Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Eva Mendes, Wen Yann Shih, Pat Crawford Brown, Ray 'Rocket' Valliere, Tommy Songin, Terence Bernie Hines, Cher, Jackie Flynn, Seymour Cassel
Charles B. Wessler (story), Bennett Yellin (story), Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly
Whatever happens to the boys, one thing is certain. Nothing will ever come between them.
Conjoin the fun with Bob (Damon) and Walt (Kinnear) Tenor, twin brothers who share a passionifor life - and a liver! But their unique bond leads to wild complications when Walt decides to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor and persuades his reluctant sibling to go along for the ride. Loaded with over-the-top humor and outrageous antics, Stuck On You will leave you beside yourself with laughter!
$9.411 million on 3003 screens.
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby 2.0
French Dolby 2.0
Runtime: 118 min.
Release Date: 4/27/2004
• Audio Commentary by Writers/Producers/Directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly
• Extended/Deleted Scenes
• Blooper Reel
• Three Behind the Scenes Featurettes
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Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.
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Stuck On You (2003)
Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 21, 2004)
Will the Farrelly brothers ever achieve the success of their breakout flick, 1998’s There’s Something About Mary? At this point, I’d guess no, not unless they do something to change their MO. The wacky gross-out route scored well with Mary and Dumb and Dumber seems to have lost favor, as none of their last few flicks managed to score big at the box office.
First Me, Myself and Irene failed to perform terrifically well in 2000. $90 million doesn’t sound too shabby, but as the follow-up to Mary’s $176 million, it seemed like a disappointment, especially given the presence of the usually-reliable Jim Carrey in the lead; very few of his comedies fall short of the $100 million mark. Shallow Hal followed in 2001, and without as much star-power, it did even worse; it wound up with a mediocre total gross of $70 million.
For their most recent wacky flick, the Farrellys continued to fall at the box office. 2003’s Stuck on You bowed during the busy holiday season and managed to rake in a mere $33 million.
That’s for good reason. While I’ve never seen a Farrelly flick that seemed consistently enjoyable, the others occasionally tossed out some decent gags. Not so for Stuck, which failed to present many laughs or much else that redeemed the project.
Initially set in Martha’s Vineyard, we meet conjoined twins Walt (Greg Kinnear) and Bob Tenor (Matt Damon). They own a restaurant called Quickee Burger where they also serve as short-order cooks. Walt’s slick with the ladies and aspires to be an actor, whereas Bob’s more of a shy nerd who seems happy with his current life. He does maintain an Internet romance with California resident May Fong (Wen Yan Shih), a factor Walt uses to his advantage when he declares he wants to move to Hollywood to try his luck as an actor. Bob doesn’t believe this’ll work, but Walt convinces him to give it three months.
The boys head to LA and move into a tacky long-term motel called the Rising Star. Other aspiring performers live there as well, and they quickly meet sexy hopeful starlet April (Eva Mendes). She befriends the boys and sets up Walt with a sleazy old-time agent named Morty O’Reilly (Seymour Cassel).
Things don’t go well initially, but they improve when the boys accidentally bump into Cher. She got stuck on a lame new TV series called Honey and the Beaze and wants out of her contract. To force the network to break it, she hires Walt as the other lead. When Bob mocks the script’s dialogue, Cher has him do a re-write. To everyone’s surprise, they help make the show a surprise hit.
As the boys’ star rises, Bob gets to know May. However, he works hard to keep his conjoined twin status a secret from her. They also don’t let the press know about this, so when the secret gets out, controversy quickly arises, though the boys use it to their advantage and become even bigger stars. However, May freaks when she discovers the truth.
The rest of the film follows that relationship as well as tensions that arise between the boys. Early in the film we learn that if they had an operation to be separated, Bob would be fine but there’s only a 50 percent chance Walt will live. You don’t suppose that’ll come into play later, do you?
No, one can’t expect many surprises from Stuck, as it follows a relentlessly predictable plot. I didn’t think it was possible to make a conventional movie about conjoined twins, but the Farrellys prove this to be feasible. We can see most of the jokes coming from a mile away, especially since many of them revolve around one Tenor’s desire to have space from the other. Yawn.
