Back Shelf Beauties
by Willie Waffle

Good Luck Chuck 

Normally, I start to get the dry heaves when I see Dane Cook on the big screen, but Good Luck Chuck makes him likable, even, dare I say it, kind of sweet and charming. 

Cook stars as Chuck – a dentist cursed years ago to a life full of missing out on love.  While he hasn’t quite realized yet, it turns out every woman who breaks up with Chuck ends up marrying the next guy she dates, which makes him quite popular with the lovelorn and matrimonially desperate everywhere.  Now, he has met the woman of his dreams, Cam (Jessica Alba), but worries the curse will drive her to another man.   

Will Chuck win Cam’s heart?  Can he stop forces more powerful than he can imagine?

Good Luck Chuck is a sweet, funny, romantic movie interrupted by periods of vile vulgarity.  Director Mark Helfrich and writer Josh Stolberg want Good Luck Chuck to be a comedy in the same spirit as the Judd Apatow classics like The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, but comes off more formulaic.  It’s like Helfrich and Stolberg are trying too hard to mix in the wild crazy antics and off color humor because they have to meet some sort of quota.  However, they also use some of the movie’s best writing to capture the pain and anguish some go through as they pine away for love, and give Cook a great speech in the movie’s climax. 

Meanwhile, Cook makes the most of Good Luck Chuck’s sweeter moments.  Surprisingly, he shows some charm and tenderness as a guy who starts to realize what he wants out of life, and excels when Chuck is full of confidence and exhibits a flirtatious manner.  While his performance suffers as Chuck supposedly is being driven crazy by his love for Cam and fear the curse will take her away, he’ll always be able to point to the first half of the movie as his Forrest Gump, Training Day or any other career defining acting performance by someone who will never appear in a Dane Cook movie.  Then, Alba starts off the movie overly cute and trying too hard to be the likable, goofy, klutzy babe, but finds her acting footing as Cam becomes more human and normal.  

Good Luck Chuck even has a 10-year old getting hit in the head with a Frisbee, so you know it will make you laugh. 

2 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)

Good Luck Chuck is rated R for sequences of strong sexual content including crude dialogue, nudity, language and some drug use.

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