When the lights go down--the manwhore comes out to play.
When I watch certain actors paint such vivid and animated characters across the silver screen, I am almost reach a state of pure cinema bliss. I came close to that bliss when I watched the riveting Richard Gere is his latest film, American Gigolo 2, Male Gigolo. Gere has such a powerful presence in a number of memorable moments that draw from him an almost frightening realism that seems to reach out from the screen to the audience. Richard Gere's performance in the film--oh, wait a minute--let me retract that last statement. Did I say Richard Gere? Sorry for the confusion. I meant Rob Schneider, and his new film Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo. Gere and Schneider, I tend to mix up the two so often.
Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo: Always a bridesmaid but never a bride. The new comedy co-written and starring Rob Schneider has been designed specifically for the current style of comedic filmmaking made popular years ago with Porky's and Hot Dog: The Movie. The "stereotypical, drunken, convoluted, skit humor pressed into ninety minutes" style. Following in the vein of Adam Sandler (who is one of the co-producers of Deuce Bigalow) and numerous Lorne Michael's films, Deuce tries to capture those hilarious situations made famous by its predecessors but ends up feeling forced and limited. It lacks the fluidity for the pace of the film and seems to rely too much on the physical size of Schneider as a comedic vehicle.
The set-up is simple and if handled properly, it could have produced memorable moments that seem to dominate the current comedic films of recent. The problem is that Schneider restores to using situations will very bland, stereotypical characterization that only work for about five to ten minutes, such as a skit on SNL or MadTV, and never seems to extend to a further point. The Farrelly bros. used to same premise in their films but was able to extend those characters into interesting and complying characters. Certain situations succeed in capturing very funny moments but overall, the jokes are hit and miss.
The supporting cast includes Eddie Griffin, of the "Malcolm and Eddie" television show, who supplies Deuce with the proper connections into the world of the "manwhore." I wouldn't be surprised to see Griffin's character spinning off to his own television show, "Malcolm and the ManPimp," which no doubt would be picked up by either the WB or UPN in a heartbeat. The versatile actor, William Forsythe, provides his Method acting made famous by his performances in Dick Tracy and Firestorm to the role of the main adversary against Deuce, who has a small problem below the waist which he reveals too many times. Forsythe, call your agent and tell him to please get you out of the career path made famous by Gary Busey, pronto.
The efforts of Scheinder in producing a successful comedy for the masses are recognizable but his story structure and character development is unoriginal and predictable. The last thing I would want is another romantic comedy about learning to love someone for who they are. Years ago, I saw Rob Schneider at a comedy club and everything he did was brilliant and original, almost Kaufmanesque. His work on SNL was impressive and ranked with the works of the Belushi and Farrelly caliber of comedy. That individual who I saw years ago can make you laugh. But with this film, Schneider only succeeds in scratching the surface of his comedic talents.
Swim, Deuce, swim!