The Farrelly boys really need to try something new. On the surface, their movies seem different, as they address an apparently wide variety of subjects. However, all remain high concept in some way, and all come across as pretty similar. They throw lots of wacky gags at the wall and hope some will stick.
With each successive flick, fewer of the jokes cling to that wall. Without Cher, I don’t think I’d have chuckled more than once or twice during this clunker. She does the self-parodying thing well, even though the premise of her desperation makes no sense. We have to accept that her star has fallen so far that she can’t even get a gig on Hollywood Squares, and that’s not even remotely true. Isn’t this the same woman still selling many tickets to her never-ending “farewell” concert tour?
It’s an irrational stretch to posit her as a has-been, but at least her self-mockery adds some funny bits. The best comes when we see her in bed with a surprise guest; it stretches the boundaries of good taste but works well if you know Cher’s dating history.
The other actors work very hard to sell the material, but they don’t succeed. The jokes are so tepid and predictable that they fail to offer anything amusing. In addition, the Farrellys never met a 90-minute movie they couldn’t extend for too long, and Stuck fits that bill. This flick almost hits the two-hour mark, and that’s way too long for such a slight story. Virtually every Farrelly film could lose 15 to 20 minutes, and I’d say that even more than that could get cut from Stuck. It really plods much of the time, and some judicious editing would make it more tolerable.
But probably not any funnier, or any less sappy, or any less predictable. To some degree, the Farrellys seem to have mellowed, as Stuck lacks the aggressively distasteful gags found in flicks like Mary or Dumber. However, it also fails to convey almost any form of humor. Too long, too slow, and too bland, the movie doesn’t do its job.
The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C/ Bonus B-
Stuck on You appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only a few issues cropped up, as the transfer generally looked terrific.
Sharpness seemed good. A few slight soft spots popped up at times, but those caused no real issues. For the most part, the image looked tight and well defined. Jagged edges and moiré effects created no problems, but some noticeable edge enhancement showed up at times. As for print flaws, the image seemed clean and free from various defects.
Stuck presented a natural and vivid palette. The colors consistently looked vibrant and lively. They showed no signs of noise, bleeding, or other issues, as the hues were rich and lively. Black levels seemed deep and dense, while shadows came across as appropriately thick but not too heavy. Overall, the picture looked solid and only demonstrated a few small concerns.
As one might expect for a comedy, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Stuck on You maintained a general orientation toward the front. Within that realm, the mix showed decent stereo imaging but didn’t do a whole lot. Some localized speech popped up at times, and a few settings showed nice ambience. For example, beaches and street scenes offered pretty good ambience. A few sequences demonstrated stronger levels of activity, but overall, the track displayed modest scope. Music spread surprisingly strongly to the surrounds, but I didn’t regard that as a positive. The songs became too active in the rears, and that caused some distractions.
Audio quality was acceptable but a little spotty at times. Speech occasionally sounded a little thin and tinny, but most lines were distinct and natural. No intelligibility problems occurred. Effects were somewhat lifeless and without great punch, though a few exceptions popped up, such as when a cannon blast rocked the subwoofer. Otherwise, bass response was limited and didn’t present much depth. That caused particular problems with the music, especially related to the flick’s rock songs. They seemed somewhat shrill and failed to deliver good range. The audio never became bad, but it lacked the power and dynamics I’d expect of a recent flick.
This DVD release of Stuck on You packs a mix of extras. First up we get an audio commentary from directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly. Both were recorded together for this running, screen-specific track. Once again the boys display a fierce case of Farrelly Syndrome. (Check out my review of Shallow Hal for a definition of this term.) Whenever possible, they babble about the identities of pretty much every extra seen in the film. This happens an awful lot from beginning to end and makes the track exceptionally tedious.
