In “Good Luck Chuck,” Dane Cook plays Dr. Charles Logan, a dentist cursed with the ability to make the women he dates fall in love with the very next guy they date. “Chuck” is Cook’s second go around as a leading actor, the first being 2006’s “Employee of the Month.” Unfortunately for Cook, this time he does not have Dax Shepard or A ndy Dick to help pick up the comedic slack. Jessica Alba, who plays a klutzy but charming penguin trainer, does a more then respectable job, but she’s the only one. Dan Folger, from “Balls of Fury,” shows up as Cook’s bad advice-giving best friend, Dr. Stu, and proceeds to deliver some very uncomfortable and unfunny moments. Fogler’s scenes are the low points of the movie. All of this comes together to leave “Good Luck Chuck” grasping for laughs with lame gross out jokes and a penguin costume.
The basic plot outline of “Good Luck Chuck” is interesting enough and seems like a good vehicle for stand-up veteran Cook to bring his over-the-top act to the big screen. His character is cursed as a boy by a jilted love interest so that every woman he dates will leave him for their true love, leaving him alone. As the years pass, the curse seems to be coming true as woman after woman leaves Chuck and ends up married to their true love. Before long, countless young women are lining up at his office in order to have him help them find their own true loves.
This is problematic for Chuck who is desperate to find someone special. His horn dog best friend Dr. Stu, however, views this as a blessing. He sees nothing wrong with using the curse as a means for one night stands. All of this drags on with very few funny bits sprinkled in to break up the monotony of gratuitous nudity.
The movie picks up as Chuck attempts to woo Cam, played by Alba. Cam’s brother calls her “Murphy’s Law,” as in anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Alba is no Steve Martin when it comes to physical comedy but she does it well enough. Her and Cook’s on-screen chemistry is not great, but it’s far better than Cook’s and Jessica Simpson’s (his female costar from “Employee of the Month”). She infuses the movie with some energy and gives first time director Mark Helfrich a chance to put some adorable shots of penguins in his movie.
Even the penguins, however, are not immune to the movie’s shortcomings as they fall prey to some immature poop jokes.
Helfrich has edited some successful and also diverse movies throughout his career, including Red Dragon and Scary Movie. He does not do a bad job directing here, but the script just is not there for him to work with. The movie’s highlight comes as Chuck battles between his love of Cam and the fear of losing her to his curse. This segment of the film truly highlights Cook’s comedic abilities and fans of his standup will get a kick out of seeing him perform his trademark flip outs onscreen.
Overall though, the script of “Good Luck Chuck” is just not that funny. It relies too heavily on cheap laughs and gross out jokes rather then trying to capture Cook’s stand up energy and convey that to the big screen. Alba ends up being one of the best parts of the film as her character is just so likable and her pratfalls are some of the movie’s funniest parts.
If you are a fan of Cook’s, Alba’s or penguins, then you may want to catch this one when it hits DVD shelves. But otherwise it’s a forgettable, cookie cutter “comedy.”
Colin McClinchey is a student at West Chester Unversity. He can be reached at CM646588@wcupa.edu.