Another thin, thought-free comedy from the makers of There's Something About Mary, Stuck On You has been criticised for dissing the disabled, but its biggest offence is that it's not funny. A one-note, one-joke movie, it wastes terrific performances from Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, as conjoined twins Bo and Walt, who leave their successful small-town burger bar to try and hit it big in Hollywood. About three laughs follow, smothered in unmoving sentimental gloop, and an astonishingly inept performance from Cher - who stars as herself.
That's about all you need to know (seriously, go read something else), as enough material for a half-decent sketch is stretched over 118 lengthening minutes. The script doesn't support the stars and neither do the supporting players. Wen Yann Shih is stilted as Bo's love interest. Meryl Streep knows she's being a good sport and it shows (dying is easy, comedy is hard).
"CHER IS EMBARRASSINGLY UNCONVINCING"However, she's a lot better at playing herself than Cher, who - the point bears repeating - is embarrassingly unconvincing. Sure, it's big of her to be portrayed as an egocentric "bitch" (her word) who only works with Walt to try and get out of a contract. But it's as if she's deliberately acting badly - no timing, leaden delivery, anti-funny - to undermine the idea that she could ever be as awful as her on-screen persona.
And there's a horrible hypocrisy to the movie. Just as Shallow Hal talked of "inner beauty" but mocked fat people, so this superficially says "disability schmisability", but joins its great-looking leads at the (photogenic) waist and only allows them unadulterated happiness when the inevitable happens.
Damon and Kinnear are technically excellent and have great charisma and comic timing. But even their best moments provide only minor mirth. The gut-busting bellylaughs of Dumb & Dumber seem a long time ago. Stuck On You won't split your sides.