Bob (Matt Damon) works as a burger flipper and part-owner at a Quickie Burger restaurant, where if your meal is not on your table 180 seconds after you order it, it’s free. Walt (Greg Kinnear) also works as a burger flipper and part owner at a Quickie Burger. We watch both characters live their lives for a few days, see how they enjoy living in their small town, and watch them do whatever it is they do. For a while, I thought this was going to be a life film, where plot is largely forgotten about to watch people just live life.
We end up getting a plot, although not much of one. See, the two characters I mentioned in the beginning are conjoined twins. I bet that threw you for a loop, didn’t it? They have to do everything together, which leads to some pretty humorous situations. I especially liked watching both of them standing on a pitcher’s mound and playing a baseball game. I think a life film would have been quite appropriate here, because watching these two going about their daily business has enough complications with it. We probably could watch them for a couple of hours and be entertained, because it’s both humorous to see them deal with life, while also kind of sad seeing them struggle the way they do, even while they put up such a happy face.
But that’s not what we get. See, Walt is an actor, and while he performs on the stage, Bob just gets dragged along in the background, trying to blend in so that Walt can have his moment in the spotlight. Being an actor, Walt decides that he wants to move to Hollywood. Since the only procedure to separate the pair only gives Walt a 50/50 shot of surviving, they can’t do that. Bob decides to be a good sport and allows Walt to pursue his dreams in Hollywood. This allows for more humorous situations, while also giving an excuse to have a ton of celebrity cameos.
Eventually, Walt does get a job on a television show which Cher is starring in. Yes, Oscar winner Cher is in this movie and apparently could be in a television show. She hates it, but since Walt is apparently such a good actor, he brings in ratings. Watching them try to film without having Bob enter the picture are probably the best parts of this film, and it’s too bad that there aren’t more of them. Suffice to say that if this was a real television show, it would be worth a watch just for the unintentional comedy that comes from a random nose or body part showing up every now and then.
This isn’t a movie that’s supposed to surprise you or throw a lot of twists your way. Instead, it’s going to tell you a contained story about a couple of people trying to live their lives with a huge handicap. I figured out how it was going to end near the middle, and despite being right, there was a sweetness to the entire experience that made it worthwhile.
I think this comes from both of the characters, as they’re both nice guys and (generally) get along quite well. They fight, as most brothers do, but their fights are kind of pathetic and meaningless, especially when you consider that they’ll be sleeping right next to one another come nighttime. It’s kind of hard to do any real damage to someone when you’ll be forced into the hospital and to undergo tests if you do. Winning such a fight wouldn’t feel like a victory.
There’s a subplot involving Bob and his girlfriend of three years. They’ve never actually met, as they’ve dealt strictly online, but after moving to California, conveniently where she lives, a meeting is inevitable. But Bob has neglected to tell her about his brother, let alone that they’re literally inseparable. Hiding this in an actual meeting is difficult, although as I learned, not impossible in the short term.
The brothers, despite supposedly being twins, are not alike as you’d expect. Their differing appearance is attributed to Bob having 80% of the liver, meaning he won’t age as quickly. Bob is also far more quiet and reserved, which makes me wonder if having most of a split liver impacts your personality too. Walt is the more outspoken and well-spoken of the two. Kinnear actually seemed far more comfortable than Damon did with his role, while Damon never seemed completely right with what was happening.
Supporting roles in Stuck on You come from Eva Mendes, as the stupid neighbor of the pair once arriving in Hollywood; Cher, who takes a self-parody turn here; Seymour Cassel, as the twins’ wheelchair using agent who at one point attempts to get them to star in a pornographic film; and Wen Yann Shih as Bob’s long-term internet girlfriend. The supporting cast is colorful and interesting, while also giving the two leads a lot of time to act silly.
I actually had a pretty good time with Stuck on You, which surprised me. The jokes were pretty funny, the characters endearing, and there was a plot. Not much of one, but at least the thought was there. Most importantly, I had fun while watching it, even if it does last too long and had a fair bit of redundancy. Still, since I was laughing fairly often at either the jokes of the ridiculousness of the entire premise, that’s still laughing which is the goal of a comedy.