Stuck On You Review
As a Farrelly Brothers comedy about conjoined twins, you might assume Stuck on You is 118 minutes of gross-out humour at the twins’ expense. Instead, this is a sweet, surprisingly heart-warming tale of brotherhood that is often very funny, but which pulls any punchlines in danger of straying too low. Despite never matching the sustained cruelty or hilarity of There’s Something About Mary or Dumb and Dumber, Stuck on You is enjoyable and a more consistent move towards mainstream laughs than the patchy Shallow Hal.
Bob (Matt Damon) and Walt Tenor (Greg Kinnear) are Martha’s Vineyard burger bar cooks literally joined at the hip – an unusual sight to outsiders but accepted and popular members of the community. Bob is socially awkward, composing letters to his mother during Walt’s one-night stands, getting stage fright at his sibling’s small theatre productions and conducting a three-year internet romance with a girl he’s never met. But as some neatly choreographed burger flipping shows, he and the nonchalant Walt make a good team.
Except Walt aspires to proper acting. Persuading Bob to go with him to Hollywood, they meet ditzy, wannabe actress April (Eva Mendes) and Bob’s nervous internet buddy, May (Wen Yan Shih), whom he succeeds in kindling romance with whilst keeping her ignorant of his Siamese status. Walt’s efforts at hiding his presence are amusing, but the real laughs come after an encounter with an infuriated Cher. Playing herself, the singer is desperate to escape a television show contract. Spotting an opportunity to get the series cancelled she casts Walt, but the show becomes a suprise hit with viewers enraptured by its leading man/men. Initially, the twins enjoy their shared spotlight, but Bob’s desire to return to burger flipping threatens their relationship. After May discovers his secret and disappears however, Bob is persuaded by Walt to try a risky separation procedure.
Both Kinnear and Damon acquit themselves well in the lead role(s), particularly the former, who being just the cartoonish side of good-looking seems cut out for this kind of film. Bob and Walt have a knockabout fraternity that – bizarrely – is actually quite convincing and they pull off the physical comedy with aplomb. Mendes’ role is largely superfluous save for looking stunning in hot pants but Shih is endearing as the confused and timid May. There’s a great cameo from Meryl Streep playing herself, but it’s Cher who deserves most kudos for thoroughly and comically sending up her diva reputation. Admittedly, there’s a slight sense of formulation to what could only be a Farrelly Brothers movie, but in relation to some of the dreck currently labelled ‘comedy’ by Hollywood, this is no bad thing. The script is chucklesome rather than high-octane hilarious, but Stuck on You is a light-hearted couple of hours and not the unrelenting bad taste fest it first appears.
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