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Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

It has been six long, seemingly interminable years since Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo arrived in theaters, spreading the kind of mirth and good cheer throughout the land that only a Rob Schneider picture can provide. Since then, the public has grown restless. Women have wept openly in the streets, yearning for a second helping of the Bigalow magic with the compulsive zeal of a caffeine junkie in search of her next latte. Meanwhile, the children of a new millennium have come to know a world tragically devoid of phrases like "man-whore" and "he-bitch," deprived of the rich cultural education and valuable life lessons that Deuce once imparted on a prior generation of moviegoers.

So when Sony Pictures announced plans to unleash Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo on a nation mired in the throes of withdrawal, more as a public service than anything else, millions rejoiced. As opening day has drawn near, the euphoria has become an almost palpable entity, with Deucemania reaching a fever pitch that would have made the Fab Four green with envy. After all, times are tough. The world needs laughter.

That's one school of thought, or fantasy, at least -- the other being that Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo was a pleasantly idiotic farce that enjoyed modest, inexplicable success; all in all, a dim-witted movie that could possibly be tolerated once, but never, ever twice. And yet here is European Gigolo, a mildly revolting comedy that pits our nebbish hero against an elitist clique of male prostitutes from overseas and a serial killer with a hard-on for man-whores.

Naturally, the European hookers are suave, exquisitely sculpted and schooled in the art of lovemaking; Deuce is none of these things, and that's part of his charm. Rob Schneider, who co-wrote both Bigalows, has never hesitated to laugh at himself, and his characters, who tend to be goofy, self-deprecating creations who are endearingly down-to-earth. But this Gigolo has so much to be humble about, from its cringe-inducing sight gags (a laryngectomee gratuitously spouting wine from the incision in her throat) to its even more cringe-inducing sight gags (a woman spewing semen from her nose, which is actually a semi-erect penis). Need I say more?

Not really, but I will admit that Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo made me laugh, sometimes in stunned response to its shockingly bad taste, sometimes as a natural reaction to its raw, absurdist humor. (When a Dutch woman enthusiastically proclaims her support for President Bush, she is showered with bricks. Sorry, but I chuckled.) More often than not, though, Deuce made me recoil, from nauseating gross-outs and its sheer, unadulterated stupidity. It is an exercise in mindlessness, and not a very good one at that.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars