Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo

on August 12, 2005 by Wade Major
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Who is killing the great man-whores of Europe? That's the question that slut-sleuth Deuce Bigalow has to figure out if he wants to clear his wrongly accused pimp friend T.J. Hicks (Eddie Griffin) in this hysterically over the-top sequel to the 1999 hit comedy "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo." For their second adventure together, Deuce and T.J. have gone a long way from the first film, not only moving the story to Amsterdam but switching studios from Disney to Sony, reportedly for reasons of raunchiness. Smartly, the film's makers -- with the obvious support of co-creator Schneider and producer Adam Sandler -- have refused to cave in to the PG-13 craze of watering down every idea and concept for the sake of a broader audience. The "Deuce Bigalow" premise was conceived in the spirit of extreme political incorrectness, and pulling any punches at all, however offensive or disgusting, would undercut its very reason for existing.

The story is fairly routine stuff, weaving together elements of the previous film with iconic nods to Hitchcock, Fritz Lang and numerous whodunits as a pretext for a cavalcade of increasingly outrageous gags. Having lost his wife in a tragic shark accident and bungled his latest job, fish-loving, mild-mannered Deuce takes his wife's only remaining appendage -- her prosthetic leg -- and heads to Amsterdam at the invitation of T.J., who has discovered a thriving market for man-whoring in Europe's most famous libertine Shangri-la. Unfortunately, someone is methodically killing off each of the most celebrated gigolos, even as they begin to gather for their annual awards ceremony. Deuce wants no part of the old life, but when circumstances conspire to make T.J. the chief suspect in the investigation, rabidly headed by local police inspector Gaspar Voorsboch (Jeroen Krabbe), Deuce throws himself back on the market as bait for the real killer.

The key ingredient of any comedy that hinges on testing audience tolerance for raunchy, gross-out comedy, be it "There's Something About Mary" or the forthcoming "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," is the degree to which it can offset such material with sweet, old-fashioned romance. And in Eva (Hanna Verboom), inspector Voorsboch's beautiful but tragically obsessive-compulsive niece, Deuce finds yet another kindred, outcast soul.

Unfortunately, tacky and tasteless comedies are not often taken seriously, making it rare that they're accorded their just due for anything that they may do particularly well. For that reason alone, "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" may have a hard time earning critical respect, not only for its comedy -- which is genuinely funny -- but for the earnestness of its romance and underlying message. Fortunately, audiences don't generally turn to critics for guidance when it comes to films like "Deuce Bigalow," all but guaranteeing another day in the box office sun for Rob Schneider's lovable man-whore. Starring Rob Schneider, Eddie Griffin, Hanna Verboom, Jeroen Krabbe, Til Schweiger and Douglas Sills. Directed by Mike Bigelow. Written by Rob Schneider, David Garrett and Jason Ward. Produced by Jack Giarraputo, Adam Sandler and JohnSchneider. A Columbia release. Comedy. Rated R for pervasive, strong, crude and sexual humor, language, nudity, drug content. Running time: 81 min

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