Film / I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a 2007 comedy starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James. Two New York City Firefighters named Chuck (Sandler) and Larry (James) do a routine sweep of a building. Falling debris showers over Chuck, but Larry uses his body to shield him. As Chuck is saved, he tells Larry that he'll repay him with any favor.

After the accident, Larry, a recent widower, worries about his death and the impact it could have on his two kids. However, he discovers that his life insurance policy won't allow him to change his beneficiary from his deceased wife to his children due to him not experiencing a major life event. As he neglected to fill out the paperwork after his wife's death, he's left with marriage. Realizing New York legally recognizes domestic partnerships, he pleads for Chuck to have a domestic partnership with him. Realizing that he owes him one, he agrees.

However, things get complicated when they're repeatedly investigated for potential fraud and forced to keep acting gay in public to maintain the ruse - particularly difficult for Chuck due to his lady killer tendencies and especially his growing attraction to a lawyer, Alex, who supported them. The two also begin to learn that living openly as gay men creates further complications as the two previously homophobic men are now subjected to the same persecution legitimately gay people are.

This film contains examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Twice in the film, the duo are expected to kiss. The first time, they flip out and Chuck hits Larry (they play this off as being kinky.) The second time, they are expected to kiss in court to prove their love before they're interrupted by the Captain, who exposes the entire charade.
  • Artistic License Law: The entire premise of the film. Being romantically involved is not a prerequisite for two people being in a domestic partnership. If anything, the opposite is true: the agreement only recognizes that two unmarried people live together, and it's (in theory) designed for people who aren't romantic partners. The arrangement just used to be common among LGBT couples because same-sex marriage was illegal in most of the United States until 2015, so domestic partnerships were often the closest thing to marriage that they could get.
  • Berserk Button: Chuck hates the word faggot and he punches a religiously homophobic group member.
  • Black Comedy Rape: There was an entire scene that was just the guys' coworkers being scared to shower because Chuck and Larry might rape them, with them acting as if they actually might.
  • Black Like Me: Chuck is a very casual homophobe, happy to toss around words like "faggot" and having offensive, stereotypical ideas of what gay people are like judging by his attempts at impersonating one. By the end of the movie, he and Larry have had to deal with genuine prejudice over their faked sexuality, and he admits how ignorant he was.
  • But Not Too Gay: Despite that this movie is completely centered upon the issues of homosexuals and gay marriage, the one line they could not cross was having Chuck and Larry actually kiss. They wanted to do this, but the MPAA threatened to give the movie an R-rating if they did (despite heterosexual kisses not even being considered to be PG-13), so they had to pass on that idea in the interests of marketability.
  • Camp Gay: Pretty much anyone in the movie that is actually gay is this. Duncan doesn't start out this way, but he switches to this as soon as he comes out of the closet. One of the chief criticisms of the film was its flagrant stereotyping of the gay community despite purporting to be a message of tolerance.
    • Implied with Larry's effeminate son. Or he could be just Camp Straight.
  • Citizenship Marriage: The insurance marriage variant.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Subverted - the movie doesn't portray one, but during the shower scene, Chuck and Larry are treated as though they are.
  • invoked Dude, Not Funny!: At one point Chuck and Larry sleep on Larry's former wife's bed which he hasn't done since she died. Once under the covers, Chuck decides to joke around by imitating his dead wife and claiming he "betrayed" her. Larry, unsurprisingly, isn't amused.
  • Faux Yay: The premise of the film.
  • Fanservice: Jessica Biel in a couple scenes. Bra and panties in one, with a gratuitous shot of her walking away after getting felt up by Sandler. Also as Catwoman at a costume party.
    • Also "Dr. Honey" when she's a lingerie.
    • And the cute Asian girls Chuck has over at his pad, including Tila Tequila
  • Fictional Video Game: Chuck owns a "Balica"note  arcade game.
  • Get Back in the Closet: The reason why they decided to cut the kiss between Chuck and Larry.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Inevitable considering Chuck and Larry did pretend to be a couple.
  • Intimate Marks: The movie has a closeted homosexual who comes out to one of the protagonists. Later, when all the firefighters are in the shower, all the firefighters are scared of the 2 main characters. The closeted homosexual walks in and drops his soap. He bends over to reveal that "BAD ASS" is tattooed on his butt cheeks.
  • Jerkass: Clinton Fitzer. Granted he was only doing his job investigating a possible fraud in Chuck and Larry's marriage, but does it justify being an unsympathetic asshole to them?
  • Male Gaze: Alex McDonough gets this. It's one of the reasons why Chuck found it hard to keep up the charade.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Eric and Tori (Larry's kids).
  • Mistaken from Behind: Adam Sandler's character sees a hot blonde dressed as a Playboy bunny but when he calls out she turns out to be David Spade.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Alex played by Jessica Biel. The film and trailer makes sure to show off her breast, legs and ass.
  • No Bisexuals: The entire climax is of Chuck getting in trouble because he was "caught" being in prior relationships with women. The idea of bisexuality was never even implied as a possibility. In fact, the entire movie would be over if they simply claimed to be bisexuals in an open relationship.
  • Queer People Are Funny: The whole point of the movie.
  • Reality Ensues: After the truth of Chuck and Larry's relationship (or lack thereof) is revealed in the court, their fellow firefighters pull the I Am Spartacus card in a show of solidarity... and are all promptly arrested and thrown in jail for being accessories to Chuck and Larry's act of fraud. Fortunately for them, the state subsequently agrees not to press any charges as part of the plea bargain that sees the case resolved.
  • Scary Black Man: Duncan (Ving Rhames), one of the firefighters. He turns out to be gay too. And the only reason he's "scary" is because he had to hide his sexuality, and would really become scary if he didn't come out soon.