Thursday, September 27, 2007

‘Good Luck Chuck’ rhymes with s…..

Good Luck Chuck [R]
Grade: D-

Be a dentist.

As Steve Martin sang in “Little Shop of Horrors,” it’s the profession in which you can enjoy causing other people pain.

“Good Luck Chuck” has plenty of pain to go around, but definitely no enjoyment. The story of the cursed love life of dentist Dane Cook, “Chuck” is a trip to the tip of the drill, like a root canal with the Novocaine wearing off.

“Chuck” combines two of the worrying trends in today’s movies, the R-rated sex comedy and, somehow, that staple of early 21st century cinema – penguins. “Chuck” has not only a potty mouth, but an over-thrusting pelvis. And the tuxedoed critters enter the picture courtesy of Jessica Alba’s love interest, who puts on Sea World-type shows with her Antarctic visitors. You can almost hear the studio executives asking if there’s a way to get those little birds into the film.

If you’re unaware of the plot … well, I don’t believe you, given the way this movie has been pushed. But just in case … Cook has a curse placed on him – the women whose company he enjoys in the Biblical sense will all go on to marry the next man she meets, making him a female good luck charm. It improves his dating life, but leaves him unloved. Alba plays the clumsy, penguin-loving object of his desire.

Is the curse true, and can he resist the urge, in order to find true love?

Is it cute? No. Is it funny? Rarely. (Will it make money? Probably lots.) Cook manages some sympathy for his slightly smarmy character. Alba has more charm than I expected, but not much talent for comedy. But whatever level they can achieve is bolted down by a made-to-order script. And between this and “Balls of Fury,” Dan Fogler, playing a sex-crazed plastic surgeon, is becoming a bad luck charm for moviegoers.

So if you can find a movie theater outfitted in dental chairs, that would be the appropriate place to watch “Good Luck Chuck.” Just let us know if you can feel this.

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