Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000 to 2009.
Judd Apatow might have staged a coup to become the Zeroes’ mainstream-comedy king, but the deposed rulers — the Farrelly Brothers — fared pretty well, too (their dreary The Heartbreak Kid remake excepted).
Both Fever Pitch and 2003’s Stuck on You were more giggle riots than a gala of gross-out gags usually associated with the Farrellys. Arguably, Stuck — starring Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon as conjoined twins Walt and Bob Tenor — found the perfect middle ground for them.
Forgoing overcooked crime plots a la Me, Myself and Irene or knee-slapping diversions into a pediatric burn ward (remember that from Shallow Hal?), Stuck played like the Farrellys’ marvelous, low-key first-person valentine to brotherly love.
The Tenors excel at everything — tending hockey nets, short-order cooking and boxing. But while they share a liver, their personalities differ — Walt (Kinnear) seeking Hollywood fame and Bob (Damon) content to stay in the Northeast.
But as part of making good on a pact to never keep the other down, Bob indulges Walt’s dream. An unexpected encounter with Cher lands them a primetime TV gig, but also has them considering separation surgery that might kill one of them.
Kinnear and Damon’s go-with-it mentality carried Stuck, as did the nimble physical comedy. But even in the drama, the Farrellys exhibited strong command over the right amount of goofiness, heart and well-placed Rolling Stones ballads.
Being sweeter and more personal than the Farrellys’ past films didn’t mean there had to be separation anxiety from what made their work fun.