Stuck on You (2003)

(On TV, March 2016) The touch of the Farrely brothers is obvious in Stuck on You, another of their comedies in which disability is seen sympathetically, North-eastern United States represents and comedy springs from uncomfortable situations. To wit: Stuck on You is about conjoined twins linked at the hip, and how they try to achieve one of them’s success as a Hollywood actor. As a physical comedy, Stuck on You milks a lot of laughs from suggesting the practical reality of its characters (one of them donning black clothes as the other perform a one-man show, the other wearing a teddy bear suit in bed when the other meets a romantic prospect), then goes for gentle Hollywood satire when a truly awful TV show becomes a rating darling. Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear are rather good in thankless roles, while Cher gets a few laughs in a relatively unflattering role. (Eva Mendes and Meryl Streep also show up successfully in small roles) Stuck on You is a film of small moments rather than overall storytelling: the plot is familiar, the beats are predictable and what sets it apart is some degree of success in delivering the small laughs that populate the larger but blander framework. In retrospect, it’s almost amazing that Stuck on You manages to last more than ninety minutes without quite wearying what could have been a one-note premise. Interestingly enough, the film manages to avoid most gross-out gags, which may be surprising given some of the Farrelly Brothers’ filmography. But they would have been out of place in a film that generally plays things sweetly and without meanspiritedness. Better than it could have been, Stuck on You isn’t particularly sophisticated entertainment, but it holds its own against most odds.

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