Chuck's a Lucky F...
Whether you like it or not there has been a trend in modern cinema for a while by trying to generate laughs with profanity. And it can work, a sex gag, a swearing gag, a crude gag can all be funny but only when you have connected with the characters first, warmed to them as a person as without this connection all you have is just a series of increasingly crude gags. That is sadly the issue with "Good Luck Chuck" because you don't really warm to the central characters of Charlie and Cam and so what we have is a movie all about the humour and in this case sex gags. And it is a shame as not only are there moments of cleverness and fun hidden within "Good Luck Chuck" but it has the potential to be more than just the sum of the sex jokes.
Dentist Dr. Charlie Logan (Dane Cook - Employee of the Month) doesn't have an issue with getting girlfriends he just has an issue with keeping them and it becomes worse when at an ex-girlfriend's wedding she announces that it is because she slept with Charlie that she then met her Mr. Right. All of a sudden Charlie becomes a legend with women queuing up to just have sex with him so that they can meet their Mr. Right and whilst Charlie feels like he is being exploited doesn't turn down the opportunity for plenty of shallow sex, well with a little encouragement from his sex craved friend Stu (Dan Fogler - Balls of Fury). But when Charlie falls for accident prone, penguin loving Cam (Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four) he panics that if they ever have sex she will then leave him for her Mr. Right.
"Good Luck Chuck" feels like a movie of two parts which whilst interweaving also feels separate. What I mean is after some back story to young Charlie being hexed when he was a teenager we get a first half which predominantly focuses on him having this strange gift that when a woman has sex with him they then meet the man they're going to marry. And then you have the second half where having exploited his gift for plenty of shallow sex with desperate women Charlie wants Cam to be his Miss Right but fears one ride of his love pole and she will then leave him. These do interlink, Charlie meets the accident prone Cam at the wedding where he first learns of his notoriety for being a lucky shag and throughout each part you get crossover scenes. But it is case that the first 45 minutes is about sex and the second is about Charlie fearing he could lose Cam.
Now to be honest "Good Luck Chuck" doesn't sound like a clever movie and to be honest it isn't that clever but has a few clever gags. It also has a lot of sex gags and I do mean a lot, in fact for those who like titillation will enjoy the montage of sex scenes as Charlie has shallow sex with a plethora of women who just want him for one thing. And many of these sex gags border on the crude and are surprisingly visual especially when you have Charlie's best friend Stu working as a plastic surgeon doing boob jobs.
But the trouble is that the characters are as shallow as the sex and so when it comes to Charlie falling for the accident prone, penguin loving Cam the romance of it is flat. You don't warm to them or get behind Charlie in trying to rid himself of the hex he has lived under and to be honest whilst quite sweet it is also a weak romance. If only the actual characters had been developed more so that we could warm to them then it wouldn't have felt such an issue but I get the feeling that the writers came up with the gag about Charlie being a lucky shag and then threw in the romantic storyline as an after thought.
What this means for the performances is that whilst Dane Cook as Charlie and Jessica Alba as Cam are both pleasant they are also both flat and never really deliver any real chemistry between them. Oh they have plenty of good fun with Alba doing a nice routine in being accident prone but that spark you expect never materialises. And then there is Dan Fogler as Stu who is basically there to be the annoying, immature best friend and that is what he delivers in a way which can be seen in numerous other comedies.
What this all boils down to is that "Good Luck Chuck" is fun and will titillate those who enjoy comedies which feature plenty of sex and crude gags but it lacks heart. And that is the problem because without the heart and the characters that we can warm to it ends up a series of sex gags with a lame romantic storyline thrown in to try and give it some meaning. If only the writers and director had tried a little harder to develop the characters "Good Luck Chuck" could have ended up so much more as it has the potential to be as clever and funny as say "The 40 Year Old Virgin".