Friday, July 20, 2007

Quotes of the week: Chuck & Larry

Most critics didn't much like "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," and many pointed out its essential hypocrisy, as I noted earlier.

In Time Out New York, Melissa Anderson wrote:

Chuck and Larry wants it both ways, indulging in ass obsession and the lamest queer stereotypes since Franklin Pangborn was in short pants, then hoisting the rainbow flag at half-mast in a panicky cry for tolerance.

At the Washington Post, Desson Thomson says:
Essentially, "Chuck & Larry" is an oafish chance for audiences to laugh at gay-bashing jokes and then feel morally redeemed for doing so -- courtesy of an obligatory wrap-up scene that reminds us that homosexuals are humans, too.

But at the Village Voice, Nathan Lee (who, like Anderson, is gay), argues that this film is a major step forward because of its intended audience -- while "Brokeback Mountain" presented its call for tolerance within a genre of stately, dignified, romantic tragedy, likely to appeal to those already halfway there, this movie, Lee says, subverts assumptions even more audaciously by putting them in front of those less likely to be willing to consider questioning them.
Somewhere in the cafeteria at GLAAD headquarters, girlfriend is about to choke on her quiche, but here goes: Tremendously savvy in its stupid way, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" is as eloquent as "Brokeback Mountain," and even more radical...Where the clowning queers of "Birdcage" invite us to laugh at their antics, the faux-mos in Chuck and Larry disarm prejudice by unabashedly reveling in its idiotic assumptions. "I used to wrestle in high school," is the gayest thing Chuck can think of, "and, uh, I liked it." The movie isn't effective despite the egregious gay stereotypes; it couldn't work without them. Through the medium of an Adam Sandler comedy, with all the requisite vulgarity, we're given access to what it feels like to be ostracized, to live under false pretenses, to suffer a sham marriage. It does with crass what Brokeback did with class, slipping dangerous sentiments into the safest of genres.

1 comment:

Leland Frances said...

DUMP TINA, Nathan!