Since Animal House and perhaps maybe before that, that’s as far as I cared to go back, R rated comedies have been big successes, whether at the box office or later in home video sales. With such comedies as Knocked Up and Superbad reigning supreme at the box office last year, it’s no wonder that Good Luck Chuck was produced. It’s never been a better time to write a hilarious R-rated comedy that entertains audiences. I just wish the writer of Good Luck Chuck had received that memo.
After being cursed as a child by an eleven year old goth, Chuck (Dane Cook) never seemed to have any luck with women. After several of his exes met and married their next boyfriends, however, it became obvious that this curse, even though cast by a juvenile, was hindering Chuck’s love life in that he was never able to find true happiness because once he slept with a woman they would move onto the next. Though this created many opportunities for cheap dates once this word hit the street, it left Chuck feeling unfulfilled and absolutely terrified when he met the love of his life, Cam (Jessica Alba).
I wish I could just type something like “Good Luck Enjoying This Movie” instead of delving into the myriad of reasons why this film doesn’t work, but that’d be no fun for you to read. Instead I’m going to go through the reasons I absolutely hated this film, starting with the first reason: it wasn’t funny. I think I laughed twice during the entire film and the rest of the time the jokes simply fell on their face and made me wonder how anyone thought they were funny while making this. It’s not that the actors were mismatched in their roles; far from it. Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler, Lonny Ross…they all did wonderful in their roles, but the dialogue they spewed just blew.
And yes, I did say Dane Cook did fine in his role. I had no issues with his acting in the film and I’m not a particular huge fan of his to begin with (not that I have anything against him, I just haven’t seen his stand up), so I had no real inclination to see the film other than it looked like it might contain a few laughs (sadly, my use of the word “few” here is too generous). Ultimately the film was just a mess because of the script by Josh Stolberg. While it’s a nice idea for a story, the execution was poorly handled and seemed to just be a movie as an excuse to show breasts.
Speaking of breasts, there were copious amounts of them in this one. I don’t think I’ve seen so much nudity in a comedy before and it certainly adds absolutely nothing to it in this case. The montage of over sixteen women having sex with Chuck was just complete overkill and while I’m sure it was a thrill for those involved with the film, it was anything but thrilling for me to watch. Perhaps I had expected the film to be more of a romantic comedy, but whatever balance that other R-rated comedies have struck between gross-out and genuine romance seem to be lost on this film, which is odd because it seems perfectly fit for something akin to the levels that Knocked Up traveled so well.
I’ve little doubt that this film will sell remarkably well based on the cover art and actors involved and that’s a real shame. They could’ve made something really good, but instead it is some kind of half assed comedy. The whole notion that a twelve year old goth girl could have actually placed such a curse upon Chuck was so poorly handled that it leads you to believe it’s all just in Chuck’s head but then at the end it’s revealed that, no, in fact, it was real. At that point you don’t really care because the film is finally nearing its end, but the film could have really benefited from a few script revamps and character tweaking.
Overall Good Luck Chuck was one of the worst comedies I’ve seen in a long time. With its minimal amount of truly humorous jokes and instead its reliance on the crude humor, along with a shoddy treatment of Jessica Alba’s character who is rarely developed upon being a klutz and penguin fanatic, the film is just completely Skippable. Point and laugh at it while you’re at the rental store, but don’t bother renting it…it is in no way worth it.
It really bums me out when a horrible film gets a great DVD release. Such is the case with Good Luck Chuck which comes in a standard DVD case with the theatrical poster as the cover art, which is repeated on the disc art. Menus are nicely laid out and well done, while the video and audio are what you’d expect from a comedy—clean, clear and easy to hear. A slipcover is included with the DVD, as well as Dolby 5.1 Surround EX, 2.0 surround and English and Spanish subtitles.
First up are four “Chucked-Up Featurettes” (that’s what the DVDs calling it, I’m serious), all of which are just as stupid as the movie. “Polymastia” (4:15) goes into detail about the third breast in the film and the painstaking work done to CGI it and the tests they did to find out the perfect cup size to use (despite men in their 30s and 40s being interviewed for these extras, I think they may all be 12). Next is “Kama Sutra” (2:42) a quick extra on the positions chosen for the films montage sex scene, “Frank the Penguin Actor” (2:48) a featurette shot in the make believe world that Frank could talk like a pissed off forty year old who hates everyone and “All About the Penguins” (7:42), the only worthwhile featurette in this entire bunch.
Next is the “Sex Matrix”, where you can view longer versions of all of the sex Chuck has in the film in the montage. No I’m not kidding. They’re all here—but don’t worry, the naughtier bits have the genitalia blurred. Following this is a gag reel (5:35) which packs more humor into it than the entire film did in its 101 minute runtime. Accompanying the gag reel are ad libs by Stu (Dan Fogel, 2:18), Chuck (Cook, 4:54) and the man playing the Airport Security (1:11). Most of the stuff here is humorous—maybe they should’ve just let the actors ad lib their way through it more, rather than using the script provided.
Deleted and alternate scenes, three in all, including an alternate ending (1:36) a deleted scene of Chuck being pulled over for running a red light (1:08) and an alternate end video camera movie (0:31). An easter egg with Chuck being pulled into Anisha (Michelle Harrison)’s house by his nether regions. Finally a commentary with Dane Cook, Director Mark Helfrich, Producer Mike Karz and Writer Josh Stolberg is included and, not surprisingly, is once again more humorous than the film. Not downright hilarious by any means, but the commentary has its moments, though really—it can’t help this film any.
There’s no reason to buy this DVD as the thing you’d buy it for would be the film and that is in no way worth watching. Skip this one as well.
Good Luck Chuck arrives on DVD in rated and unrated editions and unrated Blu-Ray on January 15th.