Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo Mike Bigelow

Things have become so desperate movie-wise that I find myself thanking heaven for the small mercies in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Lord knows it's not a good movie, but it somehow wins a couple of marks for being aware of its distinct lack of significance.

Not that significance was ever possible in Deuce's (Rob Schneider) second song, now forlorn over the death of his wife and drawn back into man-whoring by affable pimp T.J. (Eddie Griffin); his adventures involve attempts to stop a killer plotting to eradicate the toy-boys of the world in the only city - Amsterdam - that welcomes their presence. Cheap shots and inept photography follow suit, with obvious jokes hitting the ground with a thud and the inclusion of an OCP hottie (Hanna Verboom) to offer laboured "different is good" pieties.

But as terrible as it all is, the film is still preferable to the tired Joseph Campbell pomposity that's settled over the lowliest of Hollywood product. Instead of something that's inflated to epic proportions and stage managed within an inch of its life, the whole thing is rather energetically sloppy, and genuinely (if ineffectively) irreverent in its desire to flout the rules of good taste.

The sheer volume of anti-gay jokes is dispiriting, but you're dimly aware that nobody means it, and the involvement of Jeroen Krabbe shows that somebody knows their European supporting players. I'd never see this movie twice (or actually pay to see it once), but I wasn't seething with fury the way I do with some higher-minded schlock, and not just because of below-sea-level expectations.

You can at least take solace in Norm Macdonald's hilariously lewd monologue about the rules of whoring, or maybe the woman with a penis for a nose. (Columbia/Sony)