Politics & Policy

Hot Chick Flick

Looking beyond the "Same Ho. New Low." package.

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo is completely ridiculous.

But Deuce Bigalow is irresistible.

Wait a second before you run to Fandango though. There are some qualifiers.

If you can’t tolerate or would otherwise like to avoid, uh, well, south-of-the-border jokes, crass humor, and language that here in New York is something akin to the constant, odious melody of a traffic jam (I hear it outside the window at NR World Headquarters pretty consistently)…well, then Deuce is not for you.

But, of course, no one is really hiding that from you: The “Gigolo” in the title kind of gives it away. If you miss that, the movie’s ads proclaim “Same Ho. New Low.” And if you still don’t get it, the rating system pretty much screams it at you: “Pervasive Strong Crude and Sexual Humor. Language Nudity and Drug Content.” (So I can’t imagine Smut Guy Gil Reavill minding much.)

If you saw the first Deuce movie (1999), know that Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo is a few steps beyond its predecessor taste-wise. In this new one, there was at least one scene this good Catholic schoolgirl simply couldn’t watch once I caught wind of what was about to happen. But, again, there was some pretty obvious warning–you saw the over-the-top sixth-grade-boy humor coming. (Your sixth-grade son will enjoy it too much. I’d keep him away.)

So why exactly is crude Deuce irresistible? If you can get beyond the aforementioned, European Gigolo might be the most unlikely laugh-out-loud-funny date movie. You’ll both laugh so hard you won’t be able to help but be in a good mood leaving the theater.

Yes, believe it or not: Deuce Bigalowthe original and the sequel–has an inner-chick flick. Wrapped up inside the fart-joke/the-hair-gel-nonsense-in-There’s Something About Mary-was-nothing-in-comparison package, is a remarkably sweet inner filling. Tom Cruise may be…well, Tom Cruise…but Rob Schneider’s Deuce, besides being a “man whore” (who, oh by the way, will never do what the uninitiated would imagine that involves) is just a sweetheart. A little bit of a loser, yes, but a lovable one. (Did I mention irresistible?) In fact, in European Gigolo, he only does the gigolo thing inasmuch as it will help clear his buddy T. J., falsely accused of being a serial gigolo killer (played by Eddie Griffin; okay, so T. J. is a pimp–but a pretty ineffectual one; he’s more into being a totally un-P.C. clown than prostituting anyone). Deucey knows what women want (stop laughing!). He knows what everyone wants for that matter: to be listened to, to be cared for, to have someone to care for. And every person he meets–no matter how bizarre (and they are)–he reaches them where they’re at and tries to give them exactly what they need (in the least dirty way, despite what the packaging suggests).

Okay, so maybe it’s not breakthrough. But it’s decent, even wrapped up in a somewhat indecent package.

Not to get too serious here, but: I write all this with a little trepidation. Prostitution/sex trafficking is a global travesty which ruins lives and poisons cultures. If I thought that Deuce as “gigolo” in any way glorified or encouraged such a thing, it would be no laughing matter. But the pure preposterousness of the whole movie’s set-up pretty much ensures that’s no danger.

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo is just funny. Silly? Yes. Juvenile? Most definitely. And more than once just gross. But also pretty funny.

And, no kidding: The fundamental decency of Deuce–who has no business being messed up in this “gigolo” business anyway, and he knows it–trumps the ick-factor in the two movies’ frame.

And, oh by the way: The movie is set in Amsterdam. For anyone on this website, the slaps at anti-Americanism in Europe (you’ll love to hate Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen) alone might make the ticket price more than worth it.

It’s the weekend. It’s been a long week. You need to laugh. You have been sufficiently warned. Still wanna? Then go get Deuced.

Recommended

The Latest