Be forewarned. This movie is patently obscene, as may be its description. Quoting one of the actors, “It pushes the R-rated envelope.”
“Good Luck Chuck” distinguishes itself by plumbing unexplored depths of wide release vulgarity. A very workable concept, it ends up covered in smut.
It begins innocently enough, with a group of pre-teens playing “spin the bottle”. This outdated game, now fallen prey to more direct forms of early sexual exploration, most commonly led to humiliation, rather than promiscuity.
A group of boys and girls sit in a circle. In the middle lies an empty pop bottle. Taking turns each participant gives it a twirl. To whomever the bottle points when it stops, the spinner must kiss.
A young Charlie, his eye on a cutie seated on the opposite side, sets the bottle spinning. Just overshooting its intended target, the sights of the glass muzzle land on a quiet and shy Goth.
The sudden passion evoked by what she considers her good fortune is only exceeded by the young man’s utter repulsion.
For this slight, the girl, clad in black leather, chants a curse, eternally damning him to lose his lovers to the next man they date.
For two decades the incident lies forgotten. Then a pattern begins to emerge. True to the spell, Charlie (Dane Cook), now a successful dentist, continually witnesses his girl friends depart, there upon finding their true love.
When word gets out, Charlie is portrayed as a frog you screw to find your prince. Initially put-off by this backhanded popularity, his long time friend Stu (Dan Folger) convinces him to appreciate this phenomenon for the gold mine it is.
This advice, coming from an oversexed plastic surgeon specializing in breast augmentation and obsessed with his work, certainly begs for a second opinion.
The physician’s lust radiates so blatantly as to repel all possible mates. He shamelessly masturbates into grapefruits.
But Charlie, not considering the source, follows doctor’s orders. We are treated to a bewildering parade of sexual exposition that resembles nothing so much as rabbits on Prozac.
It’s not arousing. It’s not even decent pornography. It’s about as compelling as watching two dogs stuck butt to butt.
Charlies’s pleasure ride, so to speak, comes to an end when he falls for the clumsy, accident-prone Cam (Jessica Alba). As they proceed through a courtship, he avoids sexual contact knowing the curse will send her away to fall in love with someone else.
The role of Cam places Alba at the mercy of her comedic instincts, of which she demonstrates little. That her character is written tohave two left feet, unnecessarily imposing the demands of slapstick, only makes matters worse.
The irony of pratfalls and the like is that it takes an incredible amount of grace and athleticism.
There have been some very funny movies in the last couple of years that pushed the bounds of propriety, violations overlooked due to the skilled and creative service of a strong concept. They left you laughing at tasteless, but nonetheless, effective humor.
This isn’t one of them.