Good Luck Chuck (US - DVD R1)
Troy Anderson wonders what some people find funny about Dane Cook
Charlie Logan was cursed by a slutty Goth girl back in 1985. Twenty-two years later, Charlie is now a successful dentist who can't get anywhere with women past the first date or so. The kicker is that everyone he sleeps with will meet their true love after leaving Charlie. Charlie's plastic surgeon pal Stu wants to live vicariously through his friend, but Charlie doesn't want to have anything to do with this bit of bad luck. Especially, since he just met the beautiful Cam Wexler.
Cam is nutty over penguins and she wants a guy in her life that can maintain their frosty sense of monogamy. Charlie and Stu try to come up with a plan to break his curse, while Cam slowly starts to drift away from Charlie. Then, there's some sex and a few pratfalls. Eventually, we slam headlong into the typical romantic comedy finale and we're finished.
Good Luck Chuck brings nothing new to the table, but it's charming. When you look at the Dane Cook films that preceded this release, that's enough to make you readdress past problems with the MySpace Generation comedian. The unrated cut's five extra minutes are dedicated to increased nudity and more of the raw sexuality that's so key to the film's plot. Dane Cook finally cuts loose with this adult material and finds a way to break out of that teenage comedy album funk in which he's been trapped. If Cook's new film marks this much of an improvement, then consider me sold.
Good Luck Chuck comes to DVD with this unrated edition. Somewhere along the line, Lionsgate chose to open the transfer up from the theatrical flat showing to a home theatre friendly 1.78:1 HD remastered transfer. There's not a lot of information lost, as the periphery seems intact. In terms of the clarity, you don't lose any detail during the standard scenes. It's just that I noticed some haze towards the film's finale in Antarctica.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is pretty clean and clear. It's just that the film doesn't have an engrossing mix to draw you into a theatrical experience. That is unless you like having a surround sound approach to moaning and the pop song soundtrack. A Dolby 2.0 surround track is also included for those that don't want the 5.1 surround experience.
Dane Cook leads a funny commentary track that also feature's the film's director, producer and screenwriter. None of the other men seem to be able to get a word in when Cook starts talking. Maybe Dane Cook should've been given his own track. There are a couple of featurettes about the oddities included in the film. So, if you ever wanted to learn more about Polymastia, then this is your chance to be informed.
The greatest special feature would have to be the ‘Sex Matrix’. Towards the middle of the film, we're given a sex montage where Charlie bangs his way through about twenty different women. The gag reel and ad-libs are only funny for one viewing, but what I thought was neat were the deleted/alternate scenes. I'd recommend watching the alternate ending immediately after finishing the film to see what could've been. I'm not sure who got it changed, but maybe this first ending could've saved the film from into yet another predictable romantic comedy.
Good Luck Chuck isn't anything that you haven't seen before. The Farrelly Brothers were perfecting this kind of manly romantic comedy back when Dane Cook was working dive comedy clubs. The film succeeds because it manages to take a comedian that many people have written off and turn him into something not so horrible. I'm not going to make the early call and say that Cook has actually found something that works for him, but I will say that he works better in an unrated environment.
Dane Cook is actually starting to develop an identity on film. If you would've asked me if such a thing was possible after the one-two punch of Waiting... and Employee of the Month, I would've said that you were on drugs. By addressing the constraints of his material and giving him an excellent comedic partner in Dan Fogler, Dane Cook is starting to take the energy of his live shows to the big screen. Cook has an army of fans for a reason and I'm glad that I'm starting to catch a little of that enthusiasm with this surprising performance. There's still going to be some people out there that won't want to give the film a chance due to Cook's involvement. All I'm saying is to bite the bullet and give it a rental. A few bucks aren’t that much to take a shot on a changed man.
Review by Troy Anderson
This product has not been rated
Release Date: 15th January 2008
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Extras: Unrated Commentary, 4 Chucked-Up Featurettes, Sex Matrix, Gag Reel, Deleted and Alternate Scenes, Ad-Libs
Easter Egg: No
Director: Mark Helfrich
Cast: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba and Dan Fogler
Length: 101 minutes
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