Making the Grades
If anyone in 20th Century Fox's marketing department has seen the Disney pic Bubble Boy from a couple of years ago, they were certain to have had a few sleepless nights contemplating the release of Stuck on You. Attempting to make a comedy about the plight of conjoined twins is difficult enough, but placing the Farrelly Brothers at the helm is sure to increase the title's chances of setting off politically incorrect sensors in theaters across the nation.
Starring Matt Damon as Bo and Greg Kinnear as Walt, these two brothers have been determined since birth to support each other's separate ambitions--in spite of the fact they share a common liver. Operating a popular fast food joint where they use near-acrobatic talents to create hamburgers in under three minutes, has allowed the boys to lead a productive life, yet both yearn for something more.
Shy Bo tries to accept his fate, while at the same time longing to meet the young woman in Los Angeles with whom he has corresponded over the Internet for the past few years. The more gregarious Walt can't let a woman pass by without making a move and is determined to live a sexually active lifestyle while his brother endeavors to ignore the activity on the left side of his body. The playboy has a passion for acting too. With the encouragement of his overly polite friends, the budding thespian hones his skills in local productions while dragging his stage-frightened brother closely behind. Now Walt desperately wants to break into Hollywood.
At first reluctant to endorse his brother's dream, Bo remembers the pact they made --as well as recognizing the opportunity it may provide for him to get closer to his on-line romantic interest.
Once in California, the pair lands themselves a shady agent (Seymour Cassel) and bump into Meryl Streep. However, their big break comes from a frustrated Cher (playing herself) who is looking for a way out of a television performance contract. Given the authority to hire her own co-star, she locks onto Walt--and his companion--certain the network executives will kibosh the whole deal. Meanwhile Bo meets girl and the new relationship puts additional stress on the twin's bond.
This "road to Hollywood" movie would be a boring retread if not for its "gimmick." Touching moments of mutual love and respect for each other, and the dilemma of whether or not they should engage in a dangerous operation that would give each of them the freedom to pursue their own lives, create surprising moments of introspective drama for filmmakers best known for Dumb and Dumber. The directors' hallmark style is still abundantly apparent in the movie's frequent sexual innuendos. These include comments about body parts, masturbation, sexual activities, and a scene where we see Bo working on his computer while we hear the sounds of Walt having sex.
Although the Farrelly's claim they wanted to make sure these guys were portrayed in a positive way, the film walks a fine line between laughing with the twins and laughing at them. Audiences will have to decide if they accept Stuck on You as merely a humorous approach to a serious situation, or if it's just another case of blatant exploitation.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Stuck on You.
Some subjects are too sensitive to build a comedy upon. On the other hand, humor can sometimes help alleviate or diffuse stress in serious situations. How can you tell when it is or isnt appropriate to use a funny approach?
For more information on conjoined twins, check out www.twinstuff.com/conjoined.htm