|Deuce Bigalow : Male Gigolo (Little Black Book Edition)|
|Written by Paul Lingas|
|Tuesday, 14 March 2006|
“Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” is perhaps the most well known of Rob Schneider’s work. It is also another DVD that is being recycled by the lovely people at Disney. The film originally came out in 1999 and we can only assume that this “Little Black Book Edition” was initiated because of the recent release of the sequel, “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.” Let me point out that the sequel bombed and that it was directed by Mike Bigelow, who most people in the industry know doesn’t exist. In other words, they made the name up because the movie was so bad the real director didn’t want the credit. But let’s talk about the first film in this growing franchise.
Deuce Bigalow (Rob Schneider) is a pool and fish tank cleaner with dreams of something bigger. After a less than satisfactory aquarium job, he runs into Antoine (Oded Fehr), a tall, dark, exotic sexpot of a man with women swooning all over him. Deuce ends up cleaning Antoine’s fish pond but, upon being granted entrance into Antoine’s palatial home, Deuce notices that one of Antoine’s fish is ill. Antoine, going out of town, suggests that Deuce stay at his place and take care of the rare fish. Antoine reveals that he is a gigolo, so Deuce is not allowed to answer the phone. Deuce is only too happy to agree, but his excitement turns to horror when he accidentally breaks the mammoth fish tank. Though he rescues the various fish, he finds out the tank will cost $5,000 to replace, cash that he does not have. If this sounds a bit circumstantial and hackneyed, it is.
Faced with a dire situation, Deuce nonchalantly picks up Antoine’s phone at one point and meets one of his female clients. Though the encounter does not go quite as planned, Deuce realizes he can make money as a gigolo. Eventually, Deuce becomes acquaintances with T.J. (Eddie Griffin), an easygoing pimp who agrees to get Deuce some clients. This is where most of the off-color comedy is, as the clients Deuce receives are of the undesirable variety. These are not the beautiful and wealthy women that Antoine gets, but instead are women who have to pay for any man to have sex with them. Though Deuce is strapped for money, he is unwilling to actually have sex with any of these women and instead goes about making them feel better. Deuce quickly tires of this life and decides to quit, until he meets his last client, the lovely Kate (Arija Bareikis). Kate and Deuce hit it off and he soon realizes that he is in love with her, even though she is flawed in a particularly challenging way. The usual questions are posed. Will Kate find out about Deuce’s work as a gigolo? Will she dump him once she finds out he was paid to take her out? Will all of Deuce’s good deeds help him in the end? Will he get the $5,000 he needs for the tank? Will Antoine realize what has happened? Well, I’ll let you figure those things out for yourself.
I never saw this when it came out and I have to confess that it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. It’s one of those comedies that you think is going to be totally outrageous, ridiculous and gross, but turns out to just be ridiculous. It actually has a little bit of a heart, with Deuce going out of his way to make the weird women he goes out with feel better about themselves. This is really the vehicle film that made Rob Schneider’s leap to the big screen a success, though it also established him as the king of ridiculous situation comedies, like “The Hot Chick” and “The Animal.” All this said, it is by no means a good movie, though it suffices for some laughs here and there.
The movie came out in 1999 and this DVD does have some good bonus materials, which I find actually slightly shocking. Best of the bunch are the “Fly on the Wall” segments, which are essentially lengthy, in-depth behind-the-scenes looks at what happens to make the selected scenes work. It is unusual to have so much behind-the-scenes footage for a single scene, from rehearsal to the actual take. It’s simply a different way to look at filmmaking for those who have never been on a set and want to know what it feels like. Regular behind-the-scenes featurettes don’t include as much detail as these spots. The deleted scenes are mostly just extended scenes or scenes that were actually included in the film, but whose order was changed because of their original intent. The “making of” featurette and director’s video diary are both passable, though nothing to write home about. At least no one waxes on about how great the script is and how wonderful the director and actors are; they know what they’re making and they have fun with it. The only thing that really makes this “Little Black Book Edition” special is the Fly on the Wall area. Otherwise, I’m sure this is very like the original DVD.
The transfer is six years old and the sound mix is boring. Again, I will complain and point out that a lowbrow comedy like this does not need to be mixed onto 5.1 channels. There is simply not enough to fill the channels and instead of making the film seem fuller, it actually draws attention to the fact that the sound design is simple. Simple sound designs are fine, especially for this type of film, so everyone needs to get over themselves and provide a nice stereo mix.
“Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” is a movie you watch on late-night cable; it’s not for renting and it’s not for buying. Even with this latest edition, there is not enough here to warrant spending the money, unless you like this type of film and are a big Rob Schneider fan.