Review: Stuck on You

It lacks the comic mastery of Kingpin and Shallow Hal’s cutting insights about body image, but it’s still a big-hearted charmer.

Stuck on You
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Bobby and Peter Farrelly’s latest is a parable about conjoined twins, and though it lacks the laugh-a-minute comic mastery of their magnificent Kingpin or Shallow Hal’s cutting insights about body image, Stuck on You is still a big-hearted charmer. Walt (Greg Kinnear) and Bob (Matt Damon) are joined at the hip and they share a liver, but they’ve led a relatively normal life nonetheless in Martha’s Vineyards. But Walt aspires for stardom in Hollywood, and has the acting chops to do it, so how can the shy Bob possibly hold him back?

To varying degrees of success, Stuck on You milks the gag of literally inseparable twins for all it’s worth with scenes involving one brother taking a shower, or having an intimate conversation, or acting in a one-man show, or chasing booty while the other has to hang out on the “sidelines.” But once the twins reach Hollywood the Farrellys find plenty of things to say about the movie business and its obsession with perfect bodies. Playing herself, Cher is Walt and Bob’s diabolical co-star who frets over her career trajectory and the size of her bony ass, and Eva Mendes sends up her plastic surgery as a sweet-natured aspiring actress, April Mercedes, who befriends the twins. But, truth be told, the central gag wears thin and the Farrellys’ sweet sentimentality gets in the way of their storytelling.

The filmmakers deserve a humanitarian award for repeatedly casting actors as characters with developmental disabilities, but this time his actors aren’t given a strong enough situation to play in; here they feel like well-intentioned window dressing. Still, the Farrellys convey sincerity and sympathy for their so-called “freaks of nature” and manage to get across a handful of wildly original sequences, especially the climactic musical number.

They also prove once again how good they are with actors: Meryl Streep, better here than she was in the The Hours, proves once again that she’s not only one of our great American actresses but one of our greatest comedians ; Damon’s performance is more emotionally honest than his over-emoting Mr. Ripley; and compare the depth and pain of Kinnear’s turn to his surfacy performance in Auto Focus. Unfortunately, the Oscars don’t give nods to virtuoso comic performances any more than they do to David Cronenberg’s body-horrored protagonists. It took years for Cronenberg to be taken seriously by the film community, and the Farrellys are fast on his heels, even with a lesser work like Stuck on You.

Score: 
 Cast: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Eva Mendes, Wenn Yann Shih, Seymour Cassel, Meryl Streep, Griffin Dunne, Cher  Director: Bobby, Peter Farrelly  Screenwriter: Bobby, Peter Farrelly  Distributor: 20th Century Fox  Running Time: 118 min  Rating: PG-13  Year: 2003  Buy: Video

Jeremiah Kipp

Jeremiah Kipp is a New York City based writer, producer and director with over ten years experience creating narrative and commercial films.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Review: Bonjour Tristesse

Next Story

Review: Something’s Gotta Give