Saturday, September 29, 2007

Episode 57 - Good Luck Chuck

The Plot: During an innocent game of spin the bottle as a child, Charlie "Chuck" Logan (Dane Cook) is cursed by a jealous young goth chick to be unlucky in love forever. He thinks nothing of it until years later when it comes to his attention that every woman he's ever had sex with has found true love with, and gotten married to, the next guy they dated after him. Now a humble dentist, Chuck is convinced by his life long best friend Stu (Dan Fogler) that he should take advantage of all the beautiful women lining up to have sex with him in hopes of reaping the rewards of "good luck Chuck". Happy to oblige, Chuck is eyeballs deep in the fairer sex until along comes the gorgeous, but ridiculously clumsy Cam (Jessica Alba), who he immediately falls madly in love with. However, just as he's about to seal the deal with his new dream girl it occurs to Chuck that if he makes love to Cam she will fall for the next man who shows an interest in her. It's now up to Chuck to find a way to break his curse so that he doesn't lose the love of his life.

The Review: It seems like when it comes to Dane Cook there are three categories of people: those who love him, those who despise him, and those who have never heard of him (which usually means that your kids love him). I used to be an adamant Dane Cook fan, and while he's fallen a few slots on my list of favorite comedians in recent years, I'm still oddly attracted to just about anything he's involved with. Watching him in the recent thriller Mr. Brooks convinced me that Cook isn't cut out for playing serious, dramatic roles, but having previously seen him in Employee of the Month, Good Luck Chuck just served to further convince me that he is perfect at portraying the lovesick average Joe in stereotypical romantic comedies. In the case of both Good Luck Chuck and Employee of the Month, Dane Cook is just about the only thing that made these movies worth watching. They are the same old predictable crap that the likes of Adam Sandler and Matthew Perry have been churning out for years, and just like his predecessors in the genre, Dane's knack for physical humor and hitting comical beats with perfect timing manage to make for some overall forgettable, but surprisingly entertaining films. The key to making a movie like Good Luck Chuck work is getting the audience to rally behind the lead and grow to like him, which, as Cook has shown with his stand-up career, is something he's good at.

While the lead in Good Luck Chuck succeeds in keeping the audience entertained, the supporting roles for the most part fall flat. Jessica Alba's character was obviously written into the script with a note reading "Actress must look good in her underwear, but that's about it." Any moderately talented, yet beautiful actress in Hollywood would have carried the role of Cam just as well as Alba, but she admittedly looked good doing it, so I guess the casting director did his or her job correctly. The stereotypical fat, comical-relief sidekick/best friend character Stu fell victim to two glaring problems. First, he was horribly (and did I mention stereotypically) written. Second, he was played by someone not even remotely as funny as the lead. Not only did Dan Fogler not hold his own in Good Luck Chuck, but he somehow managed to make Dane Cook less funny in almost every scene they shared. Whenever he was onscreen, Fogler brought the comedy to a stand-still. I can't blame this entirely on the actor, though, as the character was obviously only in the movie to provide Chuck with ways to come to obvious conclusions through poorly written exchanges of dialogue. The only other notable character is Cam's brother/co-worker Joe (Lonny Ross), whose only purpose in the film aside from providing Jessica Alba with the occasional bit of uncharacteristically philosophical advice seems to be spouting off the standard array of pot jokes that have come to be expected from comedies aimed at teens and young adults.

There isn't much to be said about the plot of Good Luck Chuck. It's nothing that anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past twenty or thirty years hasn't seen before. Boy meets girl, boy does something stupid, girl breaks up with boy, a montage of some kind takes place, and boy wins back girl. I hate to overuse the term stereotype in this review, but we're even treated to the heinously overused "guy has to race through an airport to stop the love of his life from jetting off and leaving him forever" ending once again. The only truly shocking and/or remotely original aspect of this film is the abundance of breast shots. I haven't seen so many different pairs of nipples in a single film since the co-ed shower scene in Starship Troopers.

The Verdict: In closing, I can't justify recommending Good Luck Chuck to anyone, but if you're considering watching it, I'm sure there are worse ways that you could spend 96 minutes.


kajus x said...

Hey Rian,
your new review format works well. Your review of Good Luck Chuck was much easier to read and definitely had a good "i'm a film being reviewed" quality instead of your previous installments of this blog.
I haven't been checking your shit out for a while so I just read your previous entry and...yeah. I didn't know you were reviewing everything you were watching. It makes sense, as it definitely had a "quantity over quality" feel for your past movie reviews.
I haven't seen good luck chuck, but your review is basically how i felt about this movie when all the traielrs were airing.
It's too bad about the tony-winning Dan Fogler. He was cool in Balls of Fury. my knee-jerk reaction, not having seen the film, would be to fault the script and the director for his lackluster performance.
So now, after having read your review, the only thing that may pull me to the theater is a plethora of women's bare nipples- and frankly, that's not worth $10.

Rian said...

Kajus x - Thanks for the kind words on the new format. I definitely feel that this style of review works better than the old one. I've been thinking about making alterations such as these for some time, but it took me a month-long hiatus during which I had no real inspiration to write reviews to really kick me in the ass and convince me to make some changes. As for Good Luck Chuck, it's good for a few laughs, but not much else. I'm not sure if I've seen Dan Fogler in anything before, but as I said in the review, I'm sure much of his weak performance can be attributed to his character being pretty weak on the page.