GLAAD Sounds the “All Clear” for Chuck and Larry

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) continues to put itself out there for I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry, saying the film promotes tolerance more than any use of broad comedic strokes might unwittingly mock the real-life struggle for marriage rights. Given its subject matter (two firefighters pretend to be gay in order to collect domestic partner benefits), there’s little doubt that Chuck and Larry would have gays and lesbians involved in such struggles eyeing it suspiciously. One can see it in the comments to posts Towleroad has published on the movie already.

ChucklarryOne commenter notes: “Let me see if I can get this straight (literally.) Gays can’t marry and are therefore not eligible for the thousands of federal benefits that come with marriage. But these straight guys are pretending to get ‘married’ in order to get our second-class citizen domestic-partner rights? The entire premise of this movie is offensive. And we’re supposed to be grateful that they throw in a few lines ‘promoting’ tolerance?Jesus, do they think we’re that stupid?”

Another, based on having seen the trailers, says: “[They] are filled with what the typical straight person will think is funny, primarily gay stereotyped humor. Despite the fact most gays in America still do not have the opportunity to enjoy domestic partner benefits is not funny, and hopefully this point will come up in the film, but I will be surprised if it does. Somebody else will have to tell me if it does though, because I can’t stand Adam Sandler and have no intention of seeing this drivel.”

Damon Romine, entertainment media director for GLAAD, has been coming to the film’s defense. In a statement to the Boston Herald published today, he agrees with the comments that the movie is punctuated with stereotypes, but says they are used to raise questions rather than offend: “Through this disarming type of comedy, there is this use of stereotypes and slurs, and it holds the mirror up for people to ask, ‘Where does this come from?’ At the end of the day, this is a comedy that actually stresses the importance of family and treating others with dignity and respect. The film actually does send a very strong message. I can’t imagine a studio movie being made five years ago that even dealt with marriage equality and discrimination.”

ChuckandlarryAnother Towleroad commenter who claims to have worked on the film sides with GLAAD: “Ok, I’ve seen this movie (I worked on it) and I’ll tell you that everyone’s getting too up in arms about it. It’s a pretty harmless movie (too saccharine sweet and predictable for my taste) and the only offensive stereotype isn’t even of a gay guy (to me, at least.) It goes overboard with the ‘accept one another’ (I know it isn’t PC to say that, but really… it’s tremendously overboard with the sentiment) and you can pretty much predict how everything is going to unravel after the first 15 mins. However, not truly offensive (at least to this gay man.) I’m more curious to see how this will play in the Red states…”

Some have suggested that the movie’s premiere, scheduled for tomorrow night, was scheduled purposely to go up against the opening night of Los Angeles’ largest LGBT film festival, Outfest — a night on which many of the industry’s “gay Hollywood mafia” would be unavailable. Others wondered why, when gay-themed mainstream movies have in the past been made tentposts in the festival’s line-up, Universal has made no attempt to have anything to do with it.

Of course, as with any product that comes out of Hollywood, it’s difficult to please all the people all the time. Perhaps the best advice is to see it and judge for yourself. But this is the first film in a long time that I have noticed GLAAD putting such a preemptive stamp on. And since GLAAD and Universal have touted their efforts at working together on the film so publicly, this may well be seen as a test of how accurately the industry watchdog is living up to its name.

Gay advocacy groups pronounce Sandler’s ‘Chuck and Larry’ A-OK [boston herald]

You may have missed…
Scheduling of Chuck & Larry Premiere Jousts Gay Film Fest [tr]
Adam Sandler Jokes About Sex with Kevin James [tr]
Adam Sandler and Kevin James’ Wedding Photo [tr]


  1. MDC says

    Another pretty offensive thing is the tag line on the posters around town: “They’re straight as can be – but don’t tell anyone”. Naturally the most important thing they want to get across in marketing this is: Don’t worry, it’s safe to see, you won’t really be seeing any fags.

