Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: R for sexual content, crude humor, nudity, and language
Running time: 88 min.
Cast: Rob Schneider, Eddie Griffin, Arija Bareikis, Oded Fehr, William Forsythe, Gail O'Grady, Richard Riehle, Jacqueline Obradors, Big Boy, Amy Poehler, Marlo Thomas, Norm Macdonald
Director: Mike Mitchell
Screenplay: Harris Goldberg, Rob Schneider
Review published November 26, 2005
Part of a very short list of lowbrow comedies that actually are funny enough to be worthwhile, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo may be a stupid film, but the laughs are there. Obviously, this kind of crass humor isn't for the easily offended, as there are quite a number of sex and potty humor gags that will never air on network television, to say the least. However, even if the gags are crude, they are often clever. While other films often use these gross-out moments to inject humor where there's none to be found, Deuce Bigalow is also funny when it's not trying for adult humor, which makes the film as a whole far less offensive than many other raunchy comedies to tread the same path.
Deuce Bigalow (Schneider, Down Periscope) is a fish tank cleaner by trade, barely eking out a living for himself when he gets fired from his latest job at an aquarium. He settles for odd jobs, including a temporary gig "fish-sitting" the rare but exotic Chinese Talibar Lionfish belonging to Antoine (Fehr, The Mummy), a high-priced gigolo who is going on a three week trip. It's a great place to stay, that is until Deuce accidentally breaks the $6000 tank housing the Lionfish, and as possessive as Antoine is about touching his things, he knows he is in a heap of trouble if he doesn't replace it before Antoine's return. Without a penny to his name, Deuce resorts to picking up Antoine's forbidden phone line, where he starts his career in male prostitution in order to get the money he needs, but he might be in danger of failing when he begins to fall for one of his clients.
Deuce Bigalow is a niche comedy that doesn't try to do anything but make you laugh. It's there when you're in the mood for a silly, no-baggage comedy, and for what it is, it does its job well. The writing is fresh, with some funny recurring gags that may have you wondering how they come up with this stuff. Even the romance, which could have been more saccharine than it appears, actually has a genuine warmth to it that makes it work. Perhaps most importantly, Deuce is actually likeable enough to root for, which in lowbrow comedies, is not an easy feat to pull off.
Also commendable, the humor factor is high while the annoyance factor is low, making Deuce Bigalow a worthy choice for juvenile-minded adults in the mood for an all-out silly good time.
©2005 Vince Leo