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  Publicity Stills of "Good Luck Chuck"
(Courtesy from Columbia TriStar)

Genre: Comedy/Romance
Director: Mark Helfrich
Cast: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: R21
(Sexual Scenes and Nudity)
Official Website: http://www.goodluckchuckthemovie.com/

Opening Day: 13 December 2007


A guy who breaks up with his longtime lady is shocked to hear that she gets engaged to her next boyfriend. He finds himself repeating this pattern and realizes that hopeful single women seek him out to date so that they'll soon find Mr. Right.

Movie Review:

If any guy tells you they do not secretly wish to have uncanny abilities that Chuck the dentist (Dane Cook) has, he ought to be lying through his teeth. Or at least up until the part where he meets his dream girl. The "powers" here involve being the man whom women want to sleep with willingly in order to find true love, often the very next man that they date, and having your popularity spread because you're elevated to stud-status through good worth of mouth. Naturally there are some morality issues here about exploiting the condition for personal pleasure and gain, but as Chuck's good friend Stu (Dan Fogler) explains, sex is still sex, whether it comes with emotional attachment or not.

So it's a no brainer why this movie is rated R21, as Chuck heeds Stu's fine advice and puts his ability to good use - helping woman find true love - through endless rounds of sex in every conceivable position and location, bringing about gratuitous scenes of nudity so much so that it has to be squeezed into split panels and montages just to fit everything on screen. And add to that, having a foul mouthed friend whose mind is perpetually in the gutter, comes along dialogue full of sexual innuendos, no doubt assisted by Stu's occupation of being a breast augmenting specialist, giving them a "tit and teeth" reputation.

But before you roll your eyes at yet another teenage sex comedy with the teens now being grown adults, Good Luck Chuck actually contains a tender, somewhat formulaic romantic story about a man cursed into not being able to get physical (ok, you might not call that a curse if you subscribe to abstaining from sex before marriage) with his lady love, as doing so will lead her to somebody else. It's quite a simple boy meets girl story, spruced up by having lady love played by Jessica Alba, whose Cam is a walking Calamity Jane. I thought that while her scenes were more slapstick especially during her introduction when we get chummy, somehow I felt sorry for Alba that she still hasn't gotten a break with a meaningful role, and continues being stuck with throwaway characters such as this one, being susceptible to just about every knock and bump that this movie can inflict on her, just for a few cheap laughs.

And of course, no she doesn't get down to her birthday suit, so if you had held your breath for it, please start breathing. Between Chuck and Cam, as mentioned, the romance angle turns on the cliches into overdrive, that you have the usual games people play during courtship, and many overused lines and thoughts about love, such as the feeling of being smothered, the need for space, the possessiveness (this actually is tied in to the plot), and the number one of them all - if you love her you gotta set her free if she returns then you know she's yours blah blah blah. In some ways, these have become tried-and-tested "truths", that after what had gone on in the story, you'll on one hand agree and go with it, while on the other you'll realize that it becomes a preachy soapbox that sets the correct expectations just how the movie will turn out.

Good Luck Chuck is unapologetic about being incorrect, especially with its very promiscuous take on love and sex, and the very obvious Shallow Hal/Norbit style of pulling the rug from under fat people, painting them to be supremely unattractive, as the trailer suggested so obviously. Bear in mind that this movie is not for everyone, especially those who cannot stand stories being superficial, or find the aspects that it pokes fun at being absolute turn-offs. If I may be cliche and offer this advice, then please leave you brains at the door if you intend to enjoy the ride.

So can somebody put the same hex on me, pretty please?

Movie Rating:

(Good Luck Chuck is Good Time Chuck, if you subscribe to its brand of unapologetic comedy)

Review by Stefan Shih


. The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

. Balls of Fury (2007)

. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)

. Knocked Up (2007)

. 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

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