As much as I respect Rob Schneider for sticking up for his films, sometimes you have to wonder why? Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo is a travesty more than anything else, and not because it features a horrendously stupid story and jokes that weren’t funny three years ago, its because corporate suits actually think we’ll pay money for this stuff.
Its no wonder why the box office has been in a slump this year, aside from a select few summer films (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Batman Begins to name a few) this has been one of the worst movie going summers to date. High profile flops like Stealth and The Island only compact the fact that those releasing movies have lost touch of what we really want.
Granted, Deuce Bigalow is meant as more of an escapist comedy to lift you away form your boring job and life for 90 minutes, but when something so simple as that can’t help but recycle jokes from its predecessor and make you laugh, than Sony, the director, and the entire cast has failed on every level.
You’ll laugh during Deuce, its almost impossible not to, but it isn’t the laugh per minute ratio you’ll find in superior comedies like Wedding Crashers or, to a certain extent, Bad News Bears. The jokes range from rehashes (Canada bashing) to holdovers (“That’s a huge bitch!”), but nothing stands out as world turning as the milky beer from American Pie or the creative uses of “meow” from Super Troopers. Truth be told, I saw the movie four days ago and can only remember a handful of moments.
In fact, the only real part I remember is newcomer Hanna Verboom who doesn’t stand out for her acting, but her ability to make you forget the rest of the movie and focus on her beautiful face.
She doesn’t even fit into the story all that well, if you can even call it a story. Deuce is called to Amsterdam to help T.J. (his former pimp) out after a series of murders all involving male prostitutes. The reluctant Deuce is forced out of retirement to clear T.J.’s name and find the real killer before the Dirty Sanchez becomes extinct in the world’s most famous Red Light District. Through a series of misadventures and horrible dates Deuce unlocks the mystery, gets the girl, and everyone lives happily ever after, including his dead wife’s leg.
The only sign this film actually has some life is the three minutes Norm MacDonald is on screen or the split second Adam Sandler appears (in a non-speaking role). When a four second cameo garners more laughs than the other 89 minutes and 56 seconds, you know you have a problem.
The film plays out like a handful of small skits all linked together with a common character that would work better as a second-tier Saturday Night Live sketch than a full blown movie. The spoofing of European culture is the only writing highlight, and most of those jokes have been done before and better in other films.
Sequels in general are a beast to be tamed correctly. You want to bring in your core audience (those who saw the first film) but you also want to expand the patronage so you can make more money. European Gigolo manages to fail on all levels as the theater I saw it in was desolate with only a handful of moviegoers present for opening night on Friday.