Stuck on You

Walt Tenor (Greg Kinnear), like any other good looking, athletic, multi-talented young man growing up on Martha’s Vineyard, wants to spread his wings. As an actor, Walt has the chops, but needs to move to Los Angeles in order to make contacts and get discovered. There’s only one thing holding Walt back. His brother Bob (Matt Damon). It’s not that Walt wants to leave Bob behind, he can’t.

As conjoined twins sharing a liver, Walt and Bob have grown up doing everything together. When Walt’s performing on stage, Bob becomes nothing more than an appendage. Within the confines of Martha’s Vineyard Bob and Walt are a double threat (and treat), but once they hit the streets of Hollywood, career choices threaten to tear them apart.

Just the thought of Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear joined at the hip makes me laugh, but is it enough to sustain a two hour comedy? Yes and no. “Stuck On You,” the latest film from the Farrelly brothers (There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal), is frequently funny, but in their quest not to offend, Bobby and Peter have made a film with a big heart but little edge.

The Farrelly Brothers have always walked a fine line between good and bad taste, frequently creating mentally or physically challenged characters. The difference between the Farrelly’s and other filmmakers who followed their lead is that they always treat their characters with respect. They may be the butt of jokes, but for the most part we find ourselves laughing with, not at them. Bob and Walt may be conjoined twins, but they see themselves are normal, and in time, so do we.

It feels like the Farrelly’s have reigned in their politically incorrect humor too much with “Stuck on You.” There’s a great deal of enjoyment to be had in the wild ride that Bob and Walt find themselves on (they end up being cast on Cher’s new television series), but the tone of the film seems to suffer from it’s family-friendly rating. The Farrelly’s biggest hit, “There’s Something About Mary,” would have been an empty shell of its former self without the freedom of an “R” rating.

I guess this is a kinder and gentler period for the Farrelly’s, whose ability to mix wicked, outrageous humor with heart is evident in “Stuck on You,” just obscured by the filmmakers desire to make their adult brand of comedy more accessible. You’ll laugh, but you won’t split your sides.

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Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Eva Mendes, Cher, Wen Yann Shih, Seymour Cassel. Directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly. Rated PG-13. 118 Minutes.


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