Stuck On You Review
It isn’t incest this time. Nor is it a split-personality disorder, gross obesity, a three-legged dog, makeshift hair gel, headless budgies, or rubber-handed Ten Pin Bowler’s. No, this time the Farrelly’s Dumb and Dumber buddies actually have an IQ bigger than the amount of fingers on their hands, but in Bobby and Peter’s infinite wisdom, they’ve shafted our would be heroes with perhaps the only un-PC device they haven’t already explored – conjoined siblings. Admirably enough, the writer/director team (who brought us Jim Carrey peeing into a beer bottle and watching on as a strict, law-upholding cop drunk said beer bottle’s contents, and Cameron Diaz putting Ben Stiller’s homemade hair gel on her golden locks) have delivered a sweet-natured yarn about two brothers trying to get on with life despite their unfortunate birth defect.
Bob (Matt Damon) and Walt (Greg Kinnear), conjoined together since birth, run a small burger bar in their little home town. Bob is the quiet reserved one, winning awards for his sporting abilities and falling for his pen pal, a girl he’s never met. Walt is the aspiring actor and the one who always gets lucky with the ladies. After Walt’s theatre production receives plaudits from the local townsfolk, he decides he has to go to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting. Persuading Bob it’s a good idea, the added bonus being his pen pal lives in Los Angeles, the twins set off for the west coast. But, will Walt’s pursuit to stardom damage the brother’s relationship, and will Bob get the girl of his dreams?
Stuck On You is a fun comedy but its appeal to fans of the Farrelly’s may lay on how the brother’s sentimentality, and more restrained comedy go down with their now long-established fan base. Even though a premise that plays on the idea of conjoined twins sounds like a direct route to all things distasteful, the Farrelly’s use it to look at a close friendship and to alienate those that brand them ‘freaks’. Much like Shallow Hal, Jack Black’s character overcoming his superficial outlook on life, Stuck On You pits the ‘freaks’ against the rest of the world, their mission to break the boundaries that metaphorically and physically bind them. Gone is the mouth to mouth on a ‘dead’ cow, and the irony of a ‘midget’ having 300 pound, six foot children ala Me, Myself and Irene. There’s no Dumb and Dumber pedicures with industrial appliances, or sneaky use of laxative medicine, and this time our Kingpin doesn’t need to sleep with the old landlady instead of paying the rent. In comes Greg Kinnear dressed up in a teddy bear costume to conceal the fact he’s a Siamese twin, and Matt Damon hiding behind his brother during his sibling’s ‘one-man’ play. The consistent belly-laughs aren’t quite their in Stuck On You, substituted for warm, feel-good entertainment, that is perhaps too nice for its own good.
However, Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon are excellent as the conjoined pair, they’re an infinitely watchable buddy-buddy pairing. Cher is good in a role that loosely mocks her ‘yes-world’, rich elite life, and a sub-plot involving Bob trying to date a girl without her knowing he has a Siamese twin is simply Farrelly excellence. The major problem is the laughs are far too inconsistent, and the plot is paper-thin. The film takes a while to get going setting up the back-story and runs out of steam by the end.
Stuck On You is a feel-good, sporadically funny film that has some great comedic moments, but it doesn’t reach the heights of their best efforts. Its relatively restrained tone, similar in nature to Shallow Hal, seemingly showing a progression in the Farrelly’s work, to more toned-down, thoughtful comedy. Unfortunately, it’s no Dumb and Dumber, and ultimately, it isn’t so clever either.
The picture is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and anamorphic enhanced. Overall, it’s excellent displaying a clean image with colours vibrant and defined, and skin tones appearing natural. The print used has no problems.
Both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtracks are present on the DVD, and both are very good. For a comedy of this nature, extensive rear and .LFE usage isn’t greatly required but both are catered for. The DTS track seems to have more definition, the spatial ambience better suited across the front channels than the DD 5.1 offers. However, both sound formats compliment the film well.
Audio Commentary with Bobby and Peter Farrelly - This is your typical yak-track from the brothers who point out their friends and family as per usual. There are some interesting bits of information about the production, including the opening that’s enough to scare the open-minded, like myself, for weeks. In one of the opening shots the Farrelly’s point out that you can see a man’s face under the bed and it shouldn’t be there – at least that’s what they claim. Much like the Three Men And a Baby ghost, which is fake, this is either a set-up or something unexplainably creepy, as the face is very distinctive and obviously a man.
Deleted Scenes - 8 Deleted scenes are present on the disc, displayed in 2.35:1 non-anamorphic. There’s actually some funny stuff to be found, but I think I might be the only one to find May’s collection of Tuna really funny. Obviously they have been cut for time purposes, as the film is already too long, but it’s not as if they don’t serve some purpose. Kinnear in a bar, which would have featured late in the film, brings some depth to his character, and there is an extended porn scene, which is amusing.
It’s Funny: The Farrelly Formula - This fifteen minute featurette is an overview of the what makes a Farrelly brothers film work. Interview snippets from many of the people they’ve worked with on all their films are present, including Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Renee Zellweger, and Jack Black.
Stuck Together - This is a mini ‘Making Of’ that focuses on Stuck On You, featuring interviews from the major cast members and the directors.
Making It Stick - A featurette focusing on the special make-up effects used to make the conjoined twins look authentic.
Blooper Reel - There are some funny bits and pieces of the actors fluffing their lines, but it’s largely uninteresting.
Inside Look - Fox promotional behind-the-scenes footage from Aliens Versus Predator, and a promo trailer for Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.
Additionally, the DVD opens with a Fox website promo, and trailers for Runaway Jury, Cheaper By The Dozen, and The Day After Tomorrow.
Stuck On You isn’t a weak entry in the Farrelly’s catalogue of films, it’s just a very ordinary one that hardly stands out. It offers a couple of hours entertainment but unlike Dumb and Dumber, the brilliant Kingpin, and There’s Something About Mary, its lack of consistent laughs makes the DVD less of a keeper. The added features are adequate but like the film, very ordinary, but the DVD’s image and sound are excellent.