Sean Kosofsky

Chuck and Larry: A Moment of Maturity Please

Filed By Sean Kosofsky | July 19, 2007 9:56 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Adam Sandler, Chuck and Larry, movies

I have been working in the GLBT movement for thirteen years and I have certainly seen our community respond to big Hollywood and advertising depictions of GLBT people in all sorts of ways. Sometimes I count myself in the "who cares I find it funny" crowd, but usually I find myself hunting for some unintended or even deliberate homophobia in the subject matter.

I have softened over time and looked at it from a much broader perspective. Comedy in recent years has moved dramatically to a place where Dave Chapelle, Sarah Silverman, Lisa Lampanelli, Margaret Cho, Carlos Mencia, and others are able to make fun of everyone and get away with it because audiences are maturing and realizing there are some truths to stereotypes and because the comedians themselves are self-deprecating. It seems to work because the comedians themselves can make fun of themselves.

I bring this up because the new movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, by Universal Pictures, is officially released nationwide, tomorrow July 20th, and because I find myself nervous about the film but also intrigued. I really want to give this film a chance.

I have read many opinions about this film, including many people who have not seen it. I plan on seeing the film. I don't anticipate a fine piece of cinema, but I do like to laugh. And I really like to laugh at stuff I can relate to. I really like Adam Sandler and am impressed that he decided to work with GLAAD on this film.

If we are going to live in a world that demands full equality and full inclusion we have to move at a pace the public will accept. When our efforts are too preachy, we will be tuned out. If we are overly offensive, the same will occur. But the power of film and the power of the Sandler brand will bring millions of people out to see this film. And because Sandler and Kevin James have made a career out of making fun of others, while also making fun of themselves, I am willing to go for this ride with them.

Will there be moments when I get mad or even uncomfortable? Maybe. Will there be times that I will laugh out loud? Hopefully. But as my attitude toward this type of movie matures, so are the attitudes of straight Americans. Each time I bite my tongue and just trust that the humor is genuinely funny, some average Joe is biting his tongue thinking, "This gay thing is really no big deal." It's messy and imperfect, but dammit it works.

If we are allowed to make fun of ourselves and if our favorite comedians like Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman can do it, I think Adam Sandler can.

My biggest problem is the level of animosity that has surfaced toward this film, before most people have even seen it. Part of the maturity of our movement is knowing when to pick our battles. Is Sandler the enemy? No. Is the American Family Association the enemy? Yes.

For a great article on this film, go here.

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I saw the trailor for this and was actually excited to see Happy Gilmore going gay for the King of Queens. I mean come on, does it get gayer than that?

I think you have a good point, Sean, about coming off too preachy. I remember when "The Ringer" with Johnny Knoxville came out. At first I was all offended at the concept (a guy rigs the Special Olympics by pretending to be developmentally disabled). But then when I watched it and saw that they actually worked with the Special Olypmics crew to make the film, I LOVED it. And the people who watch Johnny Knoxville are the kind of assholes who are most likely to make fun of someone for being developmentally delayed. So the king of Jackasses was able to subtlely let his fans know it's not cool. But it wasn't preachy. And I laughed my ass off while he was getting the message across.

Princekael | July 19, 2007 3:42 PM

All I can see with this dumb movie is hollywood rolling out all the tired old overdone stereotypes. The only promising thing about it is that it isn't a big deal anymore, pretty much just another hollywood turd run through their same old formulas.

This movie will unlikely make it to cinemas in China, but I will still put my 2 cents.

From all the buzz I read online, I believe this movie should be put into "Desperated People doing Desperating Things"

I am expecting a good laugh if it comes out on DVD's.

For those who had been thru the whole coming out thing, we all had been somebody we were not, boys pretending to love girls, kissing the girls and breaking their hearts. I think we should just look into the movie with a more relax way.

Wanna know what's stereotype? Most of the girls I met here who asked me why I am gay believed that I was heart broken by a girl that I was so much in love with and I turned my way around. What did I do? Laugh about it!

The bad thing is that this is just another movie that perpetuates the same old, stale stereotypes
and breeder homophobe jokes.
The good thing is that after this weekend we won't hear anything about this movie again until
the release on DVD in a few months.
Straights make fun of gays because it makes them feel less insecure. Making us different in their eyes keeps them away from the realization that we are all sexual beings and not all that different from one another. Of course politicians love to use us as wedge issues to deflect that simple truth that most of them are inept and void of helping anyone but themselves!!