Good Luck Chuck


Review in a Hurry: Despite the lack of romance and comedy, and the preponderance of nut-kicking and fat jokes, this is supposed to be a romantic comedy.

The Bigger Picture: Dentist Charlie Logan (Dane Cook) has a problem: He's cursed to be the gateway drug to marriage, as every woman he breaks up with marries the next man they encounter. So, when he meets Sea World penguin wrangler Cam (Jessica Alba), he tries his best not to close the deal.

The problems for Charlie Logan start early on when a prepubescent game of spin the bottle goes awry and he's forced into the closet with a girl who looks vaguely like the keyboard player for the Cure. When Charlie rebuffs her advances, she places a hex on him that portends a life of misery spent having copious copulation with supermodel-worthy women. The horror!

Jump forward to the present and Charlie, now a successful dentist, just can't find a lasting relationship other than the one he has with his childhood best friend turned plastic-surgeon-of-the-boob-job-variety Stu (Dan Fogler, channeling Curtis Anderson's entire teen movie oeuvre to Booger-like depths), until he meets Cam and realizes she's the one.

Alba's portrayal of Cam is sweet enough—her obvious physical attributes and utter lack of comic timing offset by her willingness to be goofy, something Cameron Diaz has built an entire career out of—and though she and Cook have absolutely no screen chemistry, a problem for a film that is supposedly a romantic comedy, her presence gives the film a lightness not present when Dane Cook fills the screen alone.

Good Luck Chuck is intermittently funny in the same way old episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos are—sometimes, it's amusing to watch people get hit in the nuts—but anyone seeking a romantic comedy will find very little romance here. The preponderance of the film is taken up with gratuitous nudity and jokes at the expense of fat people and homosexuals, and when those don't quite hit the mark, a little grotesque physical comedy is just around the corner.

That Jessica Alba wears shirts with plunging necklines and, in one scene, a bodysuit, will no doubt keep underage boys buying tickets for Dragon War so they can sneak across the hall. Good luck, boys. You'll have the theater to yourself.

The 180—a Second Opinion: When planning an evening of films featuring the name Chuck in their title, Good Luck Chuck would fit in nicely between Amazing Grace & Chuck and Chuck & Buck. Grab a case of Two Buck Chuck, and you've got yourself a party!

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