Starring: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler
Director: Mark Helfrich
Running Time: 96 mins
Good Luck Chuck is an American film about a man who discovers that he is seen by other women as a good luck charm, as they always find their true love after they break up with him, however the superstition impacts his own romantic ambitions.
This could have been a really fun and fluffy romantic comedy, and although it is just that at moments, the majority of Good Luck Chuck is just a little too hard and vulgar to really make you smile and laugh. Despite a couple of nice performances from Dane Cook and Jessica Alba, and the odd good laugh here and there, the majority of this film just isn’t light enough to really enjoy well.
That’s not to say that I completely hated Good Luck Chuck, because there are parts of the movie that do work rather well. As I mentioned, Jessica Alba and Dane Cook are rather likable in the lead roles, and have good chemistry on screen, even if the screenplay lets things down a little with its less-than-stellar character development.
The problem is that, while Alba’s character is meant to be a clumsy but cute young woman, and Cook’s meant to be a suave ladies’ man, both of those characteristics are taken way too far by the screenplay, and to a completely unconvincing level at that, where we see both actors being forced to really play up some very basic elements of their character in a series of over-the-top sequences that are neither funny nor believable enough to grab your attention.
And just as the screenplay fails to make any interesting characters for you to follow, it also finds itself using humour and comedy that’s far too harsh and/or explicit for a story that’s a lot simpler and lighter. At the outset, Good Luck Chuck is a very simple romantic comedy, but that can be a recipe for some wonderfully fluffy humour and sweet romance – if done right.
However, the decision to run with humour that’s far too focused on excessively explicit genre tropes, very unlikable supporting characters and more is the film’s main downfall, as it really takes away from the potential of a much easier-going and more enjoyable watch that seems more appropriate to the film’s story.
In comparison to another Dane Cook rom-com, My Best Friend’s Girl, which really went all out with much harder comedy, Good Luck Chuck doesn’t have the grit in its characters or its story to warrant that same sense of humour, with its almost fantastical premise and cutesy main love interest immediately suggesting to you as a viewer that the movie is going to be a lot more light-hearted.
There are laughs here and there, and the best come from when the movie is either poking fun at its own ridiculousness – which it does do rather effectively at times, particularly with regard to Jessica Alba’s character having an obsessive interest in penguins, far too cute in this context to be at all realistic – but the majority of the movie just isn’t right when it comes to the humour.
Overall, I was a little disappointed by Good Luck Chuck. Generic rom-coms annoy me regularly, but here, I was frustrated not to see something a little more light-hearted and generic, as the formulaic story is badly offset by a frustrating decision to use much heavier-going and more explicit humour, to the point that it completely throws you off throughout, and that’s why I’m giving this movie a 6.6.