What, pray tell, is the appeal of Adam Sandler? Although I’ll happily proclaim my continuing love for the absurdist charms of his first two solo films, “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore,” and his rock-solid dramatic debut in “Punch-Drunk Love,” his mainstream, crowd-pleasing comedies are neutered, appealing to the lowest common denominator of everyman moviegoers.
One may sense my distaste for his latest smash hit, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.” Its premise sounds like the setup to a joke for which they can’t find a punch line: Two New York City firefighters (Sandler and Kevin James) must feign homosexuality and marry each other in order to secure health benefits.
But wait, there’s more! Then Sandler falls hard for their helpful lawyer (understandably, Jessica Biel), but can’t convey his true feelings for her, lest he let the cat out of the proverbial bag. Gag.
The movie can pretend all it likes that it’s radiating a pro-gay message, but I disagree. One can’t spend two hours making gay jokes and expect to be forgiven by delivering a sermon at the end. If it smells homophobic, it likely is. And women fare no better.
But worse, it’s simply not funny.