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By Ted Baldwin

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

Reviewed:12/16/99

Holy Cow!

Cute and appropriate tagline:

He's not very good looking. But when the lights go out...he's still not very good looking
FIVE POSSIBLE

     Just when you think you know everything about a star, when you are sure he has nichified himself into class-b oblivion, just when you are positive he is in a rut, in rut, and immediately due for relegation to the clip bin of history, he pulls it out of his butt.

     Deuce Bigalow has to be the most surprising film I have seen in a decade - even better than the surprise of Carrot Top's Chairman of the Board which is not nearly as good as this.

It is warm, and funny, and sweet, and suffused with a good natured innocence that is hard to come by these days. It is raucous at times, and at others so patently offensive as to be numbing. And then there is Schneider. He brings a totally accepting, caught in the machine, deer in the headlights character to life, and gives him a fearless approach - free of attitude- that is only reminiscent of the great Harold LLoyd's optimism.

     Deuce plunges forward, as taught to him by his Father, and nothing artificial gets in his way. He applies his common sense and aplomb to every situation - and tries to do right by others. He even dares to speak the truth and what little there is of his mind when appropriate.

He is a waif of a man, trying to get a snotty fish-store clerk to date him, struggling for a glimpse of tit. It is a pathetic life. When he gets down to destroying the apartment he is fish-sitting in, it is already too late for the audience. We have been drawn into his likability, his honesty, and his bewilderment at the strangeness of life around him. We can feel some of what he must be going through - without an inkling of how it will work out.

When he becomes the gigolo, or man-whore, the movie turns to the good - Deuce gives the women what they really need, and the compassion he displays is so out of place in this "type" of movie as to be stunning.

No abusiveness, no scheming, no dumping on others. He takes it all and goes on. He rises to the wrong occasion - supplanting their physical wants for their emotional needs - but it pays and pays.

As he encounters one female reject after another, and does his best by them, this half-hearted hooker mends a lot of lives. Tina the giant, Jabba the Slut, Etc., Etc. In Deuce's hands though, these women are but putty, and he brings them new hope.

That endeared me to it, but the gags and out-loud laughs made me love it.

One crisp parody at the end - unhinted at in the previews - brought the house down. Where these guys miss with Big Daddy , they hit head on with Deuce Bigalow - Male Gigolo.

Deuce Bigalo works as entertainment because it follows the Campbell Hero-Myth cycle.

Deuce gets a call to adventure - saving a dying fish.

He enters the underworld when a catastrophe destroys the house he is sitting in, and his quest is to restore the 6 grand in damage he has caused.

He acquires helpers on his mission, visits sages, endures many trials and traps, and vanquishes the enemy b efore returning to the regular world. He is tried and proven, and it works, in classic style - whether they knew it or not when they wrote it.

It is laughable I suppose, to apply so lofty an analysis to a bit of winter fluff, but think about this. If you are going to tell a story, and you want to rouse the general populace to buy tickets, why not do it in a time proven way? Why not give them what they want and expect?

It is more interesting - and all it takes is a willingness to step outside the attitude and live life.

They have a website, too, with stuff on it.

Amusing, isn't it?

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