In spite of the outrageous concept — a crass comedy about conjoined twins — fans of the Farrelly brothers may say that they’ve lost their edge. The cruel, cutting humor of Me Myself and Irene, Kingpin, and There’s Something about Mary is gone. On the other hand, it’s nice to have characters you can root for, and not just be repulsed by. Maybe Stuck On You isn’t as hilarious as There’s Something about Mary, but it has a good heart that lifts it above average.
PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language
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Walt and Bob (Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon) are conjoined twins. They live in Martha’s Vineyard and run the Quickie Burger. If your order isn’t ready in 3 minutes, it’s on the house. With two sets of hands and a routine reduced to a science, it’s a bet they never lose.
Outside of work, they lead surprisingly separate lives. Bob is more of a homebody, but Walt likes to go to the bars and pick up girls. He also acts at the local playhouse. He even does a one-man show on Truman Capote, with Bob dressed in black, staying carefully out of the spotlight.
One day Walt decides he wants to take acting more seriously. He wants to move out to L.A. and try to find some choice roles. Bob, as always, is very supportive. Bob’s internet girlfriend lives in L.A., so maybe they’ll get a chance to finally meet.
Meanwhile, in L.A., Cher (played by herself) is having career problems. The best her agent can do for her is the corner square (although he tells her it’s the center square). When he signs her to a horrid little TV show called “Honey and the Beaze,” she’ll do anything to get out of the contract. A chance meeting with Walt (and Bob) gives her a bright idea, and she gets Walt a job as an actor.
While Walt starts putting down roots in California, Bob starts longing for the East coast. The brothers are growing apart, and they revive their old debate about whether to have the risky operation to separate themselves, or whether to stick together a while longer.
Drop the Funny Stuff
As you’d expect, there are a lot of “conjoined twin” jokes. Sex, dating, sports, showering, the Farrellys tackle it all. But there’s only so much you can do with the concept before the jokes become repetitive.
So instead of heaping on more gags, the Farrellys go for a more dramatic approach. That’s why Stuck On You isn’t as hilarious as There’s Something about Mary. At times, the movie feels more like a drama than a comedy.
But in spite of playing against their strong suit, the Farrellys imbue Stuck On You with appeal. As in Adam Sandler’s films, there is a good heart behind the tasteless jokes. Conjoined twins are the groundwork for lots of jokes, but beyond that, there is room for the emotional bond between brothers to develop. Damon and Kinnear give their characters surprising depth for a Farrelly brothers comedy. Stuck On You is not profound, but it is much more perceptive and sincere than you’d expect.
It seems fitting somehow that Cher is such a good sport about playing herself. She seems to have decided to trust the Farrelly brothers. It’s as though she knows they will make jokes about her, but they will not make them at her expense.
So maybe the Farrellys really have softened. Maybe There’s Something about Mary was the pinnacle, and they’ll never be as funny. But if so, Stuck On You is a step in the right direction. It’s softer, it’s less mean, and maybe it’s not as side-splitting, but it’s something everyone can enjoy, and something audiences can root for. That’s something I can recommend.