Good Luck Chuck
, , ,
96 min.
Release Date
Good Luck Chuck

Dane Cook: Former standup comedian. Overrated “talent”. Superhypermondo spaz. More unfunny than Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls. Unwelcome spawn of Comedy Central. Prone to whims of success. Entertaining as an oddity more than performer. Annoying on levels only Carrot Top and Chris Kattan have achieved. Star of Good Luck Chuck. I imagine Dane Cook sitting down by the fire back in 2005, enjoying some fine cognac, reading the latest box of scripts sent to him by his agent, whose name must be Lenny, whom Mr. Cook met at Pizza Hut. The latest title is Good Luck Chuck, written by Josh Stolberg, whose most impressive credit is as a production assistant on Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. As Mr. Cook reads the script, he finds it’s somewhere between gross-out and romantic comedy, so he laughs at the fart jokes while pondering the meaning of love. Under the impression that, if hired, he would be playing a dentist named Chuck Logan, Mr. Cook is intrigued when he reaches about halfway through the script and reads that his character is to have sex with multiple different partners. Not at once, mind you, that would be inappropriate. No, he’ll be fornicating with upwards of a dozen women in different scenes, which would then be cut together in post-production into a checkerboard-like montage of graphic sex in every position imaginable. What could make a romantic comedy more romantic but blatant dirty sex! …Hmmm, Mr. Cook says to himself, and rereads the montage script notes.

There is, of course, a logical explanation. It’s that the title’s Chuck is good luck, hence his nickname. When a woman sleeps with him, the next man she dates after Chuck becomes her true love, who in turn she marries. Desperate women the world over search out Chuck to be with him. Not surprisingly, this is brought on by a curse during a nasty pre-teen version of spin the bottle. Chuck must’ve been 12-years-old at most, talking about things we audience members feel uncomfortable hearing kids talk about, hoping to get locked in the closet for seven lip-locked minutes of bliss with his pre-teen crush. It doesn’t work out that way; the bottle chooses the goth girl, who, when rejected, puts the aforesaid curse on Chuck.

I’m not even sure why the title, or even my review so far has referred to him as “Chuck”, since everyone in the movie calls him Charlie. I suppose rhyming titles are funny… Then again, so is Grover from “Sesame Street”, but I don’t watch the show just to enjoy a hearty laugh. Perhaps I should watch Grover more often—he’s amusing, he’s blue, and he moves real funny-like. Dane Cook moves real funny too, twitching and gyrating about the screen. I wondered, is he having a fit, or is this what physical comedy has been reduced to? I kept looking for the strings or rods linking the Muppeteer who was hired to operate Cook. Despite looking closely, I didn’t see him.

Chuck, er, Charlie’s curse leaves him loveless and used by women who desire to find their soul mate. Most of them leave post-coitus, probably to wash the Dane Cook of their bodies, or perhaps just to avoid hearing him talk again. Enter Jessica Alba’s ultra-klutzy penguin-lover character Cam Wexler, whose name is so pointedly unordinary that it must have been chosen to avoid ordinariness. Cam is clumsy, a character point that’s optimized for a few satisfying jokes where Charlie is stabbed with dental tools or his expensive car is badly damaged. Although, I don’t think I was supposed to be laughing at him. She’s the one for Charlie, but he can’t seem to get past his curse. What if she succumbs to his manly charms only to later fall for someone else?

For some reason or another, which if you can explain I suspect you’re Buddha or Jesus or whomever because it’s one of the great mysteries of the universe, Cam falls for Charlie. When she does, Charlie becomes so obsessed with this curse idea that he does everything he can to keep her around. In other words, he smothers her. No, not with a pillow, which might have been a more satisfying end to this horrible, horrible movie. He smothers her with love. But not the good kind of love, not the affectionate cuddling and considerate meal-making and visits with family kind. He offers the showing up at her work with a room full of flowers, dressed in a penguin suit, and accompanied by an Acappella quartet kind of love. The kind of love we’d expect from Dane Cook.

Despite a happy ending and a message that suggests monogamy is great because that’s how penguins operate, not one moment of this comedy is convincing. That didn’t matter to Dane Cook, back in front of his fire, still working on that cognac. He paged through the script again, stopped at the sex montage. Yeah, he said to himself, I’d like to do this. I’ve checked, and according to their information, we’ll have to deal with Mr. Cook’s Jim Carrey-esque antics at least until 2009. Beyond that, he’s signed on to nothing else they know of. In a way, that’s a good thing—at least we know there’s a possible end to this madness. Sure, it’s two years down the road and there’s no guarantee he won’t sign onto anything else in the meantime. It’s hope, nonetheless. On the other hand, in the interim, we have to endure Dane Cook, which is one of the worst parts about enduring Dane Cook.

Recent Articles

  1. Reader's Choice: The Brand New Testament
  2. Re(focused)views: Ishtar
  3. The Definitives: Lost in America
  4. Reader's Choice: The Green Mile
  5. The Definitives: The Shining
  6. Reader's Choice: Misery
  7. Memory Lane: Gerald's Game
  8. Re(focused)views: The Dark Half
  9. Memory Lane: The Mangler
  10. Memory Lane: Needful Things
  11. The Definitives: Meet John Doe
  12. Reader's Choice: The Wild One
  13. The Definitives: Onibaba