|Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
1999 - R - 88 Mins.
|Director: Mike Mitchell
|Producer: Adam Sandler
|Written By: Harris Goldberg, Rob Schneider
|Starring: Rob Schneider, Eddie Griffin, Oded Fehr, William Forsythe, Amy Poehler
|Review by: Joe Rickey
Low-brow humor is a tricky affair. It must be handled with care or else it becomes overly tasteless and thoroughly unenjoyable. 'Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo' adds just enough heart to the formula to appeal to more than just those who usually enjoy these types of films rife with toilet humor and other forms of gross-out gags.
That suit is kickin'
Deuce Bigalow (Rob Schneider) is a tropical fish caretaker/fish tank cleaner who knows everything there is to know about the watery creatures but next to nothing about interacting with people, let alone those of the opposite sex. One day he is asked to care for a man's (Oded Fehr) fish while the man goes out of town on business. It turns out the man is a gigolo. With the responsibility comes the opportunity for Deuce to live in the man's expansive mansion and enjoy all the amenities that come with such a lavish lifestyle. When Duece is attempting to work out on the man's aerobic equipment he proceeds to destroy a fish tank worth thousands of dollars. In order to pay for a new one, he takes up being a gigolo himself with the aid of fellow gigolo and manager T.J. Hicks (Eddie Griffin).
Rob Schneider would not seem like the type of person (in looks, personality, etc.) that would become a gigolo. This fact is why the film works. The sheer absurdity of the premise does not ensure hilarity in such a silly comedy, but it brings with potential, and that is something that cannot be said for every comedy release in this day and age. The film does something with the potential as once the set-up is established, the film details how Deuce goes out on date after date with women, all with some debilitating disease or physicality, and does his best to bring them happiness.
The film is handled with such, dare I say it, heart that what could have become mean-spirited in the wrong hands, actually becomes somewhat touching here. Why? It refuses to use the various faults of the women as means to garnering cheap laughs. How Deuce handles the women's faults is both creative and functions to make the character imminently likable. Witness when he takes out Ruth (Amy Poehler) who suffers from Tourette's Syndrome. Since her disorder makes it nigh impossible to go out to a fancy restaurant without fear of an embarrassing outburst, Deuce takes her to a baseball game where her outbursts are actually appreciated by other fans because she is voicing what they themselves don't have the courage to say. Through his outings with the various women, Deuce discovers that what most women want more than anything is some companionship, and this he gives them without hesitation.
As you may have gathered, Schneider is nearly perfect as the lovable gigolo Deuce. He has the comedic skills to wring laughs out of the oddest situations, a big plus for a film such as this. He is so good in this role that it would seem the actor was born to play it. As his mentor, Eddie Griffin too is perfect, bringing a smile to one's face just by the way he drops all his food in the hot tub (his characters spends much of the film in one) and leisurely scoops it out and eats it without concern.
'Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo' is an admirable success; a gross-out comedy with a heart of gold.