. The movie received mixed – though generally decent - reviews and took in a mere $19 million at the box office.

During the summer, Sandler came back with more traditional work for him: a broad comedy called I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. This wacky effort earned consistently abysmal reviews but audiences didn’t care. The flick still took in a pretty solid $120 million, which made it Sandler’s eighth $100 million-plus grossing movie to that point.

I guess there’s no accounting for taste, as this turns into one of Sandler’s weaker efforts. Pronounce introduces us to a pair of New York firefighters.

Chuck (Sandler) is a cocky macho dude who has women fighting over him. Larry (Kevin James) is a single father of two. He never changed his pension beneficiary from his late wife to his kids, and he hits a brick wall of paperwork when he attempts to do this.

It turns out the easiest way to make sure his insurance stays in the family would be to remarry. Larry convinces Chuck to engage in a domestic partnership so the benefits will pass to his pal if he dies. Chuck reluctantly agrees, which sets the pair off on a difficult journey to maintain their charade.

Over the years, I’ve often defended Sandler. He gets attacked for his crude, lowest common denominator humor, but I think folks frequently underestimate the cleverness of his work. While Sandler can engage in cheap, obvious gags, he also can display real inventiveness and wit.

Unfortunately, you’ll find none of that from the consistently witless and offensive Pronounce. We know we’re in trouble right off the bat as the flick attempts to make us laugh with images of an insanely obese bed-ridden man Chuck and Larry must rescue from a fire.

That premise is cheesy enough, but it gets worse when a) the guy’s crotch ends up in Chuck’s face, and b) the guy farts on him. I’m sorry to say that the comedy never becomes more creative or sophisticated.

Here’s what I predicted about Pronounce months before I saw it: “Let's throw out as many homophobic bits as possible for 90 minutes as long as we ‘redeem’ it with an uplifting message at the end!” That statement’s not entirely true, as the movie runs almost two hours, so it’s substantially longer than the 90 minutes I estimated.

Otherwise, my gut reaction to Pronounce was pretty accurate. Sure, the film starts to move in the direction of political correctness before its finale, but it still makes sure it throws out as many homophobic jokes as possible along the way. Even when it tries to embrace its “gay is okay” theme, it can’t resist cheap gags.

Admittedly, you can’t go into a Sandler film and not expect a plethora of tacky bits. Even his best comedies like 50 First Dates still come with a smattering of gross-out moments, so they seem to be unavoidable.

At least Dates redeems itself in other ways, but that doesn’t happen here. When we’re barely done with the opening credits and we encounter a scene that features an absurdly obese man a) whose crotch ends up in Sandler’s face and b) who then farts on Sandler, you know you’re in for a rough ride.

At least scenes like that demonstrate that Pronounce won’t limit its offensive gags to the gays. In addition to the scene I just mentioned, James’s girth means plenty of fat jokes, and Rob Schneider executes a small role as the most offensive Asian caricature since Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Gay jokes still heavily dominate the film, but we get stuck with these other tired riffs as well. Ugh.

Even if the jokes landed laughs, the film suffers from other problems. At almost two hours, it’s way too long for such a thin story.

The flick drives home its points again and again. I can’t say that this comes with decreasing effectiveness since the movie never works anyway, but the extended length makes it even more painful to watch.

And then there’s the completely absurd nature of its story, as the whole pension plot makes absolutely no sense. On what planet is it easier for two men to get married circa 2007 than for one guy to switch his beneficiary from his dead wife to his kids?

The movie tries to pass this off as some red tape problem exacerbated by Larry’s tardiness, but it couldn’t possibly be less logical. Seriously, the writers couldn’t think up a more believable scenario to prompt this faux gay marriage?

Apparently not, and the movie suffers for it. Could someone make a funny flick about this subject? Sure, but in the case of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, no one bothered.

The film has one redeeming moment: the sight of Jessica Biel in her underwear. Otherwise it’s a tiresome waste of time.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While some of the movie looked quite good, many other moments seemed problematic.

Sharpness usually appeared accurate and detailed. At times, however, I found the image to come across as somewhat fuzzy and soft, with lesser definition seen in some of the wide shots. Nonetheless, most of the movie appeared clear and appropriately focused.

Moiré effects and jagged edges presented no concerns, and edge haloes remained absent. I also saw no print flaws.

Colors went for a mild mix of teal and amber. The hues lacked much vivacity, but they reproduced the source fairly well.

Black levels were fairly deep and rich, but shadow detail was more than adequate. Ultimately, this was a watchable transfer.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it was surprisingly involving given the movie’s genre. I don’t expect much from comedies, but the fires opened up the mix in a solid manner.

In the forward channels, the music provided good stereo separation and the effects broadened the track well. Surrounds added positive reinforcement in quieter scenes and kicked to life nicely during the action sequences. The track used the various channels in an active manner and created a fine sense of setting.

Audio quality appeared very good. Dialogue was consistently warm and natural, and speech displayed no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects were lively and dynamic.

During the fires, bass response seemed especially good, as that side of things brought out real depth. Music also sounded bright and clear. There weren’t enough of those action scenes to bolster my grade above a “B”, but this was still a nice track.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio offered a bit more range and impactm though it stayed with a similar soundscape.

Visuals offered a decent upgrade, though, as the Blu-ray seemed better defined and more vivid. While not a great image, the BD still topped the mediocre DVD.

As we move to the extras, we start with two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from director Dennis Dugan and actors Adam Sandler and Kevin James. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion view of locations and sets, other cast members, cut scenes and editing, musical choices, and a few general notes.

With Sandler and James in tow, you might expect a lot of funny bits here. You won’t find many, unfortunately. Oh, there’s the occasional laugh, but for the most part, this is a track packed with happy talk and fluff.

They kid around with each other and tell us how much they like different parts of the movie. They also make sure we know the names of many, many performers in the film, a trend that gets tedious quickly. This isn’t a very interesting track.

Note that although Pronounce boasts a “PG-13” rating, this is an “R”-rated commentary. Sandler lets the “F-bombs” fly, so if you have sensitive ears, you won’t be happy.

Next we get a solo track from director Dennis Dugan. He provides his own running, screen-specific discussion. Essentially Dugan covers the same topics found in the first track, though with a moderately different perspective.

We get a fair amount of the same info. Dugan recorded this commentary after he did the other one and acknowledges that he’s repeating notes but does it anyway.

Dugan does offer a little more detail about the production without Sandler and James along for the ride – not a lot more detail, but enough to make this a more satisfying track for those who want to learn something about the film. Unfortunately, Dugan also uses the space to incessantly shill for his next movie.

He seems to think his promotional efforts are amusing, but they’re not. They’re irritating at best.

Despite that trend, this is the superior commentary of the two. It’s not a particularly good commentary, but it proves more useful than its predecessor.

New to the Blu-ray, U-Control offers a “Friendship Test”. As the movie runs, occasional multiple-choice questions appear that you answer to gauge your attitude toward your pals.

At the end, the “Test” gives you a goofy result about what a good – or bad – friend you are. It’s not a memorable feature but it seems inoffensive.

Inexplicably, the Blu-ray loses deleted scenes and featurettes from the DVD. Very early Blu-rays frequently lost DVD extras, but this disc came out in 2009 when this practice has largely ceased.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry takes a pretty lame premise and turns it into an even less intriguing film. Packed with cheap gags, nary a laugh can be found. The Blu-ray offers generally good picture and audio with some lackluster bonus materials. Avoid this offensive and awful movie.

To rate this film visit the original review of I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main