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Steve Buscemi Defends Pro-Gay Message in Chuck & Larry

Actor Steve Buscemi, who plays an investigator for the city of New York looking into claims that two firefighters may be defrauding the city by posing as domestic partners in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, defends the film's approach to gay rights and gay marriage:

Buscemi"I don't think you can tell what any movie is like by the trailer, and the premise is two very straight guys who are homophobic, pretending to be gay. It's what they learn about people's attitudes about gay people and gay marriage and that's what I found very interesting about the film; that this is being explored in this broad, comedic, hopefully, commercial film, and, from what I've experienced on set, to me, it champions gay rights and gay marriage. I don't think that is any kind of message that he wants to portray. I would not have been involved with (the film) if I felt like that's what it was doing."

Meanwhile, reviews have begun trickling in for the film.

James_sandlerThe Advocate calls it a big yawn: "Though Chuck and Larry begin the film as mildly homophobic, their time posing as queer is supposed to open their eyes to gay acceptance. Really, though, it's just an excuse for the film to throw lecherous gay guys at them. While fending off one man's advances, Larry protests that “just 'cause you're gay doesn't mean you're horny for every guy you meet,” but in this film, it kind of does. Virtually without exception, the gays here are presented as sex-obsessed or as men who really want to be women. Biel's oblivious attorney enjoys spending time with Chuck because 'girls rule,' and even when another firefighter comes out for real, he's immediately drained of all masculinity and starts to sing 'I'm Every Woman' in the group shower."

And for a more mainstream perspective, Reuters says the movie wants to have it both ways: "Hit the audience with a barrage of homophobia and gay jokes yet wind up with an ecumenical, politically correct embrace of all points of sexual orientation."

They add: "The curious thing here is that Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor rewrote this long-in-development screenplay. Yet the authors of such smart comedies as 'Sideways,' 'About Schmidt' and 'Citizen Ruth' can't move the film away from the world of easy laughs and sitcom jokes into a realm where sexual prejudices and presumptions get examined in a whimsical yet insightful manner. One longs for something like Paul Rudnick's script for 'In & Out,' which was very funny yet delved into the trauma of coming out and the perplexing issue of homophobia in society."

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry opens July 20.

Scheduling of Chuck & Larry Premiere Jousts Gay Film Fest [tr]
GLAAD Sounds the "All Clear" for Chuck and Larry [tr]
Adam Sandler Jokes About Sex with Kevin James [tr]
Adam Sandler and Kevin James Hope to be Gay Celebrity Brides [tr]

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  1. But...but...GLAAD loved it! I'm confused.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 16, 2007 12:06:40 PM

  2. Honestly, this movie looks like a big old bore.

    Posted by: Allen | Jul 16, 2007 12:09:23 PM

  3. skip this one.

    Posted by: JeffinVA | Jul 16, 2007 12:11:35 PM

  4. Adam Sandler hasn't made a movie I've enjoyed since Billy Madison. I think about Little Nicky, and I shudder.

    Point being, this movie just looks stupid. Nothing to get worked up about, because it really is what it is... Stupid Adam Sandler Crap.

    Posted by: David | Jul 16, 2007 12:19:18 PM

  5. The only way for a film like this to succeed in championing acceptance of gays would be to have all the jokes be at the straight guys' expense. Anytime they resort to a cheap laugh about gays, they are undermining any positive message they are trying to send.

    It reminds me of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy". While the show did somewhat reinforce stereotypes, the audience was laughing with the gay stars, not at or about them. And more often than not, the straight guys were the ones who looked like idiots.

    Posted by: Brad | Jul 16, 2007 12:24:46 PM

  6. I know pronounce (to) you that I am not going to see this. And yes, it does remind me of Queer Eye, this what str8ght people want to see, not what we want to see.

    Posted by: davefromtampa | Jul 16, 2007 12:30:57 PM

  7. The quote above is missing a line, which changes the context and makes it sound like Steve wouldn't want to particpate in a movie that promotes gay rights.

    It should read:

    Buscemi said he has worked and been friends with Sandler for years and knows the comedian isn't really homophobic.

    "I don't think that is any kind of message that he wants to portray," Buscemi added. "I would not have been involved with (the film) if I felt like that's what it was doing."

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 16, 2007 12:43:42 PM

  8. "Queer Eye"... did somewhat reinforce stereotypes...the audience was laughing with the gay stars, not at or about them"????!!!! Hellooooooooooo! What planet are you from, the Planet Mary? Any lesser degree of "stereotype" that the other fairy godmothers on QE presented were drowned out in a tsunami of epicene slimy shtick by Carson Where’s the Camera Kressley! In fact, lesssssss sssssstereotypical "ssssstylissssstsssss" who auditioned for the queen of the pack were bluntly told they weren't fem enough.

    The depth and breadth of its popularity is a myth [the audience share was only significant in the Lilliputian world of Bravo]. It was primarily a phenomenon because, as demands for gay equality became louder, straight America was relieved to find five faboo fairies fighting for “fashion” alone.

    As for the movie and GLAAD—told ja so.

    Posted by: Leland | Jul 16, 2007 12:58:16 PM

  9. Well said, Brad. I'll never know what the film's message is because I'm not going to sit through it. As I said before, the first insult is that Sandler has made another film.

    I recently watched "Reno 911: Miami" and laughed my ass off, and that was pretty low-brow (although any comedy that references Jane Austin can't be too stupid).

    I guess it comes down to the fact that I can't stand the sight of Sandler.

