Stuck on You (2003)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Buddy Film, Showbiz Comedy, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Dec 12, 2003 (USA)  |   Run Time - 118 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Josh Ralske

Like non-identical conjoined twins, a Farrelly brothers film typically consists of broad gross-out humor unnaturally welded to overweening sentiment. It's a dangerous mixture, as proven by the accusations of hypocrisy leveled at Shallow Hal. On the one hand, we were supposed to sympathize with the obese woman played by Gwyneth Paltrow; on the other hand, we were expected to laugh at the fat jokes and revel in Hal's fat-phobic misogyny. The same dynamic is at work in Stuck on You, but here, in their story of the brotherly love between conjoined twins played by Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, there's a better balance between outrageous humor and heartfelt sentiment. The fantastic nature of the setup allows the Tenor brothers' physiological attachment to be read as metaphor. This, combined with the filmmakers' genuine affection for outcasts and the people who accept them, allows the film to transcend its bizarre one-joke premise (pounded to within an inch of its life in sight gag after sight gag, and reaching its comic peak early, when aspiring actor Walt [Kinnear] performs a one-man show with his panic-stricken brother in tow) and find a soul. A wondrously sweet, goofy performance from Damon helps tremendously in this regard. The brothers' penchant for stunt casting is occasionally a distraction (NFL stars Tom Brady and Lawyer Milloy as computer geeks?), but as prospective love interests, Eva Mendes is winningly ebullient and Wen Yann Shih is charming. And Seymour Cassel does a hilarious turn as a sleazy old-school agent. The film doesn't have the nasty edge of previous Farrelly successes like There's Something About Mary and Kingpin, but like those comedic gems, it works so beautifully, not just because it generates easy laughs, but also because it manages to make us care about its absurd protagonists.