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Stuck on You

One of the intriguing aspects of film, and television to a lesser extent, is that it is a reflection of the state of society. In these times of conflict and uncertainty, perhaps inspiration or comfort can be gleaned from watching the intrepid heroes portrayed by Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe in The Last Samurai and Master and Commander. On the other hand, that one can locate nary a show on prime time network television involving anything except strangers competing for the love of someone they met just moments ago indicates something altogether different. Coupled with the fact that once the clock strikes midnight television is reduced to a dating show marathon, such that it makes one wonder if humans can still be considered an intelligent life form. And if more evidence is needed that the human race may be descending into cultural oblivion, Stuck On You is it.

In the past, the Farrellys have elevated lowbrow humor to an art form with There's Something About Mary and Dumb & Dumber, but Stuck On You is a crimson flag warning that their formula for success may be growing stale. Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear play conjoined twins Bo and Walt, who despite their condition have achieved a measure of celebrity in their home of Martha's Vineyard. In between flipping burgers at their popular diner, they tend a wicked net as goalie for the local hockey team. Walt even stars in a one-man show at the local theatre that plays to much acclaim. However, unsatisfied with his small town success, Walt yearns to know whether his star could shine as brightly in Hollywood as it does in his hometown.

Honestly, no one goes to a Farrelly brother's movie for complex character portrayals or touching love stories. Their films are judged on a different scale. Gags occur repeatedly, and if the amount of jokes that generate laughter outnumbers the amount that completely miss, then the movie is deemed a success. It is accepted that plot and character development will be lacking, but in this movie they have abused the lower standards that they are held to. The love interests of the brothers, May (Wen Yann Shih) and April (Eva Mendes), range from ditzy, stupid and naive to ditzy, stupid and worldly. Obviously, Mendes is here for her tan and figure as much as anything else, but it is pathetic that she is no more functional then her cardboard cutout.

There is a parallel here to the glaring lack of success that Saturday Night Live sketches have had moving to the big screen. While sketches on SNL only run a few minutes, a movie is going to be 40 or 50 times longer. Quite simply, there isn't enough steam in one gag, whether it is head bobbing in A Night at the Roxbury or chauvinistic jokes in The Ladies Man, to power a whole film. Stuck On You quickly establishes that conjoined twins' humor falls into the same category. Extract the funniest moments over the course of the two hours, and only two or three decent sketches could be constructed. Unfortunately, that leaves 100 minutes of humorless idiocy to deal with.

It is somewhat surprising that this movie is such an abject failure. The Farrelly brothers have made some sidesplitting movies in the past and Damon, in spite of his predilection to overact, has acted in some good ones as well. As for Kinnear, he's made some movies that weren't as appalling as this. Still, it is the holiday season and every movie deserves to have something good said about it. The filmmakers avert a very obvious ending that would have firmly entrenched the movie among the worst of all time. As is, it is awful, but stops short of being monumentally so.

Stars: 0 out of 5