Good Luck Chuck

Good Luck Chuck


Reviewed by: Paul Griffiths

Good Luck Chuck is a gross-out romantic comedy that cashes in on this perpetual vogue for cute penguins. A gro-rom-perp-peng-com, if you will. Or a groperpengcom. Or how about, a pongmedy. Or...

Well, it's more fun than watching it.

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The hilarious premise at work here is that Dane Cook's dentist Chuck has been cursed. Every time he sleeps with a woman, the next man she meets will be her true love. When Chuck finally catches on he soon has no-strings sex on tap as women queue up for the unorthodox matrimonial services of his good luck charm. But when he falls for and successfully woos Jessica Alba's Cam he becomes frantic that he'll lose her to the next man she sees. Can he break the curse and get to keep the one girl he wants to stay with?

The ending is as predictable as every other cliche crammed into this consistently unfunny film. Goofy but beautiful girl, breasts, fun guy with a heart, breasts, comic stoner, sex-obsessed friends and breasts. Not forgetting, of course, the unutterably deep life lesson that sex without love can feel empty and unsatisfying.

If things weren't forced and manipulated enough already, Cam's job as an obsessive penguin specialist lets the film showcase said cute birds and brazenly crowbar in the universal cinemahhh factor to balance out the recurrent gross out scenes. If I were one of the penguins, I'd fire my agent. That said, they do turn in the most convincing performances.

A few months ago Alba was lamenting how people didn't see her as a serious actress. She had apparently been making proactive choices to put that right, though. Starring in this lame excuse for a gross-out romantic sex comedy was hardly the best of career moves. Nobody comes out with much dignity intact. While she appears to enjoy having a go at the slapstick, curse or no curse there's little screen magic between her and Cook's dead-eyed stares. You just don't care if they make it not.

Cook mugs with a bearably affable charm but misses badly on the jokes front. He's a talented stand-up but here shows no respect for his audience's IQ and thinks we'll be intent on catching whatever sprats he lobs out from his formulaic comedy bucket. Gross out is one thing, but a comedy's still got to make you laugh and his hit rate is woefully low. The undercurrent of barely disguised misogyny makes the attempted humour all the more uncomfortable.

The hyperactive, fruit-humping Fogler goes for American Pie hoots but is just embarrasing. His character Stu plays id to Chuck's ego in a thoroughly one-dimensional role that will have nobody but the frat boys giggling.

With the likes of Knocked Up and Superbad being lauded as new comedy hits, director Mark Helfrich's debut effort just can't take the comparison. It's clear that Alba lucked out when she plumped for this comedy miss-fire. It's a lame romantic sex comedy that overcooks its meagre ingredients to be a very underdone American Pie.

Reviewed on: 26 Sep 2007
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Good Luck Chuck packshot
A young man struggles to keep a girlfriend when every woman he sleeps with promptly falls in love with someone else.
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Director: Mark Helfrich

Writer: Josh Stolberg

Starring: Jessica Alba, Dane Cook, Dan Fogler, Lonny Ross

Year: 2007

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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American Pie
Employee Of The Month