Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Mike Mitchell

I happened to see the sequel to this 2000 semi-hit before catching the original — imagine my surprise at discovering the sweet movie that preceded last summer's relentlessly vulgar follow-up. The eponymous Deuce (Rob Schneider) is a lowly fish-tank cleaner who accidentally destroys a man-whore's custom aquarium — our man must raise $6,000 before his client returns, and so he, too, apes Richard Gere in an attempt to hide his mistake. Of course, he meets all sorts of women with comical flaws, from obesity to narcolepsy to Tourette's syndrome, finally settling on a sad, one-legged girl to which he can finally give his heart. But will he crack under the strain? And why is a policeman (William Forsythe) constantly badgering him? To be honest, the movie isn't all that funny, with too little being made of Eddie Griffin's pimp character and too many obvious jokes surrounding Deuce's various customers. Still, there's some pricelessly crude humour involving our hero's father (he's a men's room attendant — make up your own joke) and a genuinely warm attitude that keeps you going through the longueurs. I'm not sure I buy its thesis that everybody needs to be loved for themselves, especially since the film has no compunction about mocking the "freaks" we're supposed to be loving, but it's still a fairly decent renter for when you're in the mood for good, clean schlock. Extras include a "making of" featurette that's the usual mealy-mouthed love-in, a brief and pointless clip of the director's on-set video footage, five clips of "behind the scenes" footage that are surprisingly in-depth (you'll feel for the stuntman who's forced to work in his underwear), and seven deleted scenes. (Touchstone/Buena Vista)