Reviewed by: Chris Monroe
Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Eva Mendes, Cher, Michael Callan | Directed by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly | Produced by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Charles B Wessler, Kristofer W Meyer | Written by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly | Distributor: 20th Century Fox
While Solomon mentions a “friend who sticks closer than a brother,” (Proverbs 18:24, NIV), “Stuck On You” entails a brother who sticks closer than a friend. The literal and implied meaning of the title are no secret, while its attempts to get a laughs are apparent—employing jokes both clean and crude.
The Farrelly Brothers (“There’s Something About Mary,” “Dumb and Dumber,” “Me, Myself and Irene”) have foisted up another laugh-festival on film, cleverly exploiting the condition of two brothers, Walt and Bob, who have been “conjoined” at the liver since birth. You can lose your breath as the Farrelly’s run the gamut of humorous scenarios created for Walt and Bob. One of them is the fact that Walt is an actor (who performs one man shows) and wants to pursue his acting career by moving to Los Angeles. So he and, of course, Bob, leave their job managing a hamburger restaurant in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and head out west.
Most of the humor in “Stuck On You” is done in good, clean fun, but there are several occasions that really push the envelope. For instance, in one scene Walt and Bob are in bed divided by a curtain, with Walt concealed on one side having sex with a girl. The focus is on Bob, who is not concealed, and how he has to deal with the situation.
In another scene, Walt is mistakenly cast in an adult movie, and shows up on set not knowing what kind of film he is working on. Walt is adorned in bikini briefs as he waits on the sidelines for his part to begin. The director of this film is shown calling out direction for the scene, but nothing of the actual scene is shown. When the director cues Walt (and Bob) for his entrance, Walt decides he won’t do it, and they leave the studio.
Another brief scene along these lines involves Walt and Bob going to a strip club. Here and elsewhere in the film, we see girls dressed in bikini-style clothing. One girl dances in front of Bob, who doesn’t want to be there. (Walt has taken him there because he has gotten drunk and really wants to make Bob mad.) There are also sexual jokes scattered throughout the film. There is never any full nudity, however. Bob ends up living with his girlfriend near the end of the film, easily implying that they are both sleeping together.
The Issue of Disabilities—In having fun with the idea of “conjoined” twins, it seems the Farrelly Brothers have made sure to emphasize that they are not making fun of disabled people. They proved this by casting many disabled people in roles (speaking and non-speaking) throughout the film. While they have fun with Bob and Walt, the actors used who truly are disabled are never made the brunt of a joke. From the beginning of the film, there is a respect shown toward them.
Early on, one of the disabled restaurant workers, “Rocket”, has a squabble with some pompous, rude customers. After he makes some mistakes, the patrons refer to “Rocket” as a “freak” and yell at Walt and Bob to fire him. Walt and Bob come out from behind the counter and reveal their condition. They agree with what the patrons say, but turn the tables and ask “Rocket” if he would kindly escort the “freaks” (the rude patrons) out of the restaurant. It seems the Farrelly’s establish this early, so there is no misunderstanding about their intentions in the film toward those who are disabled.
(As a side note, at the end of the film, in the middle of the credits, the gentleman who plays “Rocket” (Ray Valliere) gives an impromptu speech to the cast a crew. Valliere thankfully expresses what a great opportunity it has been for him to work on the film. He shares a bit about how he had to be encouraged to finally decide to do the project, and proceeds to thank everyone involved. It was another respectful, affirming moment.)
Profanity/Vulgarity: Scattered throughout the film is a fair amount of profanity, including the “f” bomb, dropped by Cher, playing herself as an ultra diva. Walt also makes a course joke, and irreverently tacks on a comment, saying “.as the good Lord intended.”
There are many laugh-out-loud moments to be enjoyed, such as when Walt is cast in a television series entitled “Honey and the Beaze.” In order to shoot the scene, Bob is first shot out of frame, and then later dressed up entirely in a “blue screen” suit so he can be edited out of the picture. Also, when Walt and Bob get into a fistfight, Bob punches Walt, turns, and makes them both start running. Walt says, “Yeah, you better run.” as if Bob has some place to hide apart from Walt.
The film does hit on the theme of friendship and brotherhood, which is the heartfelt side of the story. And while this film is considered the cleaner of the other Farrelly Brothers’ films, there are some aspects to be suffered through to enjoy the amusement of it all.
Violence: Minor | Profanity: Heavy | Sex/Nudity: Moderate