Movie review: ‘Chuck’ will need good luck to be a hit

Clara Long

‘Good Luck Chuck’ shocks with overly explicit sex scenes but doesn’t deliver with enough laughs. Raunchy and lewd, it’s best to avoid.

It’s a potentially promising premise. At 10 years old, an unfortunate round of spin-the-bottle puts Charlie in the closet with a spooky “goth” girl. When he refuses her advances, she hexes him to forever be on the sidelines of love, the guy women sleep with right before they find “the one.” By his mid-30s, women have figured this out. Charlie (Dane Cook) has never really fallen in love, but his dental practice is overrun with astonishingly attractive women lining up to go out with him. They’re all convinced that he’s a good luck charm: sleep with him and they’ll find love.

That’s all fine and good with Charlie until he meets Cam (Jessica Alba) -- a doe-eyed, accident-prone penguin specialist. All of sudden, the multitude of one-night stands don’t seem so exciting anymore.

By now you’ll know the basic plot -- boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, so it’s disappointing that “Good Luck Chuck” fails to deliver anything more than too few funny moments and too many cringe-inducing ones.

Crude doesn’t even begin to describe the movie’s portrayal of Charlie’s good luck trysts and the exploits of his sex-obsessed friend, Stu (Dan Fogler). Director Mark Helfrich leaves as little as possible to be imagined on this side of an R-rating as the audience suffers through a tutorial in sex positions no one wanted to know about. Fogler’s Stu, a breast-obsessed and sexually frustrated cosmetic surgeon with the maturity of a 12-year-old, introduces a seriously raunchy element into the mix. Unfortunately, you might end up pitying, rather than laughing along with, Fogler and Cook, and you’ll definitely never look at a grapefruit the same way.

Arlington’s native son, Dane Cook, does a reasonable job handling his bemused comic character until he starts dating Jessica Alba’s character and transforms abruptly from a charmer to an obsessed and unashamed freak job.

Fogler, on the other hand, is extremely spotty. Each instance of tolerable comedic timing is met by another line that falls flat.

In her first comedic role, the leading lady, Alba, stays out of the smut emanating from the Cook-Fogler interplay.

She’s sweet and, of course, beautiful, but don’t expect any chemistry between her character and Cook’s.

Nonetheless, the cast could have pulled the story through if the whole production hadn’t been in such incredibly bad taste. It reaches a low-point when Charlie thinks he needs to sleep with an obese, acne-prone shrew just to see if the curse is real. Next time we see him, he’s in the shower, scrubbing his private parts with dental disinfectant.

All in all, there are a few laughs to be had from this film, and the Jessica Alba-obsessed out there will surely flock to theaters to see the starlet. But while “Good Luck Chuck” might elicit a chuckle or two, it will definitely leave you with an icky feeling that you won’t be able to scrub off.

The Patriot Ledger

GOOD LUCK CHUCK

R for sequences of strong sexual content including crude dialogue, nudity, language and some drug use. Cast includes Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler, Lonny Ross. 2 stars.