    Posted by: mark m | Jul 16, 2007 1:05:52 PM

  10. You guys are right!! Sandler should NOT be allowed to be in any more movies. From Spanglish, onwards!! Shame!! I'll watch another "gay" movie, when they let gay actors perform in it. Not until then!! Snap!!

    Posted by: Shabaka | Jul 16, 2007 1:13:36 PM

  11. Any movie that would make me yearn for "In and Out" must really suck.

    Posted by: mike | Jul 16, 2007 1:35:42 PM

  12. Still don't plan to see it. Sandler is enough of a turnoff, but the plot still stinks to me.

    The sad thing is that this idea COULD have been good. It COULD have promoted awareness and understanding. Given Sandler's "comedy" and his track record, I don't have high hopes for anything positive from this effort.

    Posted by: Jonathon | Jul 16, 2007 1:40:13 PM

  13. There are ads for this all over Chelsea and midtown.

    Posted by: anon ( | Jul 16, 2007 2:24:00 PM

  14. Mike gets it right: If it compares poorly to In and Out, life is way too short to spend two hours on this.

    Posted by: Kyle Childress | Jul 16, 2007 2:27:36 PM

  15. Mike gets it right: If it compares poorly to In and Out, life is way too short to spend two hours on this.

    Posted by: Kyle Childress | Jul 16, 2007 2:28:02 PM

  16. The movie sucks. Wow. What a shocking surprise.

    Posted by: Gregg | Jul 16, 2007 2:44:56 PM

  17. @Brad

    I agree that Queer Eye was a positive representation in that the gay guys were never the punch line.

    And to those of you who think the Fab Five were too fem - I know a lot of gays who flame far brighter than those 5. Should Bravo only hire masculine gays? That would be ridiculous, unfunny, and nowhere near as enjoyable as Carson et al shocking the straight boys.

    Posted by: Gregg | Jul 16, 2007 2:48:38 PM

  18. I wrote a post about this movie on my blog. Granted, I made my judgements based on the trailer but I don't want to support this movie with my money. The idea of a movie treating domestic partnerships as an advantage and a joke, when in most places in this country gays still don't have rights, is demeaning.

    Posted by: Bart | Jul 16, 2007 2:59:21 PM

  19. Yeh, "shocking the straight boys" has really worked out great for us hasn't it?

    Posted by: Leland | Jul 16, 2007 3:05:55 PM

  20. The joke is on you.. Gay couples are funny, even homophobi themselves. Seriously, have you spoken to a group of gay men who felt comfortable enough to be themselves? It's the same as white people talking about being
    serial killers, blacks being the n word. Nobody brings down a group of people like a group of people who are not open minded and tolerant of each other, however, words and movie scripts are just that, movies, not real life. It's what the person is in real time, that is what counts. I think the movie will be funny. I think it will open up eyes and some will look favorably on the gay community, I think others will still be closeminded and we hate no matter what. The movie is what it is.

    Posted by: Rock Star In My Own Living Room | Jul 16, 2007 3:36:48 PM

  21. No idea what the fuck you're talking about ROCKSTAR. Is it because I'm too closed-minded?

    Posted by: Rey | Jul 16, 2007 4:13:29 PM

  22. Rockstar, I have no issue with you being a total troll...just try to at least be interesting.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 16, 2007 4:24:05 PM

  23. This has probably gone through several test screenings to "tweak" the humor and script. I could just imagine the feedback they got.

    Posted by: anon ( | Jul 16, 2007 5:57:31 PM

  24. Not in response to this movie directly, and however maybe it is me being naive, but does anyone remember the movie Big Daddy? In it, Adam Sandler had two of his reoccurring friends (in various movies he's been in), play a gay couple, that was as "straight acting" as possible. The only acts that "gave away" their gayness, was the fact that they would kiss in public, etc. In that movie, Sandler created characters who had been their college buddies, and later fell in love. Sandler's character even very easily defends their relationship to another friend of their's who "still can't get used to it that they ended up together". At not point in the movie does Sanlder make a distinction of their relationship to fact, their's was the most normal/traditional in the movie!

    So I think people should give Sandler and his producers a little more credit, and be less quick to jump on his back. Maybe the movie isn't funny, or amazing, but there are plenty of movies always coming out that aren't funny/amazing, however are not reported on this site, due to any "lack of" funniness!

    From what I got from the trailer, it is a movie that can make light of a situation, laugh at it, but NOT be negative! Can we not look at it as, wow, two pretty much mainstream-actors are playing the leads in a movie where they pretend to be gay...they choose to be gay, and are not doing it in a negative, NOR stereotypical way? (i.e. they are not thin, wearing booty shorts, listening to disco music)!

    So let's open our eyes, let's calm down a lil bit, and take this movie for what it's probably worth...a silly comedy, to enjoy when it's really hot in the house, and you wanna go to the theater for some air conditioning :)

    Posted by: Jonathan | Jul 17, 2007 1:59:31 AM

  25. it's so rare that a gay man isn't the butt of jokes on screen that it's hard for me to get too offended about how gay men are represented in a movie with adam sandler and the dude from 'king of queens.'

    what i find absolutely offensive is the basic premise of the movie - that gays somehow have special rights not extended to straight men and that domestic partnerships are the same as marriage and are only available to people in same-sex romantic relationships.

    all of which is blatantly untrue and reinforce some of the worst assumptions out there regarding the equal rights.

    Posted by: page001 | Jul 17, 2007 9:11:20 AM

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