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Stuck on You (2003)

Since the runaway success of There's Something About Mary (1998), directors, writers, producers, and brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly have been struggling to find the balance between their obvious sweet side and their interest in exploring (or perhaps exploiting) the freakish. Stuck on You (2003) is another uneven effort that delivers laughs, but it's too saccharine for its own good. Conjoined twins Bob (Matt Damon) and Walt (Greg Kinnear) live in Martha's Vineyard and own a restaurant, where they work as short-order cooks. Walt's always dreamed of being a big-time actor and wants to pursue it by moving to Hollywood, which Bob agrees to, since his long-time pen pal May (Wen Yann Shih) lives there. Hoping to enjoy the California life, they move into a crummy apartment complex and makes friends with neighbor/airhead April (Eva Mendes), and get old-timey agent Morty O'Reilly (Seymour Cassel) to represent them. But it's a chance encounter with Cher (playing herself) that nabs Walt his big break; Cher has leading-man approval for a TV show she wants no part of — but is contractually obligated to do — so hiring a Siamese twin seems the quickest way out. Somehow (especially after Bob takes over head writing duties) the show becomes a big hit and it makes Walt famous. But the show — entitled "Honey and the Beaze" — was done with the conjoined Bob obscured (poorly). When news of Walt's freakishness is leaked, the show loses its sponsors, forcing Bob and Walt to face the press. This is harder on Bob, since he's kept his brother a secret from May and has made up all sorts of awkward excuses for Walt's presence on their dates. Though Walt digs Hollywood, Bob wants to return home and both think about getting separated — though the operation may prove fatal for Walt. Within the first ten minutes of Stuck on You, the Farrellys establish that they're not going to poke too much fun at their boys' affliction, and they make a point of suggesting that they've had a leg up (or two, if one wishes to make a pun) over others because of their "special-ness." But because the humor derived from their situation is kept polite, one must then follow the plodding plot of "rubes making good in Tinseltown," which comes across as an afterthought to string jokes on. When the movie pokes fun at Hollywood and co-star Cher, like most comedies about Hollywood, the jokes feel toothless (admittedly, Cher is a good sport) and because the central plot is so thin, it never becomes more than amiable. Also of note is how different Damon and Kinnear are as performers: Damon plays the character, while Kinnear always sells the jokes (which plays to both their strengths). Both are appealing, as are love interests Mendes and Shih. Fox presents Stuck on You in separately available anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and pan-and-scan editions with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Included is a commentary by Bobby and Peter Farrelly (who are considered on par with Tim Burton for worst directors qua commentators), eight deleted and extended scenes, outtakes, three featurettes: "It's Funny" a Farrelly brothers retrospective; and self-explanatory "Stuck Together: Bringing Stuck on You to the Big Screen" and "Making it Stick: The Make-Up Effects of Stuck on You, trailers for this and other related Fox product, and Fox's "Inside Look" section, which offers previews for four upcoming Fox movies. Keep-case.

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