DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Good Luck Chuck



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</script></div>{/googleAds}What's wrong with us critics? Sometimes it seems we're out for ultimate perfection, and if we don't get it, and if a film falls shorts of that (which most do), then being ‘good, not great' is no longer something to be applauded...

Ever since There's Something About Mary combined the romantic comedy with gross-out humour, a plethora of feeble attempts to replicate that success have invaded the multiplexes for the last decade (can you believe it's been that long already!). None have succeeded, and few have managed to even be claimed worthy attempts.

Former editor Mark Helfrich's debut feature, Good Luck Chuck, received a brutal savaging upon its theatrical release, with many putting it in the aforementioned basket and pleading those to stay away in their droves. But this film is nowhere near as bad as we've been led to believe. Comparing it to any one film let alone Mary - is pointless, as each film is a different entity. A comedy should make you laugh. Forget comparisons, it's that simple. A great one will make diapers for adults mandatory in cinemas, or plastic covers needed on your couch, and the rest go down in increments from there. While this is not one that will require incontinence aids, or scotch-guarding your undies, someone out for an hour and a half of irreverent silliness could do a lot worse.

Originally titled ‘The Warm Up Guy,' Chuck follows the story of a Dentist named Charlie; a successful man who has never fallen in love, and finds himself in the unenviable position of watching his former flames find true love straight after dating him and marrying ‘the next guy.' When this fact becomes public knowledge, Charlie finds himself in the enviable position of having every single hottie in range wanting to do the deed with him in order to find ‘the one' for them. But Charlie finally feels the love when Cam (Jessica Alba) the gorgeous, penguin obsessed klutz enters his life. Complicating things is he's now convinced if he goes all the way with her, he'll lose her to ‘the next guy,' and between avoiding this, trying to break his ‘lucky charm' effect (hilariously!), and miss-stepping nearly every step of the way, Charlie has quite the challenge trying to finally complete his life with a happy, lasting relationship.

Josh Stolberg's script isn't high on originality beyond the one-line premise, and there are some irritatingly bland clichés in this story, especially the last-minute race to the airport scene (when a spoof movie does THAT scene a few years earlier, it's time to retire it). But the characters, for the most part, make up for this. Charlie is a good character, and considering some of the debaucherous situations he gets into, it's quite a feat that Stolberg manages to make him likable, and empathetic. Of course by teaming him with a humorously lecherous best friend this helps to bathe him in better light. The story pushes most of the characters way past the boundaries of good taste, and is a better film for it, instigating some very funny moments throughout. There is a lot of funny ‘un-pc' humour, but there's also some heart with it. But it is the final act that weakens the rest of the film and loses steam compared to the rollicking start. The last third just pushes too hard, and seems like it's from a different movie.

Comedian turned actor Dane Cook turns in an impressive and multi-faceted performance... for the first two thirds of the film. It is this portion of the film where he shows some depth, effortless charm, and a relatable funny bone. In the final third, where things go in the crapper (both story-wise and with his performance) Cook undoes all his good work by being irritatingly manic and reeking of trying too hard for a laugh. If the same restraint had been shown the entire way through, this would have been a different and better film. Jessica Alba (who took the role after Jennifer Love Hewitt turned it down) was lambasted for her performance, but she portrays a likeable character, does her best with the one-trick-humour her character is afforded, and if nothing else is completely unself-conscious and open to self-ridicule. The two leads impending romance plays naturally and amusingly. When they start getting amorous (or horny for us young folk) the scenes become a hoot. Dan Fogler, who plays Charlie's boob obsessed best buddy, again doesn't have a great deal to work with, but manages to spout some memorably crass one-liners.

If you're in the mood for a romp on a lazy Sunday, Good Luck Chuck is certainly worth a try. A bad comedy is one where you come out fuming you've just wasted your money or time or both you won't come out feeling that way, so Chuck isn't bad at all.. Masterpieces are few and far between, and a film that'll at least make you smile, if not chuckle some, deserved better than we critics unleashed... damn critics ;)


DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Closed Captioned; English: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; audio commentary; deleted scenes; gag reel; featurettes.

* Commentary
o Feature-length audio commentary track with Dane Cook, director Helfrich, producer Mike Karz and screenwriter Stolberg
* Featurettes
o Polymastia
o Kama Sutra
o Frank the Penguin Actor
o All About Penguins
o Sex Matrix
* Gag Reel (05:35)
* Deleted Scenes: 3 additional scenes that didn't make the final cut.

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

{pgomakase}

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