    I haven’t seen it, but I don’t see the message for tolerance being worth the confirmation of the same, tired gay stereotypes. Or the actors’ smirking, condescending, jokey tone in interviews. And why are we the only minority it’s OK to make jokes about? Would they have made this film about two guys in blackface? Or playing Jews with false noses? But stereotyping gays – no problem.

  2. says

    I didn’t realize how opposed to this movie I was until I went to see Transformers and they played the trailer for Chuck and Larry. You could feel the tension in the theater. People were “ooh”-ing at the gay suggestions, and a couple behind us actually commented that it was gross, not funny.

    GLAAD is totally wrong about this one. Audiences are laughing at us, not with us.

  3. mark says

    So is GLAAD run by str8 fratboys now or what? Cause that is the only thing that would explain this movie getting a thumbs up from them.

  4. Gregg says

    I still don’t understand why there is no uproar over the punch to the jaw that Sandler lands when the “kiss the spouse” moment arrives. It’s at least as bad as the Snickers commercial – perhaps even more so since the Snickers commercial bordered on surreal and absurdist while this “comedy” treads a much more realistic line.

  5. Matt says

    GLAAD is Hollywood’s doormat…there’s no way they were going to actually be critical of this movie. As a matter of fact I bet there aren’t enough awards for them to give out at the next GLAAD weekly award show.

  6. dan says

    yo homos — if you don’t think its any good, then don’t go see it, but stop being such whiny little girls and trying to get some “not approved by queers” label slapped on it. who cares what the gay community thinks about an adam sandler movie? stay home, watch boreback mountain for the 100th time. it’ll be more fun without you there.

  7. Justin... says

    Anyone remember ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’? Anyone remember the protests??
    Anyone remember the people protesting HADN’T EVEN SEEN THE FILM YET!?

    Well if you don’t, let me put it to you in a way you’ll understand: you are now as idiotic as the evangelicals that protest art/film/books/theatre that they haven’t even experienced for themselves. Just ‘the idea’ of something is enough to get them worked up.

    If you continue to question Adam Sandler’s commitment to gay equality watch BIG DADDY in a theatre full of ‘phobes. There’s a scene in it where he basically chastises one of the characters for being grosses out at a male-on-male kiss.

    Your country is in the middle of an unjust war, you’ve got a crappy health care system, the Democrats haven’t really done much since they got into power and you still can’t get married – and THIS FILM is what you choose to complain about?

  8. adamblast says

    GLAAD loses credibility in my eyes over this.

    Insulting premise. Insulting trailer. Insulting reactions in every audience viewing the trailer. Like South Park, they think throwing a in few preachy moments about tolerance makes up for an entire plotline based on how disgusting we are.

  9. John says

    Well Justin, all of the things you say are true in terms of what else is happening in the world. But guess what? There’s no reason voices cannot be heard on all of those issues.

    No one here is lobbying Congress to have this movie shutdown. No one is taking steps that crazy christian conservatives do. People are simply stating why they are choosing NOT to see this film and why some find it offensive.

    This movie looks like nothing but sludge anyway.

    And as far GLAAD, that organization has been utterly useless for the last several years. They are the biggest starf*ckers of all.

  10. says

    Oh, Justin. You must be new. We DO complain about those other things.

    I don’t know what’s more preposterous… the fact that you think we’re capable of addressing only one issue at time. Or that you don’t see the connection between homophobic movies like this one and public policy.

    It must be cold up there in Canada. The weather has frozen your brain.

  11. yoshi says

    Well I am soooo relieved. Woooh! GLAAD likes it. I will run out and see this movie!

    If GLAAD ever calls you and asks for money. Just mention the First Amendment and they hang up immediately. Unfortunately they just call you back the next year.

    One last thought – I love how all you are bashing this movie WITHOUT EVEN SEEING IT. Great going there … good job…

  12. Ted says

    I have not seen this movie, have no intention of seeing it, and feel perfectly comfortable condemning it. I don’t need to see this garbage to give permission for my brain to have an intelligent thought. This movie’s premise, plot, publicity and images I am familiar with. It is offensive. Period.

