Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

Directed by Mike Mitchell
Starring: Rob Schneider, Arija Bareikis, William Forsythe, Eddie Griffin, Oded Fehr.
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, language and crude humor.

Review by Matt Heffernan
December 10, 1999

Adam Sandler, the king of juvenile comedy, has now become a film producer. His company, Happy Madison (named after his films: Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison), has made its first feature. It's a vehicle for Sandler's "Saturday Night Live" pal Rob Schneider. The most incredible thing about it is that it's actually worse than most of Sandler's vehicles.

Schneider, of course, plays the title character: Deuce Bigalow, a fish tank cleaner. While working in Malibu, he meets Antoine (Oded Fehr), a successful gigolo who counts rich, beautiful women as his clients. He hires Deuce to take care of his ailing fish while he flies to Switzerland for three weeks.

The first night in Antoine's pad, Deuce manages to start a fire in his kitchen and destroy his expensive fish tank -- simultaneously. To avoid the wrath of the "man-whore", Deuce gets into the profession himself, with the help of T.J. (Eddie Griffen), the "man-pimp". Of course, Deuce manages to fall in love with one of his clients. Kate (Arija Bareikis) goes on a blind date with Deuce, when her friends actually paid for him. Deuce now has to maintain a personal relationship with Kate, a professional one with T.J. and his clientele of freaks, and still get Antoine's condo clean before he returns.

Doesn't that just sound like a barrel full of laughs? I didn't think so, either. Sandler, Schneider (who also co-wrote the screenplay), and director Mike Mitchell couldn't have made a more predictable comedy if they tried. And I use the term "comedy" loosely. They think it's funny for an old lady to slip while exiting a bus. There's also the toilet humor, a lot of toilet humor. Not that it's bad per se, but when it's used in a desperate effort to spice up a dull scene, it's unforgivable.

As with many films, I have to wonder who the intended audience was. I assume that a 10-year-old would love it, but it's rated R. Why Disney would distribute this, even under their Touchstone brand, is beyond me. Perhaps they wanted to fill the gap left by Toy Story 2: people old enough to be disdainful of "kiddie" movies, yet too intellectually immature to appreciate such a film.

Sandler and Schneider did manage to get another "SNL" alumnus for Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (oh man, even the title is bad). Norm MacDonald has an amazingly unfunny cameo as a bartender. In the little "where are they now" epilogue, a caption comes on the screen stating that MacDonald only had one day of shooting. That bit of self-conscious humor just makes the last 90 minutes of your life an even bigger waste.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999)

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Review © 1999 Matt Heffernan