“ Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Suitable for 18 years and over / Director: Mark Helfrich / Actors: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler ... / Blu-ray released 2008-03-17 at Lions Gate Home Entertainment / Features of the Blu-ray: Widescreen „
Good Luck Chuck is another in a line of high concept, gross out, rom-coms, similar to 'Shallow Hal' and '40 Days and 40 Nights'. There is usually a weird disparity in these films between the crudeness of the humour and the sentimentality of the romance. I'm not sure if this is to appeal to both sexes or because these kinds of films traditonally must end up with happy ending, but it is a weird trend I've noticed.
Chuck Logan is cursed by a childhood girlfriend to never be happy and one step further, that every woman he ever sleeps with will find the perfect man after him. (A rather specific curse, that happens to lend itself to a comedy movie). This 'curse' makes him very desirable to women who are looking for true love, but when Chuck meets the woman of his dreams, he realises that he wants to be the perfect man for her.
The last film I saw Dane Cook in was, 'My Best Friend's Girl', in which his character was much ruder and cruder compared to Chuck in this film. They seem to play Chuck as a romantic who is forced into becoming this walking 'Good Luck F*ck' (I'm guessing the title is a reference to this) and his friend, Stu, is the bad-taste, morally void character who would love to take advantage of the women throwing themselves at Chuck. It doesn't feel like Chuck learns anything in the film because he is a victim of a curse that he didn't particularly deserve. It would have made a more satisfying arc had he revelled in his abilities and learned the errors of his ways.
Jessica Alba, plays Chuck's love interest, Cam, and she is played as an accident-prone, penguin lover and it seems like the only reason she's accident-prone is to provide some slap-stick moments. Beyond her slapsticky character, she is a bit hard to read, as she seems reluctant to date Chuck because of his reputation, then after a few dates, she seems to be the more sexual dominant of the two.
Overall, this is a good film, although it does pale in comparsion to some of the others in its genre. There seems to be an internal struggle within the film whether to embrace the sleaziness of the main premise, or to play it straight as a traditonal rom-com, which does lead to a mixed result. The gross-out gags aren't particularly memorable, or imitations of other films, for example, having sex with a Grapefruit isn't that far removed to having sex with an American Pie. The film manages to entertain, but is unlikely to be remembered as a classic of the genre. Think more Along Came Polly than There's Something About Mary.
I found this movie quite entertaining and there is something in this for everyone. There is plenty of hot chicks for the lads and well a rather annoying plastic surgeon who has an obsession for certain parts of the female anatom.Its about a guy called charlie (Dane Cook) who has some sort of voodoo spell cast over him called a hex when he was a wee lad. This is a story about any single red blooded lads dream because Chuck gets to sleep with lots of girls because after they've slept with him they tend to find true love with another guy and he's seen as a good luck charm. Enter Cam (Jessica Alba Into the Blue, Fantastic Four) who he meets at a wedding and falls head over heels in love with and he avoids sleeping with her till he can break his Hex. She is very clumsy and has an obsession with Penguins and her brother is always high. It gets to the point where Chuck becomesabit obsessed with her and scares her off. It has a happy ending as the Hex is broken they get back together. This film is like any teenage American movie to the likes of American pie etc.
I am starting to get worried. I think that perhaps I am getting too old to enjoy my favourite genre the 'bad' comedy. For years I have always loved watching cheesy US comedy films starring the likes of Sandler, Ferrell or Stiller, but the last few have not been funny. I've decided that it's not me and that it's the film makers themselves. It all boils down to Judd Apatow and the trio of successes '40 Year Old Virgin', 'Knocked Up' and 'Superbad'. All three of these films were rude comedies and were monster hits. Ironically, only 'Superbad' is good in my opinion. This does not stop others from trying to mimic this success and now there is a flood of rude comedies coming out and I don't like it. So far the majority are awful like 'Step Brothers'. Where does 'Good Luck Chuck' fit in, an 18 Cert comedy?
Charlie (or Chuck to his friends) is unable to say three simple words - I love you. The inability to do this has cost him several girlfriends and left him alone. After yet another recent dumping Chuck's weazly pal Stu starts to notice a pattern, whenever Chuck sleeps with a girl the next man they hook up with will be the man she is going to marry. This may be folly, but when the news gets online Chuck suddenly becomes very popular with the desperate female set. Could this blessing be a curse as whilst partaking of worldly pleasures Chuck stumbles across Cam a woman he really wants to be with, but is too scared to sleep with. Can Chuck break the curse before his blossoming relationship with Cam becomes doomed?
After watching 'Good Luck Chuck' I could not help but feeling what a strange film it was. With its course language (not too bad), and frequent sexy scenes it garnered an 18 cert. I felt this was a little harsh as troublesome things like language are far worse in films such as 'Superbad' which is a 15. There is nudity, but hey that's natural and the UK is still European after all! What is even more peculiar is the innocence of the storyline. Apart from the central premise of Chuck's mighty sex powers the film is a simple romantic comedy similar to 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days'. The raunchiness of the film just does not fit with the sweetness of the central relationship. It's almost as if they crow barred in more filth to appease the new ruder comedy set - a shame. All that this does in alienate a vast proportion of the audience. Would you take a girl to a first date to an 18 film about rumpy pumpy? Not if you want a second date. In fact, I did not watch this with my partner of 8 years because it was a little strong.
What is left will appeal to different types of people. For the men who are young at heart you are in for some nudey bits, mostly female. These same men will also appreciate some of the humour (a bit of blue for the Dads). The problem is that this same group of people have no interest in a sensitive romantic comedy and as the couples market has already been put off by the excessive nudity then there is no one left to watch the film!
One final area of contention is the comedy carbuncle that is Dane Cook. As charismatic as a box of used matchsticks Cook stinks up the screen more than Biff falling into a cartful of manure. Here he tries to be sweet, but his pox marked face leaves you asking one question - why is this fully grown man still messing around with all these woman? Cook is not young enough for this role and comes across a little sinister imo to be preying on nubile flesh. You wonder for what reason he has not settled down already?
The rest of the cast fare better and add yet another reason for the boy's brigade to watch the film - Jessica Alba. Alba's film choices of late have a lot to be desired, but at least she is a decent enough actress. Dan Fogler as the sleazy Stu actually fits better into the film than most of the cast as he is acts like he is in an 18 film, and not just a 12A actor turning up on the wrong day.
Overall, I have to say that I did not mind 'Good Luck Chuck'. The fact that I did not hate it with a heated passion was a surprise in itself. There are some amusing moments and strip away the overtly sexy stuff and you are left with a perfectly decent sweet romantic comedy. However, stripping away anything rude or crude in this film would be to remove what it considers its USP. This means that the film is stuck in some sort of gross out no man's land - too rude for couples, too sweet for a group of lads. With no audience suited to watch it I say good luck finding any people willing to give it a chance.
Director: Mark Helfrich
Starring: Dane Cook and Jessica Alba
Price: Amazon uk £13.98 (BluRay)
Play.com £17.99 (BluRay)
Like on many of my BluRay rentals which are comedies I mention that there is no need for HD format as a comedy should be good SD, HD or on VHS! 'Chuck' is another film that does not overly benefit from the format in terms of look. It is a clean transfer and you do get to see Cook's ache scars in crystal clear high definition.
The BluRay does benefit from some added extra features. There are some deleted scenes, a gag reel and alternative takes. The most noticeable extra is perhaps the one that allows you to watch only the rude scenes in the film one after the other - I wonder why anyone would want to do that?