    Maybe some homo hating gays don’t mind straight audiences laughing at our expense, but I am not one of them. I wonder how funny people would find an Adam Sandler movie about white people pretending to be black to get welfare – opps, that movie would never get made. That premise is analogous and equally laughable as this movie – why would anyone pretend to be anything to achieve second-class status in a homophobic/racist society – it is laughable.

    I am also not personally impressed that Adam Sandler may once of twice have done something good for the gay community. In case anyone has been in a coma, often the most hating homophobes are gay themselves! People need to find some integrity and not be hypocritical.

    As for GLAAD, if it has taken this most recent “stamp of approval” to get people to notice how useless and wasteful they are with the few pathetic dollars our community gives to civil rights issues, then we are in trouble indeed.

  13. Victor says

    All of this has convinced me to not spend a dime to see it in a theatre, or later on cable’s on-demand. I’ll wait for a free venue to see it. It shouldn’t take too long given the cast.

  14. Justin... says

    “It must be cold up there in Canada. The weather has frozen your brain.”

    My husband can keep it warm thanks. Or I can see a doctor about it.

    Yes I realize you can oppose this film while opposing the policies of your government but what I meant to suggest is that you reveal the frivolous nature of your own priorities when you waste time expressing your problems with a FILM. (oh and btw, complaining about government policy on the Towleroad blog isn’t really doing any Iraqis must good).

    “…you don’t see the connection between homophobic movies like this one and public policy.”

    Again, please pay attention. I pointed out that you can’t call the film homophobic UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY SEE IT. I was implying that you are as narrow-minded (and frankly as dim) as the evangelicals who deem things ‘offensive’ just based on the premise rather than seeing it for themselves and coming to their own conclusions.

    “I have not seen this movie, have no intention of seeing it, and feel perfectly comfortable condemning it.”

    I think I saw this written on a placard outside of a theatre featuring the play the “Vagina Monologues’.

  15. Ted says

    There is a huge difference between expressing an opinion about a movie and proposing censorship. I am not aware that anyone here has said that this movie should be banned, as was the case with many of those critical of Last Temptation and the Vagina Monologues. I am expressing an opinion, not telling anyone what they can or can’t do.

  16. says

    Justin, once again your ignorance and base judgments astound me.

    You presume that the only action I (and others) take is to bitch about issues on blogs like Towleroad. Believe me, I do my bitching at all sorts of places. Including my local and national politicians’ offices. Not to mention, I contribute time and money to causes I support, for instance, No On Prop 107, Arizona’s anti-gay marriage ballot, which incidentally is the only one in the nation that has thus far been defeated. Towleroad is merely an outlet to discuss these issues. But thank you for pre-judging me.

    Furthermore, all of my disgust with this movie has been clearly directed at its marketing campaign, which is homophobic and at one point features a violent reaction to a near gay kiss. The movie could be an Oscar winner, but it wouldn’t change the fact that it’s being marketed at our expense.

    I highly recommend you go see that doctor you mentioned. You’re even stupider than I thought.


    Well, if GLAAD says it’s okay I guess I’ll have to see it.

    I think all you need for an “All Clear” is to invite GLAAD to the set or a preview, give them a gift bag and let them meet the stars of the film.

  18. Justin... says

    Yes ChrisB, I’m an idiot.


    Getting me to admit that has changed the world! Congrats!

    (and we wonder why our young people have a higher rate of suicide)

  19. adamblast says

    I think we *all* know why gay teen suicide is such a problem. Damn you, ChrisB. :)

  20. Leland says

    There is the REMOTE chance that the movie might be different than the trailer, but the trailer didn’t fall from the sky or isn’t a product of Focus on the Family and is going to be seen by more people than the film itself. So the studio, Sandler, GLAAD, et al., must take responsibility for its reinforcing of homophobia regardless of the content of the film proper.

