Deuce is a Big Low
Somehow I managed to unintentionally miss "Deuce Bigalow" when it was released and for several years after. But having watched many of Adam Sandler's movies, and seen Rob Schneider living in his shadows as a supporting actor, I thought I should give it a go. Well I wish I hadn't bothered, as whilst "Deuce Bigalow" has some humorous moments for the most it is just disappointing which only high point comes from it being just 85 minutes long.
Deuce Bigalow (Rob Schneider - Big Daddy) a fish geek and tank cleaner, through a set of amazing coincidences, finds himself living in the lap of luxury, as he house sits for Antoine Laconte (Oded Fehr - The Mummy) a very successful male gigolo. But when Deuce accidentally wrecks Antoine's apartment he quickly has to come up with a way to raise a lot of money. With the aid of T.J. (Eddie Griffin) a small time pimp, Deuce sets about becoming a male gigolo to all manner of clientele in the hope of raising enough money before Antoine returns.
Although with many modern comedies you expect the plot to "Deuce Bigalow" to be quite weak, this one is absolutely limp. Yes we have the premise of Deuce having to become a male gigolo to raise money, and also a small, but hugely predictable romantic sub plot. But other than that it plays out like a succession of gags, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if the writers had come up with some funny scenarios and then tried to tie them together. Sadly for me the lack of a reasonable plot spoils "Deuce Bigalow" as I am sure if they had spent a bit more time coming up with a decent story instead of bombarding us with humour it would have been many times better.
But the essence of "Deuce Bigalow" is the humour and it sets about right from the opening sequence hitting us with as many gags as possible. It also immediately tells us what to expect as it relies heavily on crude toilet humour to grab a laugh. Not that I am deriding toilet humour as when it is done well and in moderation can make for an extremely funny movie. It is just the fact that "Deuce Bigalow" relies solely on juvenile, toilet humour to amuse the audience and by then end of it you are honestly glad it's all over. It also feels like the writers take no shame in poking fun at anyone and everyone as we get jokes about large people, tall people, amputees and Tourrette's Syndrome sufferers to name just a few.
Of course this sort of humour will have its fans, mostly I would imagine in a young audience who find people uncontrollably swearing very funny, but sadly I found some of the jokes rather distasteful. Not that I am a prude, but sometimes you can push things a little too far as is the case with the jokes in "Deuce Bigalow".
As previously mentioned, the star of "Deuce Bigalow" is Rob Schneider who is probably better known as one of Sandler's mates who appears in various supporting roles in the majority of his movies, although he has also appeared in some non-Sandler films such as "Home Alone 2". I now understand why he has mainly appeared in a supporting role, as although he is moderately funny he doesn't have the screen presence to carry a movie on his own. He just seems unable to really act and on more than one occasion looked like a fish out of water when he had some form of acting to do.
"Deuce Bigalow" is not helped by a selection of supporting actors and actresses which whilst look familiar are not really big names. Yes you have William Forsythe as a rather strange detective and Eddie Griffin as the pimp, but other than that you would be hard pushed to really say that you remember any of the other casts previous performances. It is not helped by some absolutely dreadful characters most notably that of Deuce Bigalow himself, who as a simple fish tank cleaner is meant to be the sort of guy we take to our hearts. Well I definitely couldn't take him to my heart; in fact I found the character quite annoying. The supporting characters, an eclectic bunch of social misfits fair no better as they also fail to really show any reason for liking them.
It probably comes as no surprise that "Deuce Bigalow" comes from the production company, Happy Madison productions, which Adam Sandler set up, as it is so similar to one of his vehicles that you could easily imagine Sandler in the lead role. That is part of the problem with it, as it is too similar to one of Sandler's movies but without him in the lead role it falls far short of the mark. Of course it can't be that bad as they made a sequel but the whole thing feels distinctly inferior.
What this all boils down to is that I was less than impressed with "Deuce Bigalow". Whilst it has a few moments of genuine humour for the most it feels distinctly lack lustre, relying too heavily on crude, toilet humour to try and placate the audience. Whilst this sort of movie obviously has its target audience, which I feel is probably going to be a younger male teenage viewer; it fails to really deliver to a more seasoned film fan.