When it comes to comedy, the American box office has been dominated by two names recently - Adam Sandler and the Farrelly brothers. Deuce Bigalow owes a debt of gratitude to them both (especially Sandler, who executive produced the movie).
Its main character is the same kind of loser played by Sandler time and again in The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy and The Waterboy. It also goes down the Farrellys' route of unsophisticated sight gags and mocking of the afflicted, as seen in Kingpin and There's Something About Mary. But while it's lacking in star power, Deuce Bigalow is still consistently funny in a proudly lowbrow way.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was just another lame comedy full of juvenile pratfalls and gags about body parts. However, once the premise has been set up and Deuce's no-hoper credentials are verified, the film adds a bit of dramatic depth to the humour. There's romance, there's a message and Deuce is allowed to develop as a person, not just a human prop in a series of set-piece sketches.
Looking like the bastard son of Billy Crystal and The Usual Suspects' Kevin Pollack, Rob Schneider encourages us to sympathise with Deuce rather than simply laugh at him. The character genuinely cares about the so-called "freaks" he dates as a gigolo: they might be overweight, exceptionally tall or suffering Tourette's Syndrome, but he can still help them fit in and be happy.
Throw in some Naked Gun-style film spoofs - including two which successfully ape The Matrix - and some hilariously dumb phraseology (Deuce isn't a "gigolo", he's a "man-whore" and a "he-bitch" to his pimp, who encourages him to use his "mangina" to pleasure the "she-johns"), and you have a sporadically spluttersome 88 minutes of light-headed entertainment.
Packed with lowbrow laughs, Deuce Bigalow offers a few extra side orders to your mainstream comedy dish. But, every time it looks like it might do something new, it pumps in a couple of fart jokes and reverts to a tried and tested formula.