Some films have great ideas but unfortunately just miss a certain spark. That spark can be anything, the script, the characters, parts of the story, the dialogue, the special effects. Sometimes a film is really good, bordering on brilliant but is just let down by one element which doesn’t fit with everything else. Good Luck Chuck suffers from this problem. The spark its missing is that it didn’t really cast the right actors.
I’m not saying that the actors are terrible. Dane Cook does a decent enough job, as does Dan Fogler as his best friend but I was watching the film, constantly thinking that there were better actors to fill these spaces. Dane Cook just doesn’t seem to have that natural spark and likability that this kind of role needed. He never really gets you on his side so the awful or funny moments he goes through don’t make enough of an impact. This kind of role has been done well before by more natural actors like Ryan Reynolds or Ashton Kutcher. Dane Cook left me thinking, “he’s good, but this has been done better.”
The same with Dan Fogler. We’ve seen his role of “chubby,” creepy and slightly gross friend or more specifically, comic relief, done really well in the past, more specifically from people like Jack Black, Jonah Hill or even Zach Galifianakis. Dan Fogler is good but, like Dane Cook, just not likable enough. You just don’t really care about either of the main characters and this kind of film needs some sort of investment from the audience for the jokes to work.
It would have also helped if they had gone a bit further with the main story. The idea that girls want to have sex with Dane Cook because they will fall in love with the next man they meet is great and has some great mileage in it but it feels like they sort of skip over this. Rather than have a film of two halves, one half with Cook taking advantage, playing up some of his more awful experiences as he sleeps with more and more woman, they seem to cover this aspect in a very quick, five or ten minute montage.
Instead, they focus more on what I would have left for the second half of the film. The idea that Dane Cook meets the beautiful Jessica Alba and then can’t have sex with her for fear of her falling in love with someone else is also ripe for comedy, especially when she starts throwing her gorgeous self at him. Again, this seems quickly put to one side and not developed enough. Good Luck Chuck seemed too concerned with key, funny moments rather than developing a constantly funny story throughout.
This isn’t to say its an awful film. It perfectly watchable but nowhere near as hilarious as the concept could have been. Everyone does a decent job and the film moves at a suitable pace for the story and there are some great moments, both really funny and really gross-out but this just made me feel that there were missed opportunities here and this film could have been funnier and could have played up the gross-out aspect of the comedy further.
Overall, all the right ingredients are here for a great film but instead we get something that’s more good to average. It’s worth a watch but Dane Cook just isn’t as natural in the handsome, charming but likable bloke role that Ryan Reynolds does so much better. With different actors and different focus in certain parts of the story, this film could have been so much better.
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)