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Good Luck Chuck
cast: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, and Dan Fogler

director: Mark Helfrich

97 minutes (15) 2007
widescreen ratio 16:9
Lions Gate DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
Okay, let us get something straight right away, Good Luck Chuck is film awash with nude scenes, smutty innuendo and that 'boobs and penis' humour that is repeated so often you could be forgiven for thinking that Roy 'Chubby' Brown's parrot had found its way into the set of this typical American comedic offering. However, despite this there is a charm to Good Luck Chuck that is almost endearing. Perhaps it is the innocence of Jessica Alba (Dark Angel, Sin City, Fantastic Four, and The Eye remake) as Cam, or the nigh-on nihilistic sex-life of Chuck, or as he is strangely referred to in the film despite its moniker, Charlie. I suppose Good Luck Chuck does have a better ring to it than 'Good Luck Charlie'...

As I am sure you have probably surmised already, the plot is not too taxing. In simple terms, a young Goth has hexed Charlie - why? It is obvious; at a party for ten-year olds he wouldn't show her his penis! The hex means that Charlie can never find love, and any girl he has sex with will move from him to her life partner, soul mate and any other euphemism you care to use for Mr Right. However, as Charlie becomes aware of the impact of this hex he also meets Cam and becomes infatuated with her. Cue many lowbrow humour scenes as Charlie sets about testing the curse and avoiding sex with one of Hollywood's most glamorous women.

As a spectacle the film never really rises above chuckle-level and, at times, can feel like a soft-porn offering rather than a 15-rated comedy. This reaches its nadir when a montage of Charlie enjoying no strings attached sex shows no fewer than 15 boxes on screen with a variety of contortions being performed in the name of love-making. But for Charlie this becomes oh-so aburrido and unfulfilling.

Whilst there are a myriad of beauties on show, the film centres around Dane Cook (Mystery Men, Employee Of The Month) as Charlie, Dan Folger (Balls Of Fury, The Marconi Bros) as Charlie's best-friend Stu, and of course, Jessica Alba. In the press release for Good Luck Chuck, Alba compared Cook with luminaries such as Jim Carrey, Peter Sellers, Chevy Chase, and Steve Martin. That's high praise, indeed, but grossly misplaced, yet he is certainly capable, and plays the role well, as you would expect from an actor with a CV such as Cook's.

The love-in between Alba and Cook continues when Cook describes Alba as a 'genius'. In fairness, there is enough chemistry between these two, which is sufficient to carry Good Luck Chuck through the smut and make the fairytale believable. Fans of American Pie, Road Trip and the like will love this movie. It is mirthful without hilarity and carries enough charm to make it a feel-good offering. Alba and Cook put in sound performances, and Dan Folger as a Charlie's breast obsessed friend has the funniest lines and scenes in the film.

DVD extras: the release contains a ton of special features, so much so they are enough to earn an extra point in the film rating! Highlights include: deleted scenes, alternative scenes, gag reels and a director's commentary.

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