January 3, 2000 -- "Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo" is not only a movie title which squeezes a redundancy into just four words, it also is the first production by Adam Sandler's new company, Happy Madison. It stars Rob Schneider ("Muppets From Space"), who has also appeared in other Sandler films, and who is another member of the Saturday Night Live alumni.
It should come as no surprise then, that this film has a good deal of bathroom humor, flatulent humor and sexual humor. It makes fun of tall people, short people, blind people, people with Tourrette's syndrome, people with narcolepsy, amputees, and of course, fat people. O.K., they make fun of these people, but they also show some kind-heartedness as well. There's also a love story on top of that.
This is exactly the same formula Sandler has been using very successfully in recent years to become one of the richest people in Hollywood. Even though Schneider co-wrote the film with Harris Goldberg, Sandler's mark is all over it (he's the executive producer of the film). The idea is to produce a low-budget, romantic comedy movie, market it well and get back at least double what you put into it. That strategy has worked well for Sandler and seems to be working for Schneider in this film. What Schneider and Sandler seem to be doing is not just making fun of people, but trying to make these socially outcast people feel better about themselves at the same time. That is a no small trick.
A number of big budget, ambitious films like "Anna and the King" either lose money or just barely cover their costs, not so with Sandler films, they often rake in five or six times their production costs at the box office. There is a market for this stuff and Sandler has found a way to tap into it. The phenomenal success of the last Austin Powers movie is another example of this same kind of strategy.
Schneider plays a pool cleaning guy who agrees to watch some sick fish for a gigolo who has to be in Europe for three weeks. Even though he is told not to answer the phone and to stay out of the gigolo's business, he does get involved. After making a mess of the gigolo's apartment, he is forced to become a gigolo himself, or "man-whore" as he likes to call it, to raise money. His man-pimp, T.J. (played by Eddie Griffin), sets up dates for him.
It is on one of these dates that Bigalow finds the love of his life, Kate (played by Arija Bareikis), but of course something goes wrong and he spends the rest of the film trying to win her back, and rebuild the gigolo's ruined apartment before he gets back from Europe. I have to admit I did laugh at this film's silly pranks and its slapstick humor as much as I groaned at most of the gross bathroom humor. This film rates a C.
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