Thursday, September 27, 2007

Good Luck Chuck (2007)

Good Luck Chuck (2007) is an amalgamation of scenes that worked in other recent romantic comedies, classic cliches, and breasts. Lots and lots and lots of breasts.

Coming in there is a great deal of potential for humor. Super hot Jessica Alba is advertised heavily in the trailers...if there is anyone in America who has not yet seen the trailer of her in tight shirt and white panties (with a penguin emblem) they simply have been nowhere near a theatre or television set in the last month. That shot has played over and over and over ad nausea.

Playing opposite her is popular comedian Dane Cook. He has quickly become popular as both comedian and heartthrob.

Between the two of them you have a lot of rising star power.

Add to that the great potential of the story of Charlie (Dane Cook), aka Lucky Charm Chuck, a man who can get any woman he wants but can't keep her. Instead, she will soon leave him, meet the man of her dreams and get married. As a result, hot women are knocking down Chuck's door. Yet the man who can have any woman he wants can't find love.

It is potentially a hilarious and/or touching story. Unfortunately, Josh Stolberg and Steve Glenn got a bit lazy.

The movie starts with a scene that feels like a direct rip-off of the premise for the Jennifer Garner vehicle 13 Going on 30 (2004), except this time the girl Chuck hooks up with in spin the bottle wants him and he wants nothing to do with her. As a result, Young Anisha (Sasha Pieterse) casts a hex on him that he will be surrounded by love but never experience it.

Fast forward a few years. Best friends Chuck and Stu (Dan Fogler) work in the same office building. Chuck is a dentist and Stu is a cosmetic surgeon specializing in breast enhancements.

One thing never becomes clear...and that is why, exactly, Chuck and Stu are friends. Stu is a self-indulgent, horny, breast-obsesses loser who has no dates with anyone more attractive than a cantaloupe. Actually, the cantaloupe or whatever fruit it was IS his only date. He breaks out cheesy cliched line after cheesy cliched line. Most of them interfere with Chuck's attempts to make progress with girls.

For example, at the wedding where Chuck's "Lucky Charm" effect is introduced into the story, Chuck meets Cam Wexler (Jessica Alba) and instantly is deeply infatuated with her, Stu interrupts them. He sees Cam and breaks loose with, "Here I am, what are your other two wishes", a line as fresh as a pre-Caesar bottle of wine.

Stu is a stereotypical chauvinist. Girls are breasts, butts, tail, and several other more profane words. They are good for sex, getting laid, getting screwed, etc. He loves to drop the F-bomb about them, regularly uses the word trim, has no concept of appropriateness, and works at his job largely as a way to see naked breasts.

Actually, looking back, I do not recall so much as a single positive trait he displayed in the entire movie. Nor was he a good friend to Chuck in any way whatsoever.

Yet they are good friends. The "buddy" cliche is often see it assumed in movies. Sometimes you see things that make the friendship make sense...for example, in the Bad Boys series of movies even though Smith and Martin fight a lot, you also see them away from work and their friendship makes sense. The same holds true for Peter Parker and Harry Osborn in the Spiderman franchise. Other times it makes less sense...I would argue Ladder 49 (2004) was a fine example where the "friendships" and camaraderie seemed fake and forced instead of natural... and such as Good Luck Chuck when you never see them doing "friend things." You pretty much only see Stu screwing Chuck over.

As the movie develops, Cam is aware of Chucks' get-around nature and is not interested. He keeps trying but she is not interested. So Stu talks him into sleeping we are "treated" to a montage of Chuck and random girl sex scenes of increasing bizzarity and his increasing boredom. He finally decides to stop, goes back to pursuing Cam and finally gets his shot. For a while it works. Then there are problems. In the end he gets the girl.

Along the way we reheat several tired pick-up lines, date jokes, happy stoned on marijuana dude jokes, and happy date montages.

We also spend a lot of time with naked breasts. Check out the number of times that line or one like it has been used in this review and you start to get the picture.

I wanted to like this movie. I am a huge Jessica Alba fan and have heard good things about Dane Cook's work. Sadly, this was a thinly disguised soft porn movie with a weak plot, weak writing, and nothing in particular to recommend it.


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