I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY Studio: Universal Original Release: 2007 Length: 1 hour 56 mins Genre: Comedy Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Color/B&W: Color Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 French Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Commentary Rating: PG-13 Release Date: November 6, 2007 Rating: 2 / Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi and Dan Aykroyd Screenplay by: Barry Fanaro and Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor Directed by: Dennis Dugan I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is an uneven, fitfully amusing comedy about two New York firefighters who fake a gay marriage in order for one of them to secure his benefits. There’s a germ of a funny idea in here – in the role reversal for the macho guys involved, and in the well-mined tradition of TV series such as Bosom Buddies and Three’s Company. And the cast is certainly talented enough and game for the situation. But it just doesn’t come together. Many scenes play as simply awkward rather than funny, and other scenes seem confused as to whether they are lampooning gay behaviour or straight attitudes about it. And at nearly 2 hours long, the experience grinds on well past the half life of the original idea. There are some funny moments, to be sure, mostly due to throwaway gags involving Kevin James, Adam Sandler or the occasional appearance by Dan Aykroyd. VIDEO QUALITY: 3 ½/5 ½ I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is presented in an anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer that is filled with color and texture. There’s a pretty wide variety of flesh tones on display, which come across accurately. And there’s a good range of color in the wardrobe as well – not only in the costume party where James enters as a giant red apple, but in more casual scenes where characters wear bright primary colors. AUDIO QUALITY: 3 ½/5 ½ I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is presented in a lively Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English, Spanish and French. For much of the film, the majority of the sound sits in the front channels along with the dialogue. But there are a couple of intense firefighting scenes early on which use all the channels and the subwoofer to good effect. SPECIAL FEATURES: 3/5 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry contains two commentary tracks, not listed on the box, and a little over 30 total minutes of deleted scenes and featurettes. Feature Commentary with Dennis Dugan, Adam Sandler, and Kevin James– This is a scene specific commentary as the three men watch the film together. They’re a pretty jovial bunch, with a lot of laughter and overlaps as they talk about what is happening on the screen and what happened behind the camera. A subtitle track of this commentary is available if you click through the subtitle options on your player. Feature Commentary with Dennis Dugan – This second commentary just features Dugan by himself. He’s moderately entertaining and insightful, but there is certainly overlap between the two commentaries. Deleted Scenes - (9:43 total, Anamorphic) – Almost ten minutes of deleted scenes and scene extensions are presented here in anamorphic format. Some are simply bizarre (a firefighter performing CPR on a dog?), while others are more substantial. The longest deletion concerns a visit by Steve Buscemi’s visit to the parents of Sandler’s character, played by Lainie Kazan and Michael Lerner along with Fyvush Finkel. The scene isn’t much to speak of, but it is interesting to see these actors pop up in the movie. There is an option to listen to Dennis Dugan’s commentary for these scenes. Laughter is Contagious - (6:41, Anamorphic) - This anamorphic featurette focuses on some humorous moments from the production, primarily involving Rob Schneider as an Asian wedding provider. The featurette is puzzling, as it doesn’t really include much outtake footage – instead, we see various scenarios of the cast breaking out laughing but without an idea of what they are laughing about. I Now Pronounce You Husband and...Husband? - (5:11, Anamorphic) – This featurette primarily consists of Sandler and James talking about how much they enjoyed working on the film, and with each other. Look Who Stopped By (6:32, Anamorphic) – This featurette covers the various cameos in the film by other comedians and actors who would each appear for a scene or two in the movie. Featured here are David Spade, Allen Covert, Richard Chamberlain and others, including, of course, Rob Schneider. Stop, Drop & Roll – (5:24, Anamorphic) - This featurette covers the small amount of stunt work in the movie, including the firefighting sequences and a small ladder fall done by Kevin James and a double. Dugan: The Hands-On Director (5:36, Anamorphic) – This featurette concentrates on director Dugan’s work on the movie, not only in his on-screen cameo as a cabbie, but in terms of his on-set activities, like testing a high perch for Sandler before making the actor do it. We also see the cast discuss Dugan and their affection for him. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish for the film itself and for the group commentary, as well as for the special features. A standard chapter menu is included for quick reference. When the first disc is initially started, the viewer is presented with an optional series of non-anamorphic previews including American Pie: Beta House, Bring It On: In It to Win It, SNL: The First Season and the usual HD-DVD preview. IN THE END... I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry certainly has its heart in the right place, but it just doesn’t succeed in making a comedy out of this material. It’s hard to recommend the film even to Adam Sandler and Kevin James fans. That said, I’m sure there are people who will find much to like in this film and this DVD. And I encourage anyone who does to please respond to this thread. Kevin Koster November 22, 2007.