Hollywood's prodigious contributions to the gross national product continue unabated in the third quarter with "Good Luck Chuck," a cornucopia of raunchy sex jokes posing as a romantic comedy.
It features the short-awaited return of stand-up comedian Dane Cook in the title role. As a pubescent kid, he got hexed by a Goth girl during spin-the-bottle. She cursed him with a fabulous sex life of one-night stands -- after which all the women he sleeps with will drop him instantly and go on to find TRUE love with their next partner.
Nowadays, as an adult dentist, he's an urban legend. Single women come to him in droves as the penultimate station on the love line. Next stop, the wedding chapel! Which is fine for Chuck -- mostly called Charlie in the film -- until his dream girl materializes.
- Starring: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler.
- Director: Mark Helfrich.
- Rating: R for strong sexual content, crude dialogue, nudity, language and some drug use.
- Web site: "Good Luck Chuck"
She's Cam (Jessica Alba), an accident-prone penguin handler at Aqua World. Accident-prone penguin handlers are even rarer than penguins. But never mind. He can't have sex with Calamity Cam until he breaks that curse.
Much like "Employee of the Month," Cook's previous outing, "Chuck's" surefire recipe consists of middlebrow slapstick, frat-house grosseries, recurring crotch hits and more breasts than the poultry department at Giant Eagle -- all kicked up several R-for-raunchy notches from the PG-13-rated "Employee." The foulest stuff is delegated to Chuck's repulsive pal Stu (Dan Fogler), a dirty-old-cosmetic surgeon, who lusts after anything female but usually ends up having sex at home with some variety of produce.
Grossest of the gross-outs involve two of the most appalling fat-lady scenes in captivity, with Chuck flailing around in colossal mounds of flesh.
Hey! This is state-of-the-art comedy ... for 1907.
It's all T&A, all the time -- Alba's T, Cook's A. The split-screen nude images of him copulating in multiple Kama Sutra positions are, I have to admit, funny. He's a kind of cross between Harrison Ford and "Seinfeld's" Kramer. But by and large, this popular funnyman of the HBO and late-night talk-show circuits doesn't convulse me.
Alba ("Fantastic Four" and "Sin City"), however, is a great improvement over her vapid predecessor Jessica (namely Simpson) in "Employee." Lonny Ross as her dope-smoking brother-assistant is the funniest thing in the film. I love penguins, but only a few of 'em here are real. The rest are computer-generated clones -- and not very convincing ones.
First-time director Mark Helfrich must take the rap for this flimsy farce. He's also a still photographer whose published books include "Naked Pictures of My Ex-Girlfriends." I bet each of them says more than a thousand words.
This picture, on the other hand, is decidedly dumb.
Post-Gazette film critic Barry Paris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . First Published September 20, 2007 10:15 PM