a critiQal film review Good Luck Chuck (2007)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: Cursed when he was 10, Charlie Logan (Cook) discovers that everyone he has ever slept with has found true love - with the man after him. As his reputation as a "good luck charm" starts to spread and women line up for a "quickie", he discovers he's lonelier than ever...until he meets Cam (Alba). As a romance develops, he's got to figure out how to break the curse - before the girl of his dreams winds up with the next guy.

834 words (Est. Reading Time 4m 10s)

I’m a sucker for Jessica Alba movies. Whenever a film comes out that stars Jessica Alba, I want to see it. Maybe it’s my way of harkening back to the days of “Dark Angel”, or enjoying her portrayals in big budget fluff films like or . Whatever the case may be, I’m always ready to see the latest she has to offer.

So when Good Luck Chuck hit DVD, Heather didn’t have to twist my arm too much to have me watch it with her, although the previews had done little to impress me.

Dane Cook plays the main character of the film, and while he does a decent job with it, it’s nothing to really write home about. He seems to be coasting through his career by hooking himself with beautiful co-stars (like Jessica Simpson in ). Apparently, his thinking is that the spotlight will fall on them to live up to everyone’s expectations – whether it be Jessica Simpson’s return to film or the continuation of Alba’s career – he won’t have to worry too much about people criticizing his performance as they are mostly distracted by his co-star.

Knowing this, he again does little more than skate through his performance in Good Luck Chuck, and for the most part, is highly uninteresting. Apparently the studios haven’t caught on to his ploy, yet, and give him a large amount of screen time for the film, resulting in large rather boring sections. Guess next time he’ll have to go more extreme if he’s going to keep this up – maybe co-star with the trainwreck that has become Brtiney Spears? That ought to work – nobody would even know he’s in the film if she’s around.

Unfortunately, the spotlight of the film is directly on Jessica Alba, yet her character is so unrealistic it’s hard for her to really do anything with it. It’s unfortunate, because many may credit her with bringing the film down, when it’s more the way her character is written that will drag her name through the mud.

From the clumsiness of the character – and her actions resulting from that clumsiness, viewers will probably peg the character as a ditz from the get-go. The more the film develops, however, the “brainless ditz” persona becomes confused, as she has a sharp brain underneath that clumsiness. This confusion will never sit right with most viewers, and Cook’s attraction to that clumsiness never really makes sense either. Sure, minor foibles are endearing, but her absurd clumsiness takes it from endearing to downright dangerous, so unless Cook’s character is a closet sadomasochist, it’s unlikely he would have ever actually found this “endearing.”

With that shaky start, Good Luck Chuck already has it’s work cut out for it if it’s going to keep it’s viewers around until the end of the film. With the unrated DVD they solve this not by actually producing interesting sequences, but by turning the whole middle of the film into soft core porn, then adds to that with crude humor and thinks it’s going to fly with viewers. In this heyday of Judd Apatow, maybe that will work for some, but there’s only so much unfunny – and sometimes downright disgusting – sequences the rest of us can take.

Tossing in the soft-core porn angle doesn’t help either, since the ridiculous montage it’s presented in is missing the “boom-boom-chicka-boom-boom” music to complete the picture. It’s totally unnecessary and involves not Jessica Alba (which at least would have made it semi-interesting) but instead a myriad of women who are never actually introduced – or seen again.

With that kind of buildup, the viewer is expecting at least for it to continue with Alba, but instead, the movie abruptly shifts pace, and goes the “romantic” route. It’s completely ludicrous, as all “romance” in the film was just tossed out of the window by the soft-core porn montage, and the movie spends the rest of it’s screen time trying to recover.

The film probably would have been better if the director had kept the film at a PG-13 rating, not something that is usually the case (watch one of your favorite films on network TV for an example), but Good Luck Chuck would have greatly benefitted. Gone would be the ridiculous porn montage, and the “romance” angle might actually have a chance.

Then again, the characters in this story are so ridiculous that may have not been enough to keep this one out of the sewer. My recommendation? If you can catch the film in a second-run theater (you know, the ones with the cheap seats), go there if you must. Just stay away from the “Unrated” DVD – it’s a total waste of time.

Although I’ve already heard bad things about , let’s hope Alba makes better career choices in the future. If turns out badly too, this trifecta may be enough to shelve her career for at least a little while – and then where am I going to get my Alba fix?

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