Title: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
Director: Mike Bigelow
Screenwriters: Harris Goldberg, Rob Schneider
Starring: Rob Schneider, Eddie Griffin, Jeroen Krabbé
I’m sitting here wondering how I can contribute to the critical discourse on Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t. I’m not sure anyone can. What is there to say? The film is precisely, unfailingly what you would expect — a slapdash collection of puerile jokes that are rarely funny and never inspired, and yet another undeserved showcase for Rob Schneider, possibly the least talented comedian in history (and yes, I remember the heyday of Pauly Shore). I usually consider films to be far more than merely “things,” but European Gigolo is so insubstantial that it’s essentially just an object. It’s like a trinket you might buy your kid at the mall on a lark, the kind that he’ll play with for five minutes and then forger about forever. You get what you pay for, but hopefully you won’t pay much.
The film was directed by the mysteriously named “Mike Bigelow.” I am not convinced he is a real person. He has no previous credits on the IMDb; the press notes mention him briefly, but only in the context of “isn’t it funny how we hired a director with a name similar to the title character’s?” Could Mr. Bigelow be a proxy for Schneider himself? Is this a sly practical joke?
If so, it is cleverer than anything in the script, which is mostly content with contriving as many ostensibly disgusting variations on the first film’s gags as possible. Example: One of the women Deuce services has a penis instead of a nose. The other has a hole in her throat from a tracheotomy. Anyone care to guess the eventual pay-off? On rare occasions, there are traces of non sequitur wit, and I laughed, but I knew they were flukes. This movie isn’t concerned with wit. It wants to get through its 77 minutes and usher you out of the theater so the next group of unassuming filmgoers can have its turn. It’s like an amusement park ride.
But then, I don’t know what else I could have expected. Indeed, I didn’t expect anything else, and I got precisely what I anticipated. I still go to movies like Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo because there remain occasions when something will surprise, and I want to be there to catch them (see Sky High). If you are similarly completist I doubt anything I say will discourage you, but it’s incumbent upon me to try, so here goes: don’t bother. It’s not worth it. Life is short.
I’ve come full circle, so I think it’s time to call it quits on this review. There is little more than can be said. European Bigelow is not a debacle, and it has a smile or two, but the amount of real effort and thought that went into its production is negligible. The fact that Rob Schneider thinks this is funny is kind of embarrassing. Does the movie sound like it’s worth your cash? Is it worth anyone’s?