Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Good Luck Chuck

Illustration for article titled Good Luck Chuck

In Good Luck Chuck, the magical path to marital bliss leads through Dane Cook, so ladies hoping to meet their true loves are advised to close their eyes, suppress their gag reflexes, and surrender their dignity—or perhaps purchase a ticket to a more palatable romantic fantasy. Proof that a million MySpace users can be wrong, Cook's meteoric rise in the stand-up world reveals a talent for self-promotion as well as a more dubious gift for ripping off other, edgier comedians and watering down their jokes for mass consumption. It was only a matter of time before Cook brought his bland quips to a romantic comedy, since the genre has devolved to the point where the dynamic between men and women is often like performer and audience; he riffs, she laughs, and in the end it's called love.

Spicing up the romance with a dash of frat-friendly sex comedy (i.e. tits-a-plenty), Good Luck Chuck offers two high-concept gimmicks for the price of one. Suffering under an adolescent hex which keeps him from finding love, Cook does prove useful to women as a springboard into better relationships; every girlfriend he's ever had winds up marrying the next man she meets. Not to be outdone in the being-cursed department, his new love interest Jessica Alba is known for her excessive clumsiness, whether she's inflicting embarrassment and injury or smacking her head on various unforgiving surfaces. Cook's fear of driving Alba away short-circuits their relationship, at least while he and his buddy—a horndog cosmetic surgeon played by Dan Fogler (a.k.a. Booger '07)—are off putting his curse to the test. This involves Cook and assorted Barbie dolls caught in flagrante in enough multi-screens montages to rival the original Thomas Crown Affair.


There's something unseemly about hordes of anonymous women throwing themselves at Cook—though not as unseemly as the rape comedy that would have resulted had the gender roles been reversed—but the offenses don't end there. In one disgusting, hateful sequence, Fogler prods Cook into sleeping with the nastiest creature this side of Eddie Murphy's Rasputia in Norbit, a morbidly obese woman with severe acne and gas who walks around with a garbage bag full of donut holes. There's an audience out there for this kind of thing—Cook is obviously a populist, and Norbit made bushels of money—but if this is what passes for funny, what in the world of comedy doesn't qualify? If Cook going down on a stuffed penguin makes you laugh, anything will do.

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