1999; Rated R; 88 Minutes
Rob Schneider: Deuce Bigalow
William Forsythe: Detective Chuck Fowler
Eddie Griffin: T.J. Hicks
Arija Bareikis: Kate
Oded Fehr: Antoine Laconte
Gail O'Grady: Claire
Produced by Barry
Bernardi, Sidney Ganis, Jack Giarraputo, Harris Goldberg,
Adam Sandler; Directed by Mike Mitchell; Screenwritten
by Harris Goldberg, Rob Schneider
by DAVID KEYES
Bigalow: Male Gigolo" accentuates enough bad taste to almost
pass off as part of a Farrely brothers comedy. Behind a
character whose job is, more or less, too ordinary to warrant
an excuse for perversion, there lies crudeness beyond our
wildest expectations. The character in question, Deuce Bigalow,
is an exotic fish-tank cleaner who has been assigned to
watch after a fish at the residence of a male escort while
he is away in Europe. But the fish tank breaks, spills all
over a multi-thousand dollar rug, and causes enough damage
in the house to give its owner an excuse to commit murder.
The solution? Deuce must prostitute himself in hopes that
he can immorally (not to mention illegally) gather up enough
money to repair all that is damaged before the owner returns.
This sets Mr. Bigalow up for a series of quirky and peculiar
experiences, as he makes his way into the homes of odd females,
attempts to avoid physical encounter, finds uncomfortable
ways to please them, and manages to walk away with both
his dignity and cash.
course, all of these descriptions do not sound funny to
begin with, but "Deuce Bigalow" is quite an amusing little
comedy, and not just because it is a tasteless one. The
writers have mapped out a simple story of zany proportions,
and have given us characters that lack common sense and,
sometimes, even human decency. Thus, it comes off almost
naturally to them when they fall into a series of events
that are disturbing, ironic, embarrassing, crass, or even
stupid. Only the execution of these events determine the
film's worth, and in most ways, there is seldom a wasted
moment of humor here. The precision is almost uncanny.
again, isn't that what we should come to expect from a man
who cleans fish tanks for a living? Deuce's job, moving
from one exotic fish tank to the next, is one stuck in neutral;
his career consists of nothing more than cleaning out local
exotic fish tanks, rescuing poor little goldfish from toilet
bowls, and visiting the pet shop every day for some sea
snails (he only takes the ones on the bottom of the tank,
just so that the clerk will lean over far enough to get
her T-shirt wet). But then a male prostitute by the name
of Antoine (Oded Fehr, who was in Stephen Sommers' "The
Mummy") requests his services. In a hand-crafted tank that
sits several feet high, there is an exotic fish in dire
need of assistance (Deuce explains it as a "gill disorder").
Since it requires weeks or so of observation, and Antoine
is off to Switzerland, Deuce is forced to accept an invitation
into this gigolo's home to keep an eye on the fish.
be expected, things go drastically wrong when the fish tank
crumbles. An aquarium expert charges 6 thousand dollars
to repair it, but where in the world will Mr. Bigalow come
up with that kind of money? Soon, the answer becomes quite
clear, and T.J., an upstate pimp who specializes in male
prostitutes, is offering his help in getting Deuce all the
big clients of the male whore world.
oh what a slew of creatures he encounters! There is one
who is roughly the size of Montana, one that is as high
as a steeple, one who suffers from a disorder that causes
her to shout out uncontrollable slurs, and another who falls
asleep without warning. None of them bear any kind of resemblance
by a long shot, but each, in a way, admire Deuce because
he never takes advantage of their urges for sex. But he
does, however, do things to subvert their need for it; for
instance, the girl who shouts out cuss words uncontrollably
feels out of place and unwanted (she explains that it is
dangerous for her to go to elementary schools and churches);
then Deuce takes her to a baseball game, in which her shouting
is greeted with warm participation from the surrounding
spectators, angry at the prospect of an umpire calling a
safe man "out." Rob Schneider, as one of the infamous "Saturday
Night Live" bad boys, turns out to be quite a serious and
conscious actor when it comes to treating women respectively.
He may also be the first of those few who actually has women
interested in his body.
will argue that the film takes a while before it starts
warming up, and in all honesty, they have the right; "Deuce
Bigalow" gets off to a slow, infuriating start, and as such
may lose the audience before the real solid humor starts
kicking in. But those who manage to get past it will be
rewarded with almost relentless wit, which rises off of
the characters as they are guided through embarrassment,
sexual encounters, and good ol' fashion human disgust. This
is the movie that "Outside Providence" should have been,
and what "Superstar" tried to be but failed.
1999, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.