Arts: Curious Take on a Serious Subject; Stuck on You (Cert 12a):stars Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear; Directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly. 118mins. Rating *** American Splendor (Cert 15):stars Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis; Directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. 101mins. Rating **** Triggermen (Cert 15):stars Neil Morrissey and Adrian Dunbar; Director John Bradshaw.96 Mins. Rating ***

Article excerpt

Byline: Philip KEY

THE Farrelly brothers are best-known for gross comedies like There's Something About Mary andShallow Hal. StuckOn You is about Siamese (or conjoined) twins so one might expect more non-politically correct nonsense. Well, there are some bad taste moments but the brothers end up being rather sensitive about their subject.

This is a comedy and there are laughs to be had. But the film-makers tackle the subjects of prejudice and celebrity with some sympathy.

Their script has been around for the last decade and -not surprisingly, considering the subject matter -they had trouble getting it financed.

But following their success with comedies with equally hard subject matter -obesity in Shallow Hall and schizophreni a in Me,Myself and Irene -they got the money to go ahead with this one.

The result is something of a curiosity although one can only admire the two principal actors Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear who spent all their shooting time joined together.

Kinnear plays Walt, the twin with the outgoing personality, Damon the more private one (if that's possible for a conjoined twin).

Together they run a diner in small town America where they have been able to overcome prejudice.

But Walt wants more than the quiet life in Martha's Vineyard and has ambitions to become an actor and they head to Hollywood.

Walt does an acting role in a film titled Pavolv's Dong which turns out to be -surprise -a porno film.

But they eventually get to work with the singer Cher (playing herself and sending up her own image) on Cher's television show.

Various famous actors make cameo appearances including JackNicholson and Glenn Close while Meryl Streep has a great time playing a figure from the brothers' past.

With the twin brothers wanting different things, the time comes when there is the question of a medical separation. But it is an operation in which brother Walt has only a 50 -50 chance of survival.

The film champions the plight of the brothers without taking sides and plays on their fighting spirit as they go from casting to casting without much hope or luck. ``We're not Siamese,'' they explain. ``We're American.''

Kinnear and Damon both turn in fine acting performances, retaining some sort of dignity even when the comedy veers towards the crude side.

Missing, however, is the Farrelly's normal anarchic attitude. …