Australian Council on Children and the Media

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

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Not recommended under 15 (Sex, Themes, Lang)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
  • a review of I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 August 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not recommended due to sexual references, themes and coarse language

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Moderate sexual references and coarse language
Length 115 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Larry Valentine (Kevin James) is a widower with two young children who is unable to get over the grief of losing his wife. Larry is afraid that if he were to die, there would be no beneficiary to receive his fireman’s pension and to be able to care for his children. He therefore persuades his best mate Chuck (Adam Sandler) to become his legitimate ‘partner’ and in so doing, deceive the government into passing on his pension to him. When government officials start to snoop around to see whether the couple is really gay, they decide to go to Canada to be officially married. The government is still keen to investigate the validity of the relationship and the two men gain an insight into, and empathy with, the gay world.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death of a parent; homosexual relationships.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence and accidental injury in this movie including:

  • rough play in a basketball game
  • two sisters verbally fight
  • while rescuing a very large man from a burning building, Chuck and Larry fall down the stairs with the large man landing on top of them.
  • Chuck falls from an upper floor when it collapses, landing on Larry. Both men end up in hospital, bandaged and bruised.
  • Larry falls off a ladder.
  • Chuck attacks a taxi driver for calling him a faggot.
  • Chuck slaps Larry across the face
  • Chuck knocks out a religious minister for calling him a faggot.
  • Larry attacks a man.
  • Larry’s son Eric hits another boy in the groin for calling his Dad gay.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Firemen fight fires and have to enter burning buildings.
  • Larry’s wife has died, leaving his two young children without a mother.
  • Chuck picks up a burnt rat.
  • Larry’s daughter Tori cries when she sees her Dad in hospital.
  • Tori falls into the toilet.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be scared by anything in this film, but may be disturbed or confused by some scenes, including

  • Men in same sex relationships
  • Men dressed up as fairies and bunny girls
  • The conflict between gays and ‘non’ gays.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be scared by anything in this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Raguletto spaghetti sauce
  • KY-jelly

Sexual references

There are many sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A woman accuses Chuck of sleeping with her sister – Chuck didn’t know the difference.
  • Eric does the splits and Tori tells him it will hurt his testicles.
  • Several discussions about being gay and faggots.
  • Several women come out of Chuck’s bedroom in skimpy underwear – Chuck asks one of them who untied her.
  • Chuck calls himself a whore.
  • Chuck receives material in the post marked ‘sexually explicit’.
  • Chuck receives a blow up doll in the post.
  • Chuck tells the inspector that he and Larry are having lots of sex together – all of the time “balls and wingers”
  • Chuck shows Eric a girlie magazine.
  • Chuck and Larry sleep in the same bed.
  • Chuck and Larry wake up one morning with the housekeeper in bed with them.
  • Doing the shopping Larry’s trying to buy ‘gay’ items so he chooses some sanitary pads – but Chuck says they don’t have vaginas. They buy some KY-Jelly instead.
  • Chuck and Larry attend several gay functions and marches where men are dressed up as women.
  • Larry goes to his daughter’s classroom to talk about being a firemen but the children ask him all about his sex life.
  • Alex asks Chuck what he does to turn Larry on.
  • Newspapers state that Chuck has slept with 16 women.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Men are shown in showers and their buttocks are shown. One has a tattoo on his buttocks reading ‘dead ass’.
  • Men are shown wearing nothing but g-strings.
  • Several women are shown in very skimpy clothing.
  • Firemen make a nude calendar.
  • Chuck and Larry hire a female lawyer named Alex to defend them. Chuck is very attracted to Alex who strips off her clothes in-front of him down to underwear, and Chuck has to hide an erection.
  • Alex makes Chuck feel her breasts because they’re all real – no silicone.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Chuck sprays someone with a fire extinguisher for fun and he gets high on the contents.
  • Several scenes of alcohol drinking, including straight out of a bottle

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Arse
  • Dick
  • Whore
  • Bitch
  • Arsehole
  • Piss
  • Cold nuts
  • Shit
  • Crap
  • Bastard
  • Butt
  • Oh my God

In a nutshell

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is a comedy with the now familiar story of two straight men pretend to be gay in order to gain government benefits.
The main message from this movie is tolerance of all sexual persuasions.
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with older children the real-life consequences of defrauding the government. It could also give them the opportunity to discuss their own feelings about homosexuality.

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