In an age where gay rights are being pushed to the forefront of the media, it was only a matter of time before the issue of gay marriage was tackled in a major Hollywood movie. While Universal Pictures and Adam Sandler should be commended for bringing a movie about gay issues to the mainstream, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry is so full of stereotypes that any chance of being progressive is immediately squashed.

The plot of the film revolves around two very straight firefighters (Kevin James and Adam Sandler) who decide to become domestic partners when James is unable to collect his deceased wife’s pension. Things start to get complicated when a snooping government agent (played by Steve Buscemi) starts hanging around to prove the two dudes are faking it.

They enlist the help of a lawyer (a playful Jessica Biel) to prove that they are, in fact, gay. Of course, Sandler falls for the lawyer, while having to pretend to be gay. The plot plays out exactly as one would expect. There are moments of sheer comedic joy. A funny “don’t drop the soap” shower sequence comes to mind as do some random slapstick moments, but too often the filmmakers rely on simple stereotypes to generate laughs.

From James’ tap dancing son to Ving Rhames singing “I’m Every Woman” in the shower, the film wastes every opportunity to create tolerance by reinforcing the idea that to be gay is to be a sissy. In the film’s second half, when Chuck and Larry are beginning to feel the prejudice that is associated with being gay, it appears that a point is actually going to be made. Unfortunately, what we are treated to is an unrealistic and ham-handed conclusion where a character actually says, “Faggot is a bad word.”

That may be true, but according to this film, the word is also hilarious, no matter how many times you use it.

Grade: C

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry releases in theaters July 20.