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Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

Starring: Rob Schneider, Bree Turner
Director: Mike Mitchell
Rated: R
RunTime: 88 Minutes
Release Date: December 1999
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Eddie Griffin, Oded Fehr

Review by UK Critic
2 stars out of 4

A lot of the reviews of "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" have laid the blame for its failure on the star, Rob Schneider. But it's not his fault that the film is obnoxious, it's the situations that his character is put in. Schneider plays the eponymous Deuce, a pond cleaner asked by a gigolo to mind his sick fish when he is away on business in Switzerland. He warns Deuce in no uncertain terms that he must not mess up his beautiful apartment, which of course Deuce does almost immediately, by letting things smash on the floor and getting the place flooded. To raise some money to replace the damaged property, Deuce contacts the gigolo's pimp (T.J. Hicks), who helps him become a "man-whore" (this phrase is used every two minutes, as if we'd forgotten it, and will laugh every time). The comedy of the movie is intended to come from the assortment of freaks Deuce has to date, including a lady who keeps passing out, a 7-foot giant, an amazingly obese slut with a man's voice and a usually sweet girl who has obscene outbursts.

The reason Deuce can't attract choice clientele is he's supposed to be an unattractive slob. Schneider has an awfully well-toned, hairless body to be playing such an undesirable, so I guess the movie must be set in Los Angeles, where almost everyone is obsessed with physical perfection, and anyone except the most die-hard health freak is an outcast. Not that "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" would play well in L.A. -- its jokes are far too politically incorrect. As soon as Deuce begins his new job, for example, he's having a fistfight with a woman. And then there are the inappropriate pot shots that the screenplay takes at narcoleptics, the overweight, the disabled, etc.

The portrayals of all these people are too broad to be convincing, and so they're not sharp or funny, they're just offensive. The fat woman hides pizzas and chicken in her dress. And the Tourette's Syndrome sufferer doesn't have proper mood swings, but simply starts screaming obscenities out of the blue, in the middle of regular conversations. That's such a transparent attempt to be funny; a calm, realistic portrayal of a gigolo dating a Tourette's patient would be infinitely more entertaining. Remember the scene in Woody Allen's "Celebrity" where the polymorphously perverse supermodel caused Kenneth Branagh to crash his car? That took time to develop, and played out seriously, even though it was a slapstick situation, and was an example of how to do this sort of thing better.

"Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" is easy to watch because of Schneider, who is a likeable comic hero, with goofy posture, wide ol' puppy-dog eyes and a cutely timid voice. The film doesn't work, though, even though the premise has potential. It's the kind of thing that has to be credible to make us laugh, and who could believe in any movie where someone puts a cheese sandwich in a toaster?

Copyright 2000 UK Critic

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