If the very idea of Meryl Streep starring in a Farrelly brothers movie is amusing to you, you may want to check out their latest, Stuck on You, which indeed stars Meryl Streep, however briefly. And that's not the only way the Farrellys, who've floated to fame and fortune on a river of bodily fluids, have classed up the joint. The story of two brothers who are literally joined at the hip (and the waist), Stuck on You is such a sweet, innocent little comedy that you may forget to laugh. And that's the way it's gone for the Farrellys lately, each movie less funny than the one before -- There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal and now Stuck on You. Have they misplaced their funny bones? Applied for the Nobel Peace Prize?
What's more likely is that they've been reading their hate mail. Their early movies -- Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin -- were a curious blend of sweetness and tastelessness, leaving audiences scratching their heads in delight. (PC or not PC, that was the question.) But Stuck on You is both sweet and, for the most part, tasteful. Bob and Walt, the conjoined twins, who are played by Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, don't even seem all that goofy, and the humor comes from how abnormally competent they are. With four arms between them, they've always excelled at sports. (Just try getting a hockey puck past them.) And at the fast-food restaurant they co-own in Martha's Vineyard, they can flip burgers like nobody's business. Unfortunately for Bob, who's very shy, Walt isn't content to flip burgers. A bit of a ham, he wants to move to Hollywood and try to make it as an actor. Bob doesn't like the idea, but when you're that attached to your brother, what can you do?
Heading to La La Land isn't a great idea, comedically speaking, but it does allow Bob and Walt to meet, first, Ms. Streep, playing herself, and then Cher, also playing herself. Streep's appearance is short and sweet (though not funny). Cher's is longer and less sweet. In fact, she's hell on wheels, which should be funny, but isn't. Instead, the Farrellys seem to have put all their time and effort into the sight gags -- Bob and Walt beating the crap out of each other, for instance. One problem: They're so loosely connected that, in clothes, they just seem like two guys standing or sitting next to each other. Which appears to be the movie's point: These aren't freaks, just two people who care deeply for each other.
Noble idea, but not a very funny one.