All that can be said is “good luck watching this one.”
On the bright side, “Good Luck Chuck,” directed by Mark Helfrich, contains 15 minutes worth of genuinely gut-busting material. Unfortunately, you will be stuck sitting miserably (with $10 less to your name) in your seat for the remaining 82 minutes. The problem isn’t even that the film is too raunchy and oversexed. It’s simply not all that funny.
Dane Cook plays Charlie, a handsome dentist with some serious relationship issues. Charlie believes his relationship pitfalls are the result of a hex a Goth girl placed upon him at the age of 10. With utter joy, women find that after sleeping with Charlie the next man they meet will be the man they marry. Needless to say, Charlie may be hungry for love, but he certainly isn’t sex-starved. At the advice of his incredibly crude and loud-mouthed friend Stu (Dan Fugler, best known for “School for Scoundrels”) Charlie takes advantage of his many female admirers and begins a promiscuous streak of cheap one-night stands. But in walks — well … stumbles — Cam, a penguin lover played with moderate charm by Jessica Alba, and Charlie’s promiscuous lifestyle soon becomes a problem.
The rest of the film is an awkward attempt to put a little romance and soul into a storyline destined to be full of dumbed-down sexual humor. The film shines its brightest when Alba is on screen, attempting to make something of her clumsy character who seems to energetically walk or bump into anything placed in her path. One of the few genuinely amusing scenes in the film centers around Cam locking herself out of her house. Needless to say, her first instinct when attempting to open her front door is to casually pick up a large rock and violently shatter a window. Cam then calmly reaches into the broken window and unlocks the front door. This and a few of Cam’s other bumbling blunders are the most engaging and laugh-out-loud scenes of the movie, and Alba entrance into the frame is always a breath of fresh air.
Such scenes are overshadowed, however, by others that are fueled by nothing but testosterone. Take, for instance, Cook’s sex montage, which is meant to not-so-subtly point out that yes, Charlie is experiencing a dizzying number of sexual encounters. Split screens and naked bodies take the viewer hostage for much longer than necessary. It might have been comical for the first 10 seconds but not for three minutes.
Cook does exactly what is to be expected given his role: He’s well-toned and exceptionally groomed but, other than looking fit onscreen, there really isn’t much to say about his performance. While Cook tries to come off young and cool, his acting is exceedingly stale, and he was born during the Nixon administration.
An even greater drawback to “Good Luck Chuck,” though, is the disdainful presence of Dan Fugler. You will be keenly aware of his existence throughout the film because he has the unfortunate ability to suck the comedic joy out of every scene he’s in. Fugler’s performance is downright cringe worthy and could easily turn off any member of the audience. When Stu reenacts the token “American Pie” gag with a grapefruit warmed in the oven, you’ll want to close your ears and turn your head away, but you certainly won’t want to laugh.
Ultimately “Good Luck Chuck” is a sex comedy without the comedy. Like Charlie’s need for a little more love and a little less meaningless sex, this film is in desperate need of a little less meaningless sex and a lot more wit.