Adam Sandler Hub




Star Mag Apologizes for Sandler/James "Not Normal" Label

Chucklarry

You may remember on Wednesday I posted about an item in Star magazine in a section entitled "Stars: Are They Normal Or Not?", brought to my attention by blogger Matthew Rettenmund. Star had published a photo of Adam Sandler and Kevin James in a mock kiss at Shea stadium as they promoted their film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. However, Star's implication by the photo and caption was that "man-to-man" kissing was "not normal".

This morning I received an email from GLAAD, who contacted Star after reading the post.

Editor-in-Chief Candace Trunzo has issued a formal apology on behalf of the magazine.

Said Trunzo: "'Normal/Not Normal' is supposed to be funny, and I regret that this particular photo caption was offensive and not written in a way to make it clear that we were being humorous. The joke was that Kevin James and Adam Sandler are not gay. If the kiss was between Lance Bass and his boyfriend or any other gay celebrities it would be 'Normal.' Let me point out that in the same issue of STAR, we devote the entire Couples News lead to Neil Patrick Harris and his boyfriend moving in together. Now that's normal. I sincerely apologize that our attempt at humor was perceived by some to be offensive to the gay community. That was certainly not our intent. We are proud that we support the gay community and will continue to do so."

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Star Declares Chuck & Larry "Not" Normal

Chucklarry

Blogger and author Matthew Rettenmund has called on Star magazine to apologize after featuring a photo of Adam Sandler and Kevin James in a mock kiss to promote I Now Pronounce you Chuck & Larry at Shea Stadium. Chuck & Larry, which tells the story of two firefighters who pretend to be gay in order to collect domestic partner benefits from the city fo New York, was the #1 movie at the box office last weekend, taking in $34.8 million.

Star, which according to Rettenmund regularly features a "Stars: Are They Normal Or Not?" section in the magazine, placed Sandler and James in the "Not" portion of the feature.

Writes Rettenmund: "'Pucker up, lover boys!' is Star's suggestion. My suggestion is that Star pucker up and kiss my normal, gay ass."

Trunzo is Dunzo [boy culture]

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FDNY's LGBT Group Says Chuck & Larry's Journey Feels Familiar

FireFLAG/EMS of the Fire Department of New York, "the nation’s oldest and largest LGBT firefighter organization", was invited by Universal Pictures to screen the new Adam Sandler film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. While they said that some of the jokes might be considered offensive, they were generally pleased at the message of tolerance and said that the movie depicted experiences similar to ones many firefighters face when 'coming out' on the job.

ChucklarryFireFLAG/EMS President Mike Vissichelli issued a statement:

"While 'I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry' is a broad comedy, the reality is there are gay firefighters in many departments across the country, including the FDNY. The 'coming out' process in the movie mirrors what I, and many of my colleagues, have gone through on the job. Initially we may have dealt with disbelief, disdain, and even prejudice from our fellow firefighters. But significantly, as in our experiences, the film shows the process gay firefighters go through on the job as they move towards acceptance by their fellow firefighters. The film shows the journey that gay firefighters go through in their careers, the brotherhood of firefighters, and ultimately their respect for one another based on actions and deeds. Over the years, the FDNY and its members have become more supportive of gay firefighters and have made strides in improving how they are treated on the job. FireFLAG/EMS supports this progress and is actively involved in the department’s actions on gay-related issues. 'Chuck and Larry' is, of course, a comedy and some of the humor may be considered offensive to some, but the growth of the principal characters during the course of the film is the ultimate measure of how to judge the intent and heart of the filmmakers."

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Strange Bedfellows Director Wary of Chuck & Larry Similarities

Dean Murphy, director and co-writer of Strange Bedfellows, which was Australia's highest-grossing film in 2004 according to the Brisbane Times, is concerned that filmmakers involved in I Now Pronounce you Chuck & Larry, which opens in the U.S. this weekend, may have ripped off his idea.

FilmsThe Times reports: "Starring [Paul] Hogan and Michael Caton, Strange Bedfellows was about a straight cinema owner and a mechanic who pretend to be gay to claim a financial benefit."

In Chuck & Larry, Adam Sandler and Kevin James play firefighters who pretend to be gay in order to claim domestic partner benefits from the city of New York.

According to the paper, "While he is yet to see the new movie, Murphy said he was struck by the similarities when he saw the trailer on the weekend. He heard other cinemagoers mention Strange Bedfellows as the trailer screened. Murphy has also been receiving emails every day saying Chuck and Larry seems like exactly the same film. 'It's obviously annoying if they have ripped the film off but until we see it, it's so hard to know,' he said. The American distributor of Strange Bedfellows is looking at possible copyright infringement. 'I don't think they've seen the other film yet but … they're going to have a careful look at it and see if there have been any breaches,' Murphy said."

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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.

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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]

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