Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

Reviewed By The Ultimate Dancing Machine
Posted 04/21/01 19:33:11

"Fairly painless for an SNL movie"
3 stars (Average)

My Webster's Dictionary defines "gigolo" thusly: "1. A man who is paid to be a dancing partner or escort for women. 2. A man who is the lover of a woman and is supported by her." This is to say that the phrase "male gigolo" is redundant. I for one tend to look askance at this kind of idiot-proofing, just like I tend to squirm in my seat when I see the name Adam Sandler listed in the credits as Executive Producer. Luckily, "Deuce Bigalow" isn't half bad--though to be honest it isn't really half good, either.

Rob Schneider (who co-wrote the script) stars as a schlumpy-looking loser who subs for an out-of-town gigolo, which is of course just as contrived as it sounds. His unlikely--and, despite what you might expect, rather tame--adventures bring him into contact with a colorful supporting cast of women, including a narcoleptic (Deborah Lemen), a Tourette's Syndrome sufferer (Amy Poehler), and the girl of his dreams (Arija Bareikis)--who, he discovers to his consternation, is an amputee.

The cast is basically hit or miss, with most of the really funny bits coming from Deuce's oddball female customers. Schneider is reasonably winsome as the hapless hero, but William Forsythe, as the police detective who pursues him, overacts painfully. A lot of the jokes seem weirdly mistimed; there's a lot of allegedly witty rejoinders that dangle lifelessly in the air. (Incidentally, the film's jumpy editing style effectively kills at least a few gags.)

Goofball comedies of this kind often devolve into a series of loosely strung-together skits, with minimal consideration given to plot, and the pattern certainly holds true here. What saves Deuce Bigalow is its essential good-naturedness, its cheerful insistence that we're all really weirdos and might as well accept each other as such. Unlike a lot of gross-out comedies, this movie has heart, if not much imagination (the soundtrack actually includes "You Sexy Thing," which you might remember from the similarly themed The Full Monty).

Admittedly, it all concludes with a wretched rerecording of Blondie's "Call Me" over the end credits, but it passes its under-ninety minutes running time agreeably enough.

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