‘Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo’ is darn funny

Rob Schneider in 'Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo'
Rob Schneider in ‘Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo’

Since 1999, I think I’ve heard Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo used more often as way to criticize a film than compliment it. The title alone was ridiculed, so much so that the fact that they made a sequel so many years later (it came out in 2005), I was shocked. So, you can understand that I was a little reluctant to actually sit down and watch this flick, but I was in the need for a good laugh and took a chance.

I thought Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo was darn funny.

Perhaps it’s my weakness for Rob Schneider, who I think is a good comedic actor and suffers mostly because he’s stuck in Adam Sandler’s shadow. He’s clearly been helped by Sandler, I’m not knocking that, but the dude’s gotta break away. Either way, I think he’s a funny guy, and Male Gigolo showcases his charms. He’s the average Joe, easily relatable and sympathetic. That likeability makes you feel for the guy as he goes through each humiliating experience.

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo has Schneider playing… well, Deuce Bigalow. He’s a down-and-out fish tank cleaner who has little luck with the ladies. When he has a chance encounter with a male gigolo named Antoine (Oded Fehr), Deuce is invited to watch his apartment loaded with high-priced items for three weeks. All goes well, until Deuce accidentally breaks a $6,000 fish tank. He then must become a gigalo to some “unique” women in order to raise enough money before the bad-tempered Antoine returns.

It’s a pretty silly idea, but isn’t that what a comedy is supposed to be? The humor isn’t really all that crude, and none of the “unique” women are treated as jokes or punch lines. In other words, Deuce Bigalow is not a mean movie. They don’t make fun of people, instead the movie shows these often alienated women as real human beings.

Schneider, I think, is charming as Deuce. He’s not a goody-goody type, but he’s a good guy. Although he could have easily been written as this all-too nice guy, the scenes where he regularly gets the pet store girl to “unknowingly” dip her breasts into the cold fish tank water is perfect. That one running gag prevents Deuce from being annoyingly nice. Schneider also does a great job of mixing physical comedy with the more dialogue driven humor. William Forsythe plays a role that is easily different than anything I’ve seen him in before, and I’m still not sure what to make of it.

This new “Little Black Book Edition” has the same “making of” featurette from the first DVD release, but there are some new extras. There’s a video diary by the film’s director, Mike Mitchell. It’s really not a diary, so much as a montage of video footage shot during filming. It’s entertaining for a while, but is a little longer than it needed to be. There’s also “Fly on the Set”, which is entertaining, and several deleted scenes.

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