I’ve given up hope that the Farrellys will ever change and offer commentaries that act as anything more than extended cast listings. They’ve been doing this for at least five years and clearly haven’t learned that nobody cares! During some prior tracks, however, when a more limited roster of actors appeared, the Farrellys delved into more interesting subjects. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen here. Instead, the offer dull notes about locations and largely just praise everyone involved in the production. Occasionally we find potentially useful information such as comments about the origins of the film and various trivia bits, but these appear exceedingly infrequently. In fact, the participants even note at one point that they should probably talk more about the movie and its creation.
But they don’t. Instead, the relentless backslapping and list of names continues. The Farrellys have yet to produce a genuinely good commentary, but this may well be the worst of the bunch.
Next we find eight extended/deleted scenes. When viewed via the “Play All” option, they run a total of 13 minutes and 10 seconds. Most of these flesh out some elements, and none of them add a whole lot, though the scene with May’s would-be boyfriend now makes a little more sense. The footage doesn’t seem bad compared to the final film, but there’s no lost gold here.
For more unused footage, we head to the blooper reel. It fills seven minutes and 25 seconds with a collection of the usual goofs and giggles. However, Kinnear tosses in some fun impersonations and other asides that make this set more entertaining than usual.
In the featurettes domain, we get three pieces. “It’s Funny: The Farrelly Formula” goes for 16 minutes and presents shows from various Farrelly films, some behind the scenes materials, and interviews. We hear from Bobby and Peter Farrelly, writer/producer Charles B. Wessler, producer Bradley Thomas, actors Ben Stiller, Chris Elliott, Jim Carrey, Jason Alexander, Renee Zellweger, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Jack Black, Rene Kirby, and Greg Kinnear. They discuss the brothers’ emphasis on likable characters, walking the tightrope of offensiveness, the use of disabled performers in the movies, choosing and working with actors, the atmosphere on the set, and the brothers’ differing styles.
Though “Funny” comes across as way too fluffy, it still delivers some decent information. We actually learn a little about how the Farrellys make movies, unlike the terrible audio commentary. The shots from the various sets also present some nice moments and give us a good look behind the scenes. The program lacks much substance, but it conveys enough material to become useful.
“Stuck Together: Bringing Stuck on You to the Screen” runs 12 minutes, 50 seconds and uses the same format as “Funny”. We find comments from the Farrellys, Thomas, Wessler, Damon, Kinnear, and actors Ray “Rocket” Valliere, Wen Yan Shih, Lawyer Milloy and Tom Brady. They chat about the origins of the film and its slow path to the screen, casting, the story and character development, disabilities in the film, and their use of athletes in cameos. Another puffy piece, this one tosses in some decent information about the creation of the film, and the shots from the set help make it watchable. Still, it’d be nice to get something a little more substantial.
Lastly, “Making It Stick: The Makeup Effects of Stuck on You” takes nine minutes, 23 seconds. We find notes from the Farrellys, Damon, Kinnear, Thomas, Wessler and special make-up designer Tony Gardner. The latter participant dominates the show as he lets us know about the design of the conjoined rig, the various challenges and its execution. We also learn about general issues and the way the actors related to each other. More substantial than the other programs, it gives us a good look at how those involved connected the two actors.
When we check out the trailers, we find five different clips. We get the teaser and theatrical ads for Stuck as well as promos for Cheaper By the Dozen, There’s Something About Mary, and Season One of In Living Color.
More ads show up in Inside Look, an “exclusive insider’s look at upcoming projects from Fox”. This presents trailers for DodgeBall, The Day After Tomorrow and Man On Fire. We also get a look at the production of Aliens Vs. Predator with creature effects creator Tom Woodruff and director Paul W.S. Anderson. Some of the AVP tidbits offer some interesting creature insights, but the emphasis of “Inside Look” remains very promotional.
I won’t call Stuck on You the worst film made by the Farrelly brothers, as the execrable Kingpin probably remains their nadir. However, it runs too long and offers little to make it funny or enjoyable; without a catty self-parodying performance by Cher, it’d likely have been a total dud. The DVD presents very good picture plus mediocre audio and a decent set of extras, though the commentary seems almost completely useless. I don’t know if even Farrelly fans will enjoy this lifeless dud.
Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6521 Stars|| Number of Votes: 23|