I went into Good Luck Chuck with nothing more than a faint hope that I might be pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, the movie fails to offer anything beyond what the decidedly un-funny previews suggest. The gross humor — like the gazillion gratuitous boob shots (none of them Alba's) and an incredibly awkward Dane Cook sex montage — comes off as simply crude and cringe-worthy.
The movie begins with pre-teen Charlie’s first game of spin-the-bottle when the bottle lands on a brooding 10-year-old goth girl. When he denies her 7 minutes in heaven she put an anti-love hex on him. Charlie grows up to become a successful dentist who is blissfully unaware of his inability to love, simply taking advantage of the beautiful women who inexplicably throw themselves at him (so, it wasn't that bad of a hex, really). It’s not until his ex-girlfriend uses her wedding toast to thank him for helping her find her match that Charlie realizes something may be amiss with all of the no-strings attached action he’s been getting. To find out what else happens,
At the wedding, Charlie also meets Cam (Alba) a penguin keeper that he thinks he could really fall for. Yes, a penguin keeper. He finds her extreme klutziness endearing and immediately begins to pursue her. He wants to change his ways and get serious with her but his uber-creepy friend Stu (Dan Fogler) won’t hear of it. Stu has a plastic surgery practice and specializes in — what else? — boob jobs. He lives vicariously through Charlie’s overactive sex life since his crude moves prove fruitless with the ladies. His sexual frustration leads to many obvious boob jokes and one disturbing scene in which he pleasures himself with a grapefruit and a dish scrubber. I’ll leave the details up to your imagination.
Overall, the crass jokes fall flat. It seems an odd choice to have the burden of physical comedy rest upon Alba, while Dane Cook takes on the role of the romantic. Alba's "cute but clumsy" comes off as "pretty but dumb." It’s Cook’s comedic timing that keeps the movie bearable, but he’s not believable as the romantic hero.
As the credits start to roll and you breathe a sigh of relief that you’re finally free, the movie ends on a note even more disgusting than any of the proceeding scenes. You’ll never look at Dane Cook or a cute stuffed animal penguin the same way again. But hey, when you’re making a bad movie, go big or go home. In this case, it’s the audience that should really just stay home.
Photos courtesy of Lionsgate