Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Hairspray is Certified Fresh; Chuck And Larry is On The Rocks

How much cross-dressing and gay innuendo can one Friday handle?

by | July 19, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got straight firemen in a domestic partnership
Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
, starring
Adam Sandler,
Kevin James,
and Jessica Biel),
and John Travolta in drag (Hairspray,
also starring
Michelle Pfeiffer
Queen Latifah
, and
Amanda Bynes
). What do the critics have to say?

On a good day, Adam
is one of the funniest people on the planet. And with Punch-Drunk
and Reign Over Me, he’s proven himself to be a capable dramatic
actor as well. Unfortunately, critics say his latest,
Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
, does not represent much of a creative
advance for New Hampshire’s favorite son. Sandler and
Kevin James
star as two Brooklyn firefighters who, in a bind, pretend to be a gay couple to
qualify for domestic partnership benefits. While the film’s moral is an
admirable one (homophobia isn’t kosher), critics say Chuck and Larry
tries to have it both ways by utilizing shopworn gay stereotypes for laughs
before arriving at a preachy message of tolerance. At 21 percent on the
Tomatometer, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry has the wedding bell

Jessica Biel in Catwoman 2: The Reckoning

With all the goodwill that
John Waters’
1988 cult classic has inspired, some may have wondered if world need another
movie version of
. The answer, say critics, is a resounding yes; in fact, most
are calling it one of the summer’s best and brightest offerings.
Nikki Blonsky
stars as Tracy, a good-natured teen whose ambition is to join the cast of a
local teen dance TV show; with the help of her mom Edna (John
), she learns to love her stout self and the value of desegregation.
Critics say
‘ campy subversion may have been softened this time, but Hairspray
is still a ton of fun, featuring rousing musical numbers and sharp performances
from its all-star cast, which includes
Queen Latifah,
Michelle Pfeiffer,
Christopher Walken,
Amanda Bynes, and
James Marsden. At
93 percent on the Tomatometer, Hairspray is not only Certified Fresh,
it’s also one of the best-reviewed wide releases of the year. And it matches up
well with Waters’ original, at 94 percent.

"Stay tuned, kids: The Hackneyed Harold Show is up
next after these messages!"

Also opening this week in limited release:
Live-In Maid
, a
delicate Argentine class-conflict satire, is at 100 percent;
Your Mommy
Kills Animals
, an even-handed doc about animal rights activism featuring
interviews with
Katherine Heigl
, Moby,
and Jessica Biel, is
at 100 percent; Sunshine,
Danny Boyle’s sci-fi
tale about a crew hoping to revive the sun before it dies starring
Cillian Murphy, is
at 81 percent (check out our
interview with
Boyle here
Scrap Heaven
, an stylish examination of urban disaffection in Japan, is
at 60 percent; Cashback,
a tale of an art student who can see the world frozen in time, is at 41 percent;
and Goya’s Ghosts,
Milos Foreman’s
biopic of the great Spanish painter starring
Natalie Portman
and Javier Bardem,
is at 23 percent.

"Reignite the sun?  I was just trying to find
out where the Sly Stone concert was."

Recent Adam Sandler Movies:
63% — Reign Over Me
32% — Click (2006)
30% — The Longest
53% — Spanglish
44% — 50 First

Tag Cloud

Musical TruTV TIFF Extras BBC sitcom Winter TV Comedy Cosplay Mary Tyler Moore History cops Fox News Schedule DC Comics IFC Ghostbusters ABC TCA 2017 OWN Rocky Disney Channel 2015 Star Trek diversity Opinion Bravo Starz Lionsgate Character Guide science fiction El Rey RT History PaleyFest crime social media Trailer Grammys Showtime E! GIFs CBS discovery Reality Competition travel period drama Valentine's Day Box Office First Look NYCC TV Land Teen vampires Summer Sundance composers Marvel sports Rock AMC Lifetime Crackle Animation Sci-Fi Action Toys Sneak Peek Tomatazos Spring TV Rom-Com Esquire biography Writers Guild of America Photos 007 Winners A&E Netflix crime thriller Kids & Family Drama Amazon NBC Syfy The Arrangement FX cooking Ellie Kemper psycho Calendar Music USA Year in Review Mindy Kaling E3 HBO American Society of Cinematographers CBS All Access political drama cats Reality Fall TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt talk show Nat Geo supernatural SundanceTV Superheroes transformers Logo YA Freeform Pop Marathons TCA TBS Premiere Dates adventure Universal DC Universe war CNN SDCC Podcast President Horror ITV VICE 2017 crime drama MTV APB Countdown Nominations 24 frames singing competition Disney historical drama Emmys The CW FOX what to watch cinemax 2016 TV thriller Video Games boxoffice Certified Fresh Star Wars Red Carpet GoT politics Nickelodeon dramedy Super Bowl GLAAD Country docudrama Watching Series WGN Thanksgiving Comedy Central X-Men TCM BBC America ESPN Cartoon Network Paramount harry potter comiccon 45 FXX Trivia Martial Arts Masterpiece Warner Bros. Set visit DirecTV zombie TNT Musicals Interview LGBTQ Pirates ABC Family Hulu technology Fantasy VH1 Election Infographic Mystery Comic Book PBS Holidays Adult Swim MSNBC BET Best and Worst Tumblr Food Network Awards serial killer Polls and Games Biopics police drama TLC Dark Horse Comics Oscars based on movie aliens CMT