Not only is the Farrelly brothers' latest film the funniest film of the year, it marks a quantum leap forward for the filmmaking duo. It has moments of pure hilarity and enough outrageousness to satisfy fans of their earlier films, but it has a warmth and generosity of spirit never before seen in their work. The damn thing is even socially PROGRESSIVE. And don't get me wrong: I'm not coming at this film as a snobby critic who looked down on their earlier works-I was a big fan of both Kingpin and There's Something About Mary.
As everyone with a TV knows, Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear play Bob and Walt Tenor, "conjoined twins," fused at the hip, who happen to share a liver and look nothing whatsoever alike. In a reversal of the norm, those TV trailers do not even come close to showing the film's funniest moments-it's as if the Farrelly's know exactly what they have and want to save the surprises for the cinema-nor do they let you know that Bob and Walt are not doofus losers. Indeed they are shining examples of success on Martha's Vineyard, where they are both athletic stars-it's pretty difficult to score a goal on a conjoined-twin hockey goalie-and prosperous owners of a groovy burger joint. And, no small point, they are completely admired members of their community. The only hitch is when Walt (Kinnear) puts on his "one-man" show "Tru"-the Truman Capote story-and poor Bob, whose prone to anxiety attacks, has to lumber alongside his brother on stage, flop sweat pouring from his forehead. But nobody in the audience cares and the show is a big success. Walt figures Hollywood is the next stop, despite Bob's suggestion that no conjoined twins have ever won an Oscar...
To go into too much detail about their adventures in La-La Land would be to destroy the innumerable comedic moments, the very sly in-jokes made at the expense of Hollywood and some of its more egregious residents, and the pure pleasure of the whole episode. Suffice it to say Cher plays herself (hilariously), Walt (and by definition, Bob, of course) gets a TV series (with Cher), Meryl Streep has a substantial role as... herself, as do Jay Leno, golfers Jesper Parnevik and Sergio Garcia (!) and many others.
The film sets just the right tone from the first scene-the boys are working out while The Pixies sing, "Here Comes Your Man," the first of many, many puns, verbal and visual, that disprove the notion of the pun being the lowest form of humour. And the Farrelly brothers confound expectations at every turn-introducing a buxom Hollywood neighbour who is obviously not all that smart (Eva Mendes), the Farrelly's refuse to make easy jokes at her expense and allow a sweet, helpful and caring person to emerge. The effect is like a tonic, and the fact that her character-and others similarly drawn-are all still very funny is a tribute to the Farrelly brothers' talents. Stuck On You will indeed stick-I'm sticking it on my ten best of the year list.