Stuck On You (2003)
Ebert: San Francisco Examiner:1/2 TV Guide:1/2
Warning, minor plot points revealed!
I had to wait until Stuck on You came to the second run theatre here in town because it opened about a month ago and I was too distracted by Return of the King to care about anything else. Although I haven't loved the Farrelly brother's last two movies I'm still a fan so I will always see their films at least once.
In 1994 the Farrelly's gave us Dumb and Dumber. Jim Carrey was already becoming a movie star with Ace Ventura and The Mask and this film pushed him to the top. Then a couple years later the Farrelly's released the hilarious bowling comedy Kingpin. In 1998 came their masterpiece, There's Something About Mary. Unfortunately this was, for me, as good as it was going to get. The next film was Me, Myself & Irene. Jim Carrey was back and it had it's funny moments but I did not love this movie. Shallow Hal cast Jack Black (School of Rock, Tenacious D) who I love but was also weak film. So when I saw the ads for Stuck on You I wasn't expecting much. It looked funny but the ads for Me, Myself & Irene and Shallow Hal looked funny too.
I'm happy to say that Stuck on You is something of a comeback. I really enjoyed the movie but it is definitely a more mature comedy. I feel funny saying that about a film with conjoined twins as the central character(s) and numerous cast members who are actually retarded but it's the truth. The comedy is less gross and more heartfelt. Their films have always found their laughs by being borderline offensive and allowing you to laugh at things you would be too uncomfortable to enjoy in real life. This movie fits comfortably into the envelope of bad taste rather than pushing it.
Although we've seen this story a hundred times, conjoined twins from Martha's Vineyard who move to Los Angeles so that one of them can start a professional acting career, we've never seen it quite like this. Bo and Walter have become amazingly efficient at living their lives while joined at the hip. They own a restaurant, play every sport imaginable and Walter, at least, seems to have a healthy sex life. Walt also has dreams of leaving the vineyard to pursue his acting career in Hollywood and Bo does not want to get in the way of Walt's dream even though he suffers from terrible stage fright. They go to Hollywood and after a few missteps Walt is hired by Cher to co-star in a TV show that she hopes will fail once Walt joins the cast.
The professional reviews for the film have been mediocre and the personal reviews from the public have been down right harsh. I'm surprised how many people thought the film was slow and boring. It does not have the rapid fire comedy style of Airplane! or the Scary Movie films but it keeps it's pace fine. In fact, with the recent drought of good comedies it was nice to finally see one hit the mark.
I'm no Matt Damon fan. In fact I don't really like him at all but I can tolerate him if the movie is good (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Saving Private Ryan.) He does fine in this movie in fact attaching himself to Greg Kinnear instead of Ben Affleck is probably a good career move for him. It's funny how Kinnear and Damon look nothing alike and they're disparate personalities create most of the movies funniest moments. Other hilarious parts of the film are thanks to the great supporting cast. Real retarded actor and friend of The Farrelly's, Ray 'Rocket' Valliere is really funny as the bus boy at the twin's restaurant. Cher is super funny mocking her celebrity and taste in boyfriends like uncredited Frankie Muniz. And I have no idea how they convinced also uncredited Meryl Streep to do a small cameo at the beginning of the film and then a huge one at the end. Eva Mendes is cute as the dumb Hollywood girlfriend of Walt who instantly accepts the twins affliction. Wen Yann Shih is super cute as Bo's internet girlfriend May, who does not yet know that Bo can't really see her "alone." Seymour Cassel is funny as the agent literally brought out of the retirement home to represent Walt. It was also nice to see Griffin Dunne as the director of Cher and Walt's show even though they didn't really use him very much.
Stuck on You is a very funny and "nice" movie. I love the way that The Farrelly brothers can poke fun at handicaps without making you feel guilty about it. I am very excited about their next project tentatively titled The Ringer, which will be about an imposter who tries to crash the Special Olympics. That already has me laughing. I can't wait!