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GOOD LUCK CHUCK

SYNOPSIS:
Charlie Logan (Dane Cook) is a successful dentist but hasn't found the right girl. He still seems to be suffering from a hex a demented Goth girl placed on him, aged 10, while playing spin the bottle. His plastic surgeon best friend Stu (Dan Fogler) is surrounded by beautiful buxom women, but Charlie's only claim to fame seems to be as a 'good luck charm'; if you sleep with him, you are guaranteed to meet 'Mr Right' soon after. One night stands are fun for a while, but Charlie is desperately lonely until he meets Cam (Jessica Alba), an accident-prone penguin environmentalist who works at the local Aqua World.

Review by Louise Keller:
The ultimate low point comes during the closing credits, when Dane Cook's Charlie performs bestial acts with a stuffed toy penguin. As if grapefruit used in the same way as American Pie's apple pie isn't bad enough. Frankly, most of Good Luck Chuck's 99 minutes is a string of low-points strung together in interminable succession. The film's one redeeming moment comes when Charlie's rotund, black receptionist Reba (Ellia English) lands on her boss's doorstep, wearing a red corset and edible panties, begging him to seduce her on the collapsed kitchen table. It's unexpectedly poignant as slapstick dissolves into an instant of close-to-sincerity and the result is surprisingly moving. But it is short-lived. This is a film filled with crass overkill, bad taste and attempted slapstick comedy that forgets to ground itself in reality.

Whatever was Jessica Alba thinking to take on this thankless role as a penguin-obsessed naturalist? She looks lovely and copes with slapstick admirably, but this will definitely not be a career highlight for her. Dan Fogler is occasionally amusing as the plastic surgeon whose life is surrounded by oversize breasted girls, and Lonny Ross is quirky as Cam's dope-smoking brother Joe, whose philosophical ideas come from the book pages he has used to roll up his joints. Dane Cook is a comedic talent and deserves better material. The scene in which he approaches and subsequently seduces an obese, acne covered, farting woman in a red bikini, is painful to watch.

The penguins in Aqua World, where Cam and Joe work are cute, and we do learn a couple of bits of trivia - like the male penguin offers his mate a pebble as a token of his interest. Other bits of information gleaned include Antarctica's temperature is minus 60 degrees and it costs US$17,012 for two first class tickets to get there. As for the rest of the film, with the penis-fixated Goth-girl, the girl with three breasts and the multi-split-screen with creatively positioned sex acts, it is a disappointing low act.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

GOOD LUCK CHUCK (MA)
(US, 2007)

CAST: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler, Ellia English, Sasha Pieterse, Lonny Ross, Chelan Simmons

PRODUCER: Mike Karz, Barry Katz, Brian Volk-Weiss, Russell Holander, Tracey E. Edmonds

DIRECTOR: Mark Helfrich

SCRIPT: Josh Stolberg (short story by Steve Glenn)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Anthony B. Richmond

EDITOR: Julia Wong

MUSIC: Aaron Zigman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mark S. Freeborn

RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 25, 2007







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