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Chuck and Larry
go up against gay Hollywood

Chuck and Larry
go up against gay Hollywood


Did the Adam Sandler comedy about two firefighters pretending to be gay intentionally schedule its premiere opposite the biggest gay night in Hollywood?

Universal Pictures is prepping to walk its upcoming comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry down the aisle during what will likely be a glitzy, star-studded premiere in Los Angeles July 12. The picture boasts major movie stars (Adam Sandler and Jessica Biel) and a supergay story line (two firefighters fake a gay relationship to qualify for domestic-partner benefits). And with no major protests from gays and lesbians, one would expect Hollywood's top homos to show up at the world premiere.

As it turns out, the Dennis Dugan-directed picture unspools the same time as the 2007 Outfest Film Festival, one of the main attractions of the year for Tinseltown's gay crowd. This year Outfest is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and opening night features Robert Cary's SaveMe, described as a tender love story set within an "ex-gay" ministry in the Southwest. True, Chuck & Larry isn't direct competition for Cary's film, but considering the plot lines, both are likely to be major draws for Los Angeles's gay set.

So the question is, Did Universal know about a potential rainbow-colored calendar collision when the premiere date was set? A Universal spokesperson had this response: "The fact that our film premieres during Outfest is merely a coincidence. The date of the premiere is predicated solely on when the film's talent is available during their very busy schedules promoting the film in the two weeks before its release. We consider I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry a mainstream comedy whose message is inclusive and positive, and we hope that the film appeals to a broad variety of moviegoers."

Some industry insiders, however, are raising their eyebrows over why Chuck & Larry didn't marry itself to the Outfest schedule or move out of the way to accommodate the gays. Sandler, James, and Dugan all declined to speak to The Advocate for our Summer Movie Preview. Universal also failed to provide anyone who could speak on behalf of the film.

"One would think the gays would appreciate the movie, even if it is in jest," said one source with ties to the festival. "You sort of have to wonder why Universal didn't go with Outfest in the first place."

But as far as the festival is concerned, exec director Stephen Gutwillig says its big night is always a big draw no matter what other events are standing in their way. "It's both one of the biggest nights of the gay calendar for Los Angeles and one of the biggest nights for the gay Hollywood mafia." A mafia that won't include Sandler or costar Kevin James. They'll have their own coming-out party when the film opens in theaters July 20.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Chris Gardner