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Stuck On You DVD Review

Stuck On You

May 8, 2003

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly,
Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Eva Mendes, Wen Yann Shih, Pat Crawford Brown, Ray 'Rocket' Valliere, Tommy Songin, Terence Bernie Hines, Cher, Jackie Flynn, Seymour Cassel, Griffin Dunne, Bridget Tobin, Danny Murphy, Malcolm G. Chace Jr., ,

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DVD Review

Over the years, the Farrelly brothers have amassed an impressive body of work that makes them a unique breed of filmmaker—comedic auteurs. In a time when Todd Phillips is wrongly touted as an auteur by the studios, the Farrellys (and also Kevin Smith and a recent issue of The New Yorker made a strong case for Harold Ramis) are the real deal. Their latest film, Stuck on You (2003), is further proof that they have a consistent vision that is employed in every one of their films. They keep things fresh with new variations on their standard formula. The Farrellys started off making films like Dumb and Dumber (1994) with an emphasis on over-the-top gross-out humour. There’s Something About Mary (1998) marked a first attempt to balance their tasteless gags with a sentimental, romantic sensibility. They achieved the perfect mix with their next film, the underrated Me, Myself and Irene (2000). Stuck on You continues their fascination with outsiders who are either physically or mentally challenged in some way but refuse to let it and the prejudice of others stop them from realizing their dreams.

Bob (Damon) and Walt (Kinnear) are conjoined twin brothers who run a fast food restaurant in Martha’s Vineyard. They lead seemingly normal lives and are involved in sorts of hobbies in their spare time, like playing goal on a local hockey team and acting in local theatre. After Walt performs a modestly successful one-man stage production of Truman Capote (entitled, “Tru”), he decides to seriously pursue a career as an actor and move to Hollywood. Initially, Bob is not crazy about the idea, but as an incentive to go, Walt encourages Bob to meet his Internet pen pal, May (Shih) who lives in California. They agree to try it for three months and see what happens.

In most comedies, each funny sequence tries to top the last one in zany outrageousness. Farrelly brothers movies are structured in a series of peaks and valleys, which makes them refreshing unpredictable. They have learned to mix it up in their films and Stuck on You is no different. It effortlessly goes from obvious, wacky humour to traditional laughs to deadpan one-liners (when someone asks if they are Siamese twins, Bob replies, “We’re not Siamese, we’re Americans!”) that compliment each other perfectly. Unlike most comedies, their films actually have character development. We get to know the characters and care about what happens to them.

Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear have a good chemistry together, which is crucial for a buddy comedy of this nature. Kinnear plays Walt as a dreamer who aspires for a bigger and better life, while Damon’s Bob is a realist who keeps them grounded. The Farrellys wisely cast against type with these two experienced actors and it pays off as they are able to balance the romance and occasional dramatic interludes with the comedic sequences. It doesn’t hurt that Damon and Kinnear look like they are having a blast in these roles—in some scenes almost breaking character because they are about to laugh at what the other is doing.

Special Features:

Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s audio commentaries traditionally consist of little else but the two filmmakers pointing out their friends and crew members who appear on-screen. This one is no different and provides a great cure for insomnia.

There are eight deleted and extended scenes that feature bits like Bob and Walt getting taken by a con artist and Cher calling someone a “buttplug.” That moment alone is worth watching this extra.

“It’s Funny: The Farrelly Formula” explores their particular brand of comedy with interviews from past collaborators, like Renee Zwelleger (Me, Myself and Irene), Gywneth Paltrow (Shallow Hal) and Ben Stiller (There’s Something About Mary), who all speak highly of their experiences. The Farrellys explain that they aren’t interested in only zany comedy—it should also have a heart. It becomes pretty obvious that they create a fun, relaxed atmosphere on their film sets so that the actors can feel comfortable enough to let the creative juices flow.

“Stuck Together: Bringing ‘Stuck on You’ To the Screen” examines the genesis of the movie. The Farrellys had the idea for Stuck on You as far back as 1990 but could not find the right actors for the roles. They wanted to cast thespians not known for comedy because the humour in the film comes from situations that they are in as opposed to being wacky characters in their own right.

“Making It Stick: The Makeup Effects of ‘Stuck on You’ documents how the conjoined twin prosthetics make-up was achieved. The special effects crew had to make a harness that looked good and was also functional.

The “Blooper Reel” showcases what a funny guy Greg Kinnear truly is as he performs takes doing an uncanny impersonation of Ted Koppel saying all sorts of rude things. He also does a mean Johnny Carson, which makes this one of the funniest extras on the disc.

Finally, there are two trailers for the movie.

While the Farrelly brothers have been unable to repeat the phenomenal success of There’s Something About Mary, they have since honed their comedic sensibilities and created a body of work that is consistent. Stuck on You is a funny movie about realizing your dreams with a good collection of extras that should please any fan of the Farrellys.

 

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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