An obvious and lewd pun for a title are hardly the best ways of announcing a film to its prospective audience, the Austin Powers sequels have taught us that if nothing else. What Good luck Chuck also delivers is Jessica Alba, and yes its great to see her on the big screen, but make no mistake she is miscast badly here. We’re not talking Denise Richards in ‘The World is not Enough’ levels of ‘wrongness’ but this is no stroke of genius either.
Charlie (aka Chuck) is hexed as a youngster, and destined never to find true love. The ‘curse’ reveals itself in the form of all of Chuck’s conquests finding eternal happiness, once they finish with him. At first distraught then egged on to take advantage of the situation by his best friend Stu, Chuck provides himself as the ultimate dating service. Things only start to go awry when the beautiful Cam (Alba) stumbles into Chuck’s life making him realise he has to break the curse if he is to be with her for more than one night. The ‘mature’ rom-com was kicked back into life with the Farrelly Brothers ‘There’s something about Mary’. The film benefited from Cameron Diaz playing up to her image as the object of most men’s desires. Here however we are meant to accept Alba as a ditzy penguin keeper who struggles to find a man. Not only that but we are also led to believe that the charmless and sleazy Chuck is perfect for her, and the viewer is supposed to sympathise with his problems whilst he sleeps half the female population of North America. Yeah right.
Dane Cook maybe a good comedian, and we know he can act having recently seen him in the surprisingly good Kevin Costner vehicle ‘Mr Brooks’ but alas he is no leading man. Neither blessed with ‘traditional’ good looks, nor particularly funny with this material you can’t help wonder what someone else would have done with the character. To the films credit it does not shy away from its own set-up. It is graphic enough to shock even the most liberal viewer, and its not just the visuals that are pushing the envelope in places. The script is littered with racy language and its normally delivered by Dan Fogler playing a grotesque and OTT sidekick to Chuck. Nothing new, original or funny here which makes it on a par with most so-called comedies from Hollywood at the moment. In the plus column its unapologetic and delivers on at least the first half of its promise of being an ‘Adult Comedy’.