    However, GLAAD’s rep’s description about the film “holding up a mirror”—a cliche typically employed to distract from the fact that the film, book, or painting of “Cosmo Kramer” is crap—is as good a predicator as any that it’s probably as worthless or offensive as most expect.
    The bottom line? 1. GLAAD lost its teeth years ago and has been gumming Follywood for attention ever since [when they’re not counting the money Coors gives them to pretend the family is not still intimately involved with the antigay industry]. 2. We remain essentially a “joke” to too much of the world as manifested by things like the aforementioned Snickers commercial and projects like this. See the link below for a few seconds of Sandler talking about that queer queer stuff on Leno—you know the late night TV zillionaire with his own House Faggot, Ross the Intern AKA Butterfly LaQueen.” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ width=”408″ height=”408″>Powered by AOL Video

  21. David Craig says

    I love my community. I really really do. But we sure do love to eat our own…or even people who support us.

    I’ve seen the movie. I thought it was hysterical. Even moreso, I thought it was incredibly courageous. Think about it. Here’s Adam Sandler, one of Hollywood’s most notoriously straight actors, sticking his neck and his career out on the line to say something about tolerance and love…between men. And in doing so, ridicules and humiliates straight men for their homophobia. Did he need to? Hell no! Could he continue to do his adolescent comedies and take them all the way to the bank? Absolutely. Does the film exploit our reactions to and contradictions of every convention and stereotype? Hell yes, like virtually every successful major studio comedy has since the dawn of film. Did 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN incorporate countless crude, straight male stereotypes? Every single one. Did you hear straight men screaming about it? Of course not.

    Here’s the deal, folks. If you don’t like Sandler, you have no position in the debate. If you don’t like Hollywood studio comedies, go see an arthouse film. If you haven’t seen the film, keep your baseless opinions to yourself.

    But if you want to have a fun evening and maybe, just maybe, witness someone sitting next to you experience a first-ever hint of compassion for our community, a gay-piphany if you will, then BUY YOUR TICKET TODAY!

  22. Justin... says

    Wow David that’s great that you’ve arrived at you opinions from actually seeing the film but if you wouldn’t mind keeping it down, we’re trying to having our delicate sensitivities offended by conjecture here.

    My favourite part of all this drama has to be where CHRISB says, “I didn’t realize how opposed to this movie I was until I went to see Transformers and…”

    So he goes to see a film that’s basically Military-fetish porn, featuring scenes that look like they were directly pilfered from a military recruitment video, and it’s all directed at 12-year-olds, and he’s offended at the trailer for an Adam Sandler film.

    Maybe it’s because I wasn’t raised in the USA but I found it much more offensive to watch a film that’s basically been created to romanticize the military and get teens salivating over it than a harmless Sandler film that’ll get people laughing and maybe, just maybe, thinking about issues around same-sex partnerships.

    There are about 10,000 dead Iraqis for every one of our Matthew Shepards. Please put your ‘injustices’ in perspective.

  23. glaad who says

    Of course GLAAD would give their “all clear” to this movie

    Adam Sandler is a Rudy Giuliani supporter.

    Neil Giuliano is a republican and acts like an operative for that party moreso than a representative of LGBT.

    GLAAD has been serving the interests of the GOP for a while now. that’s probably why many feel they’ve been useless as of late.

  24. Johnny says

    Once the reviews start coming in, if a lot of critics, gay and straight, are calling it homophobic, I’d recommend downloading it. A camcorder version will be available shortly after it’s release. Crappy video quality, but it’d let you see it for yourself, without having to give your money to an anti-gay film.

  25. SGI says

    As a fire fighter who does not have domestic partner benefits along with death benefits or pension rights for my partner, I think the premise of this film is completely offensive. And, it must be noted, there aren’t many fire departments that do offer these benefits outside of some that serve larger municipalities. What macho fire fighter is going to fight for the right’s of a gay man or lesbian to share the same benefits he gets to share with his wife and kids? This movie is absurd and I find it grossly offensive that GLAAD would support a film that mocks one’s own lifestyle. How about supporting media that gives a voice to gays and lesbians who continue to be treated as second class citizens while their colleagues that do the same jobs and have the same qualifications are given special rights. GLAAD is the new HRC – a pathetic and disgusting organization that panders to the straights!