Stuck On You: a lesson in the connectedness between brothers

Dec. 16, 2003, midnight | By Melanie Thompson | 18 years, 5 months ago

Stuck On You, the Farrelly's brothers' newest comedy, starring Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon as conjoined twins, is not a hilarious movie that impales the viewer with side-splitting laughter but has enough dignity not to take cheap shots at the brothers' situation. Instead, the comedy plays to the heart of their seemingly freakish arrangement: brotherly love.

Another bonus of this movie is, unlike so many comedies of today, that it has a coherent plot. The movie begins by introducing Bob (Damon) and Walt (Kinnear), two brothers who co-own a burger joint in Martha's Vineyard. Over their thirty-something years the brothers have learned to share everything, down to a liver and 9 inch slab of skin that connects them (an unusual yet intriguing sight that viewers get to see often, thanks to movie prosthetics magic).

Despite their situation, Bob and Walt live fairly normal lives. Walt is an aspiring actor who performs a one-man play for the people in his hometown (Bob, garbed in all-black, hangs his head low during these performances and tries to calm his panic attacks), and Bob is deeply engaged in an Internet relationship. The Farrelly's also answer some serious questions, such as how conjoined twins take showers, go to the bathroom, and have sex.

The tight relationship between the brothers is tested when Walt admits to Bob that he wants to indulge his acting dreams by moving to Hollywood. Bob is skeptical; what are the chances that conjoined twins will ever be nominated for Oscars? Nevertheless, Bob consents, and the brothers leave their familiar hometown for sunny California. Walt excitedly tries to find himself good roles, but his determination slowly diminishs after he is laughed off of every audition stage.

However their luck takes a drastic turn when Cher, who is extremely upset in her demotion from being a "[expletive] Oscar winner" to a mere TV star, chooses Walt to be her co-star in a new TV show Honey and the Beaze. Cher, perfect as she parodies her trademark diva attitude, is desperate to leave the show and believes that by choosing such an unlikely co-star, the producers will have to fire her. Imagine her surprise when the show becomes successful, and Walt becomes a bigger star than she is.

Meanwhile, Walt arranges for Bob to meet his Internet love May (Wen Yann Shih), inciting more panic attacks from Bob, who has not told May that he is a conjoined twin. Bob's efforts to hide his other half is simply hilarious; their first date is at a drive-thru ("We have reservations," says Bob), their second at a club where Bob and the twin's friend April (Eva Mendes) appear to be supporting a limping Walt.

The casting of Damon and Kinnear is an essential part of the success of the movie. Damon, better known for his dramatic roles, easily finds his place as the more sensitive and introverted twin. Kinnear is equally as good as the more outgoing, confident twin. In roles that required a lot of chemistry between the characters, Kinnear and Damon make viewers believe that they had actually grown up together, literally side-by side. The many cameos also add unique flavoring to the movie. Celebrities ranging from Meryl Streep to Jay Leno enrich the comedy while adding to the plot. Only the Farrlley's could create a world where Kinnear and Streep sing and dance together on a small Martha's Vineyard stage in Bonnie and Clyde: The Musical.

The movie fails, however, where it should shine: in laughs. Sure, seeing Damon and Kinnear connected by a thick slab of skin is funny looking, but in dialogue, many of the jokes fall flat. Most of the situations that the twins find themselves in are humorous but not especially original. A few chuckles and the occasional giggle will be heard in the movie theater, but the expected sounds of people cracking up are few and far between.

Stuck On You's real strength is the connection between Walt and Bob. Brotherly love is the dominant theme in the movie, and the Farrlley brothers deserve kudos for not cheapening the relationship between conjoined twins. With the connection (both literal and figurative) among the brothers as a stable base, the plot flourishes even if the laughs don't. See this movie with a sibling, and you'll be sure to feel more "attached" to them by the movie's end.

Stuck On You is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, and some language.

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Melanie Thompson. Melanie Thompson is currently a junior in CAP and a page editor on Silver Chips. She enjoys hot baths, appearing aside famous stars in movies, and watching Agent Vaughn on Alias. A little known fact about Melanie is that she is a huge fan of … More »

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