Rated R - Running Time: 1:28 - Released 12/10/99

It seems that the fount of bad movies that springs from former cast members of Saturday Night Live will never dry up. To the list of lame hits like A Night At The Roxbury, Big Daddy, The Waterboy, and Senseless, add Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Starring marginally successful SNL alum Rob Schneider, Mike Mitchell's first film is ill-advised from the start, attempting the omnidirectionally offensive approach that worked so well for There's Something About Mary and the Austin Powers films, but lacks the subtlety of humor necessary to pull it off. The script is penned by Harris Goldberg (who wrote 1998's awful I'll Be Home for Christmas) and Schneider himself, whose list of acting credits include such staggeringly bad films as Judge Dredd, Knock Off, and both the above mentioned Adam Sandler films (this is his first try as writer).

Deuce Bigalow is about an aquatic maintenance engineer who lands a job watching over a tankful of exotic fish while their owner, Antoine (Oded Fehr) is away. Antoine is a very popular and high-priced gigolo who looks like George Harrison (from the Let It Be period), but he is also very protective of his fish and his plush bachelor pad. He informs Deuce that if anything is damaged, he will use him for target practice with an item from his medieval weapon collection. But after he's gone, Deuce accidentally knocks over Antoine's immense, custom-built fishtank and starts a fire that causes several thousand dollars' worth of damage. So he decides he must try Antoine's profession to make the money to pay for the damages. Since Deuce is not quite as beautiful as Antoine, his clientele consists of many odd and less-than-attractive women, but since he's such a nice guy, he builds their self-esteem while not having sex with them.

The backlash of the early 1990s political correctness trend is the late '90s scriptwriting tactic of attempting offend as many social groups as possible. This film makes fun of people with narcolepsy and Tourette syndrome, tall people, fat people, blind people, black people, people with big feet, people who wear artificial limbs, and women in general. But the humor is so stupid that it backfires and offends us all, not because of its shock value but because it's an insult to our collective intelligence. The jokes, intended to make teenagers snigger, don't even make enough sense to inspire anything but confused disgust. Schneider has about as much range as the lionfish he protects throughout the movie, and the fish is far more interesting to watch. Occasionally, the antics of one of the supporting characters might produce a mild chuckle, but more often than not, this amateur team's attempt at comedy overwhelmingly misses its mark.

Copyright 1999 by John R. McEwen and The Republican

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