GOOD LUCK CHUCK
*1/2 (out of 5)
September 21, 2007
Dane Cook as CHARLIE
Jessica Alba as CAM
Dan Fogler as STU
Directed by: Mark Helfrich
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
Movies are like wars. There is often a convenient scapegoat if things go badly, and that’s usually the director. While the directors are praised as the author of the film if things go well, more likely, they’re labeled the George W. Bush of the movie if it doesn’t.
However, in the case of “Good Luck Chuck,” it wasn’t the director’s fault. The movie could never be spectacular, but it would have been bearable if someone – anyone – other than Dane Cook was the leading man.
Rarely can you blame a war on a single person, but I have full confidence in blaming the crapstorm that is “Good Luck Chuck” on Cook.
First, he’s one of the ugliest leading men in the industry. Not to say there aren’t ugly actors, but usually they’re relegated to genre or side roles. You’ll never see the romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon against someone like Danny Trejo or Garry Shandling. Yet the industry seems to think the equally scarred and hideous Dane Cook will be a draw.
The bottom line is that as hot as co-star Jessica Alba is, Cook sucks all of the joy from the film when his messy mug splatters on the screen. Seriously, the guy looks like he’s melting. It’s like he was a Nazi extra from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in that final scene.
It’s poison to the audience if you cast a leading man that is so repulsive and irritating that it drives away viewers. We saw this happen last year with the disastrous “Employee of the Month.” History is about to repeat itself.
If you think I’m being hard on Dane Cook, it appears that the studio agrees with me. They’ve been promoting the movie more like a “There’s Something About Mary,” featuring Jessica Alba and her slapstick comedy. They seem to shy away from the real storyline – that Dane Cook sleeps with dozens of women to be their good luck charm. After they sleep with him, they fall in love with the next guy they date.
Hmmmm… Couldn’t somebody have predicted that this massively creepy R-rated sex-fest in the beginning of the movie might not sow the right seeds for the romantic comedy crowd?
The other actors were okay. Dan Fogler was hilarious as the raunchy best friend, and leading lady Jessica Alba was adorable – and pretty darn easy on the eyes.
Alba’s never been a powerhouse actor, and she’s somewhat known for making bad movies, but she will always be a modern-day pin-up queen. Without Cook in the film, they could have cast any number of generic romantic comedy leads and done better. Her chemistry with Cook is nil, so there was no need to keep him for that.
Maybe the more wholesome Mark Ruffalo or Chris Pine wouldn’t have worked, but definitely someone like Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson could have made the grade in this film. Heck, I’d even settle for Ryan Reynolds.
Please Hollywood, do us a favor. No more Dane Cook!
I think I’ll make a ribbon for this cause and start wearing it.