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I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007) Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 July 2009
ImageI'm not sure exactly why other reviewers tend to critically pan this film.  Sure, it isn't deep or thought provoking, but it is fun and entertaining.  It ranks right up there with Adam Sandler's other silly films.  Having grossed more than $100 million at the box office, the film is definitely a success in the eyes of moviegoers.  I happen to agree with movie fans rather than the critics on this one.

"I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" stars two of the funniest actors around – Adam Sandler and Kevin James.  Throw in Steve Buscemi and Jessica Biel and this film is half way there to great success.  Unfortunately, the plot is a bit weak.  But let's be honest, we are not really watching this film for a plot.  We are watching for laughs.  And in that regard, the film delivers.

In this film, Chuck (Adam Sandler) and Larry (Kevin James) star as firefighters in New York.  The two have been great friends for quite some time.  Larry is left a single father with his wife dies (before the film takes place).  He has two little kids, one boy and one girl.  As it turns out Larry is unable to transfer his beneficiary to his kids because he didn't take care of it in the one year he had to do it in after his wife passed.  Larry's two options are get married or switch to a domestic partner lifestyle – gay.

Unable to just go out and get a wife, Larry approaches Chuck about becoming his partner in order to change his beneficiary.  Chuck, the ultimate bachelor is reluctant but finally caves in.  The pair register at the courthouse and move into Larry's place.  It doesn't take long before a state worker shows up at the house to look into this newly filed domestic partnership.  It is clear that they are falsifying their partnership.  Understanding that they are being questioned, they visit a lawyer to figure out how much trouble they may be in.  Alex (Jessica Biel) informs the pair that they are being targeted.  Believing that Chuck and Larry are truly gay she agrees to become their lawyer.  She advises them to take a trip up to Canada to legitimize their relationship by getting married and leaving a paper trail.

We all know how hot Jessica Biel is and therefore it is no surprise when Chuck begins to fall hard for Alex.  They spend so much time together as "girls."  Chuck even gets into a predicament where he is forced to feel up her chest under false pretenses.

Meanwhile, Clint Fitzer (Steve Buscemi) is snooping around the neighborhood putting together a case against the fake-gay pair.  At the same time, it comes out at the firehouse that the two are an item.  All their friends at work turn against them and become stereotypically afraid of Chuck and Larry.  It finally comes out that Chuck has slept with an extraordinary amount of women over the past few months.  Alex begins to question their legitimacy.  However, Chuck and Larry are once again able to persuade her that their relationship is real.

Chuck and Larry must now prepare for a trial.  They must know everything about each other.  They pass with flying colors, but a final request puts their relationship legitimacy into question. "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" offers a bunch of laughs but not the best plotlines.  Biel is terrific, as always.  Kevin James brings his hilarious "King of Queens" behavior to the film.  The film is also directed by Dennis Dugan, a long time director for Sandler.  The two have worked together on such films as "Happy Gilmore," "Big Daddy" and "You Don't Mess With the Zohan."

Universal originally released this film on HD DVD in 2007 as a combo disc (both HD DVD and DVD).  They have decided to squeeze the film onto a single layer Blu-ray disc.  The studio has used the same transfer and encode as the HD DVD for the Blu-ray.  The video quality could benefit from a higher bitrate.  The source print is super clean.  You will be hard-pressed to find a speck or scratch.  The black levels are strong as ever and colors seem to pop right off the screen.  The image looks a bit artificial at times.  The colors become oversaturated and fleshtones become plugged.  Details are strong as are textures.  The edge enhancement that was present on the HD DVD remains on the Blu-ray but it is not horrible.  Overall this is a great upgrade from the standard DVD, but the artificialness of the image is just a bit too distracting.

The HD DVD of the film came with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track, and as per usual Universal has provided a DTS-HD master Audio track for the Blu-ray.  The DTS-HD track provides the same quality as the HD DVD's TrueHD track.  This is good news as the HD DVD had a pretty active audio track.  For a romantic comedy, this film has fairly full sound design.  The New York ambience is well represented in the surround channels.  Dialogue is clean and clear in the center channel.  The music is bled into the rear channels opening up the soundscape.  The LFE channel is appropriate for the type of film, but never delivers any true presence.  The dynamic range and frequency response are both expansive, bringing the listening experience right into your home theater.

The special features package is a little disappointing.  Not all the bonus materials on the HD DVD have been moved over to the Blu-ray.  In order to squeeze the film onto a single layer disc, as opposed to the HD-30 disc is was presented on previous, the featurettes have been dropped form the menu.  The same two audio commentaries are present on the Blu-ray.  The first commentary is with director Dennis Dugan and actors Sandler and James.  The second track is just with Dugan.  Neither audio commentary provides any insight into the making of the film.  I would have to recommend skipping these audio commentaries unless you are just dying to hear some Sandler jokes.  The Blu-ray also comes enabled with My Scenes and U-Control.  In the U-Control section we are offered a Friendship Test that was also present on the HD DVD.  That is all.  The four featurettes and deleted scenes from the HD DVD seem to be missing.

"I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" is sly and entertaining.  The video quality isn't the best of the new movies being released in hi-def, but it is suitable.  The audio quality is surprisingly engaging.  The bonus materials are a disappointment as the bulk of the features have been dropped to put the film on a single layer disc.

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