Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
Its challenge to fatphobia is covered in fat jokes and gross-out humor, tailored to trigger our prejudices. We can laugh, if prepared to question why. We can sympathize, if braced against an awkwardly half-choked, giggling snort. Humor strikes faster than self-censorship.
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Navigating male prostitution has always been tricky, but ‘Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo’ (Mike Mitchell, 1999) unburdens audiences from tackling any heavily philosophical explications through its potty humor, shallow characters, and offensive depictions of ailments such as Tourette Syndrome, Gigantism, Narcolepsy, and obesity. This same brand of mindless humor is found in ‘Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo’ (Mike Mitchell, 2005). However, despite what the movie lacks (and it’s certainly aware of itself as a raunchy, unconventional rom-com), its central themes are love and kindness, and what is perhaps less apparent is the seemingly rare ability to pause and see someone for who they truly are, as opposed to how they may be of service in terms of sex or money. This goofy film featuring Rob Schneider begs a feminist critique not only because the film lacks many multi-dimensional characters, but because it is a prostitution narrative encoded as a story depicting the pursuit of romantic love, rather than a cautionary tale about the dangers of the world’s oldest profession.