Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GOOD LUCK CHUCK (2007) - the vicious circle goes round and round...round and round...

Jessica Alba takes a break from observing penguins, snapping a dirty cell phone pic while getting oh so clean

Let’s say you just had the worst day of your life. You had to set your alarm early so you could bring your dog to the vet to be put to sleep. You drive to work, but you blow out a tire on the expressway. Realizing you don’t have a tire jack, you call AAA and have to wait two hours, stewing in your misery. You finally get to work, and your boss calls you in to give you a speech about how you need to get your priorities in order; that the promotion you’ve been working towards is now in doubt. You then have to deal with a supreme asshole of a customer for a full hour, forced to listen to demeaning insults. You get back home, frustrated, and immediately start getting into an argument with your spouse. After some obscenities and flying objects , your significant other runs off with the kids to a hotel, a first step in a crumbling marriage.

You finally get to sit down on the couch, turning the T.V. on. All you want to do is zone out and take your mind off the horrors of your life. Unfortunately, the cable box was zapped and only two channels are working. One is showing a Dane Cook comedy special, and the other is showing nothing but death camp footage. Not a documentary mind you, but just raw footage with no voice over, no context, no music, nothing. Well, which one do you choose?

Personally, I’m voting holocaust on this one.


One day I was minding my own business, changing channels on the idiot box (a universe I rarely explore). Lo and behold, the batteries on the remote died in the middle of my “surfing”, landing on a Dane Cook stand-up comedy special. A feeling of unspeakable horror overtook me as I scrambled to breathe life into the batteries by rubbing them (a little insider trick btw). While only forced to experience Mr. Cook’s “comedy” for a mere 30 seconds or so, I couldn’t help but feel violated, as if my ass had just been forcibly violated on top of a pinball machine.

I had to stop and evaluate my reaction. Why would a seemingly innocuous piece of comedy produce such a strong reaction? You’d think I would just not laugh and move on. I guess I just hate bad comedy and don’t like being accidentally forced to watch television shows I would normally want no business of. More importantly, I think a concert like that contains the underlying assumption that the audience is supposed to be made up of uncritical douchebag zombies who are (very) easily amused.

Well, enough ranting for now. Good Luck Chuck is the story of our hero Dane Cook, who suffers from a most unusual affliction. Apparently, when he has sex with a girl, the next guy she meets will want to marry her. This allows him to essentially boink any lady he wants, as chicks apparently only exist to get married and look pretty. Therefore, he can’t manage to procure a long term relationship, and has to settle for banging a bunch of random hot chicks. Excuse me while I shed the world’s smallest tear.

This “affliction” is the result of a curse put upon him by a goth chick as a youngster, as he attempts to get to first base (or to get into the game in any capacity) at a spin-the-bottle party. This is the only decent scene in the film, maybe because it features an 11-year-old authentic goth chick, angry at the world and covered in black from head to toe. Dane not being in the scene certainly helps. In fairness, while he’s incredibly unfunny verbally, incapable of delivering a punchline, he has some slight ability in the physical comedy department (maybe an extremely poor man’s Michael Richards). However, he still pales next to Dan Fogler, who plays his token best friend. Keep in mind that nothing in the script is remotely funny; I’m just referring to the various tics and prat falls and what have you.

His object of affection is Jessica Alba, playing an incredibly clumsy penguin scientist of sorts. While Jessica is certainly smoking hot, she’s not exactly the right fit for such an awkward character (let alone someone who’s really smart). If the part was played by a 6 foot tall Jew with two left feet and no coordination, I might believe that she could cause some forced slapstick every two minutes.

Needless to say, Dane hooks up with her at the end after getting the curse lifted. I guess we’re supposed to root for our “hero” to overcome his flaw in order to achieve true happiness. I too have some roadblocks to my happiness, one of which is the whole “Dane Cook exists" thing that I referenced earlier. Another one (amongst many others) is being forced to watch happy endings in which some made-up magic bullshit is pulled out of the writer’s ass to cure all of the ills that come with being human. After all, you can’t trot out a Deus Ex Machina when faced with problems in the real world.

1 comment:

  1. Good review. I'm surprised you didn't bring up the 10 minute montage of nothing but Chuck banging girls in different positions. God I hate this movie.