Stuck on You
3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir-scr Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Eva Mendes, Cher, Wen Yann Shih, Griffin Dunne, Meryl Streep, Terence Bernie Hines, Seymour Cassel, Ray Valliere, Pat Crawford Brown, Frankie Muniz
release US 12.Dec.03; UK 2.Jan.04
03/US 1h59

He ain't heavy: Shih, Damon and Kinnear.
damon and kinnear

mendes cher streep

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The Farrellys continue their shift to the mainstream, which started with the cute romance at the centre of There's Something About Mary and got even sweeter in Shallow Hal. Here they jettison virtually all of gross-out humour for a heartwarming ode to brotherhood! Bob and Walt Tenor (Damon and Kinnear) are conjoined twins on Martha's Vineyard who encourage each other to pursue their own interests--Bob is a natural athlete who owns a burger joint while Walt is a ladies' man and aspiring actor. To follow Walt's dream, the pair move to Hollywood and stumble into a job in a TV show, starring opposite Cher. Meanwhile, Bob finally meets his internet girlfriend May (Shih), but doesn't want to tell her about his, erm, attachment to Walt. Eventually the brothers must make some difficult decisions about their future life together. Or maybe apart.

While this is technically a comedy, the humour is very understated. Audiences may be put off by a script that's just a bit too progressive and intelligent for its own good. The best gags are inside jokes about Hollywood and filmmaking. There are only a few gut-wrenching laughs, and even the jokes about conjoined twins are more cerebral than slapstick. The Farrellys continue to put various disabilities on screen, never asking us to laugh at people, which gives the film an odd dignity you don't expect. That said, the film is consistently smile-worthy, with rapid-fire wit that almost slips under the radar. The cast is rather uneven--sometimes too broad, sometimes rather amateurish and gimmicky--but Damon and Kinnear are charming at the centre. Their interaction is funny, inventive and touching, although perhaps a little dull. The best bits are reserved for stars playing themselves (Cher, Streep, Dunne and others), all of whom hilariously undermine their carefully honed images. In the end, the film is surprisingly sweet and sentimental. And it's interesting to note the similarities with their first film, Dumb & Dumber, which was also a paean to the lifelong bond between two men (albeit a lot, well, dumber). This is a surprisingly well-made film ... but it might not be funny enough for audiences wanting that manic Farrelly vibe.

cert 12 themes, innuendo, some language 3.Dec.03

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Stuck on You Jennifer Belcher, Surrey: 4.5/5 "Really funny feel-good movie. Have you seen the ghost under the bed in the first five minutes?" (11.May.04)
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall