Fri December 12, 2003
Stuck on You
There's something about this "Stuck on You" that sticks to me.
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
There's something about this "Stuck on You" that sticks to me after my initial impression that the Farrelly Brothers have created another inane comedy to compete with their equally dubious "Dumb and Dumber" franchise, "Shallow Hal, " and "There's Something about Mary," among others. That something is taking a story about goofy conjoined twins (Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear), tossing in bathroom and masturbation jokes, and then seeing a basic metaphor about the loss people feel when separated from another human being with whom they have spent their lives.
I commend the Farrellys because "Stuck on You" does not play for the broadest laughs but gently lampoons pretentious Hollywood and overtly praises the sincere emotions of two linked humans and the New England town that loves them regardless of their disability. I liked the connection of two innocent, loving brothers, who miss each other after separation. I liked botoxed Cher's presence to emphasize the decayed humanity of L.A., which sees clearly the business profit in deformity.
On another allegorical level, the twins could be the projection of the Farrellys themselves, going to Hollywood to exploit its penchant for seizing on the flavor of the month, regardless of its incorrectness or inhumanity and facing their own eventual split (Bobby is considering cutting back on their productions). The Farrellys are not the Coens, whose satire is more Kaufmans' "Adaptation" (Even if the brother is only imagined) than Zuckers' "Airplane." But the Farrellys' five major motion pictures make them as bankable as any other successful brothers in the business.
Seeing diva Cher make fun of herself and Meryl Streep cutup as co-star with Kinnear in a musical stage production of "Bonnie and Clyde"(Think "Springtime for Hitler") are a couple of reasons to see this film. The best reason, however, is to enjoy the lighthearted interaction of two brothers who learn that nature's cruel marriage of their bodies gave them the best emotional marriage of their lives. The Farrellys have confirmed the Karl Menninger belief that "to know one another well enough should not be to hate one another the more but to love one another the more."
Even those of us not conjoined could learn about brotherly love from "Stuck on You."
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time," which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm.