Raunchy comedies are all the rage these days thanks to There’s Something About Mary, American Pie, and any project with Judd Apatow’s thumbprint smeared on it. And with any successful moneymaking formula, there’s bound to be copycats and wannabes craving a slice of the profits.
At some undefined point, “new and improved” successors degrade into juvenile “mine is bigger than yours” desperate stabs to top their predecessors. Writer Josh Stolberg and director Mark Helfrich’s unrated cut of Good Luck Chuck is so much bigger than its influences that it explodes into a parade of Dane Cook’s ass cheeks pressed against scores of half-naked women for no sound reason whatsoever.
The obvious assumption before screening a single second of Good Luck Chuck is the film’s stars, Cook and “famous because she defines hot” Jessica Alba, will act and look like they’ve appeared in every previous unforgettable role. This assumption would be right on the money. It’s not even worth mentioning their character’s names because they are, for all practical purposes aside from Alba’s character’s clumsy trait, playing themselves with different professions and dramatically different salaries.
What isn’t assumed, or expected, is the extraordinary amount of screen time given to the current fat funny man of the hour, Dan Fogler. Following the obnoxious comedy template he recently exploited in Balls of Fury, sidekick Fogler spews out one raunchy line after another until there’s nothing left but to masturbate into a grapefruit and roll around in bed with a three-breasted woman. If only we were all so lucky. His material is genuinely funny on occasion, and in many instances steals scenes from Cook; if you can tune your funny bone into a juvenile humor frequency.
What is hard to get past is why a sound adult premise about a man cursed to have any woman he has sex with marry the next man she meets was turned into a writer and director’s testing ground for trying to out gross each joke with the next. It’s like the cast of Jackass, with countless sex, fat and fart jokes, stormed the set of Sense and Sensibility while cameras were rolling. At least in Superbad, Knocked Up and other recent successful raunchy comedies, the humor works in unison with the plot. In Good Luck Chuck, the pair goes 12 semi-entertaining rounds with nothing but a split decision to show for it.
Lionsgate presents Good Luck Chuck in an AVC MPEG-4 encoded 1.85:1 1080p transfer as clean as Dane Cook’s over-embellished derriere. Armchair horn dogs will be delighted with the picture quality during Dane’s sex-capades, where every nook and cranny is easily visible. Of particular note is the wide spectrum of colors found throughout various diverse sets, and sharp detail up close and afar alike. Black levels never jumped out as problematic during any point in the feature, and edge enhancement wisely sits this one out.
Comedies aren’t expected to deliver sonic bombardments. But a good comedy surround sound mix will at least expand the soundstage and deliver crisp dialogue. Good Luck Chuck receives high marks in both categories which can be enjoyed via lossless PCM 7.1, or a nearly equally clean Dolby Digital 5.1 EX mix for non high-def audio adopters. After all, you wouldn’t want the scrumptious sound of masturbating into a grapefruit to be drowned out by the score.
Aside from superior audio and video, Blu-ray outperforms its DVD counterpart by presenting the full suite of mindless special features in 1080i video. Also exclusive to Blu-ray are savable Bookmarks, and Lionsgate’s proprietary Blu-Line scene selector slider tool.
Feature-Length Audio Commentary with Dane Cook, Director Mark Helfrich, Producer Mike Karz, and Writer Josh Stolberg — This foursome could have been cut to two and been just as entertaining. Dane and Mike hog the microphone from start to finish with a smattering of jokes and filmmaking trivia. Though they are specifically commenting on the unrated cut, their comments aren’t as raunchy as expected.
Seven Featurettes (29:23, HD) — What sticks out in this collection of short featurettes are the special effects secrets behind creating the three-breasted woman, and the inspiration for the film’s idea. It’s amazing to think a real man named Steve Glenn has actually had 5 of 7 relationships result in his ex’s getting engaged within 3 months of their breakup.
Sex Matrix (3:29, HD) — Next to the explanation of how they filmed a three-breasted woman to look so real, the other possible special feature became reality in this matrix. All guys will wonder what each of the 16 individual frames of the sex montage look like in full-screen, which is exactly what this nifty tool provides.
Adlibs (8:28, HD) — Forget deleted scenes; Dan Fogler has some great on-set adlibs worth checking out.
Deleted, Extended, Alternate Scenes (9:42, HD) — A total of 12 scenes comprise this trio of features, none of which are interesting enough to rush and check out.
Outtakes/Gag Reel (9:29, HD) — As with adlibs, these comedy nuggets are far more entertaining than the cut scenes.
Music Montages — A fairly useless conclusion of the special features offering clips set to music. A more relevant inclusion would have been the theatrical trailer.
Good Luck Chuck’s lack of creativity and excess lascivious behavior won’t go down in the annals of blockbuster comedies like American Pie. It will offer a few laugh-out-loud moments best enjoyed with an elevated blood alcohol level, or a natural ability to ingest a healthy serving of crude juvenile humor. Like apple pie, you’re guaranteed to never look at a grapefruit the same way again.
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- Score: 7.4