Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Luck Chuck (live action movie)

As a boy, Charlie Logan once attended a party at which one of the games was Spin the Bottle. When it was his turn, the bottle pointed at the scary Goth girl, who ended up cursing him so that every girl he ever sleeps with ends up marrying the guy she dates after him. He doesn't really think anything of this until years later, when the women around him start connecting the dots and realizing that all his ex-girlfriends have gotten happily married. Suddenly, all kinds of women are throwing themselves at him, wanting only to have sex with him so that they can find love afterwards. Unfortunately, Charlie's fallen for a klutzy young woman named Cam who knows his reputation and would prefer a monogamous guy. Charlie's willing to be that guy, but he becomes terrified at the thought his curse might cause Cam to end up with someone else after him. If he wants to keep the first woman he's ever really loved, he's going to have to figure out how to break his curse.

Somehow, it's possible for me to say that this is both a horribly raunchy movie and a very sweet movie. The raunchiness should be obvious. Charlie has sex a lot, and the filmmakers were very fond of having bare breasts on screen. Heck, Charlie's best friend is a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in breast implants - it's amazing that there are scenes in the movie that don't feature women's breasts.

And yet, in the end it's still a sweet movie. Charlie's best friend may be a disgusting sleazebag, but Charlie is a nice guy. His girlfriends get mad at him because he refuses to save "the l-word" (love) unless he really means it - not a happy thing to explain during sex. Charlie wasn't the one who spread the news about his curse. Charlie doesn't even want to take advantage of the apparent benefits of his curse (lots and lots of sex with no strings attached) at first - the main reason he does is because lots of unhappy women will be able to find love because of him (although I'm sure that the sex was an important factor in his decision too). A few of the women Charlie ends up sleeping with actually explain their reasons for wanting to take advantage of his curse, and those parts almost made me teary-eyed. I might not be able to imagine hopping into bed with a stranger on the off-chance I'd find love soon after, but I can feel for women who are desperate after years of feeling unattractive or years of dating jerks.

As nice as Charlie is, I can understand Cam's position, though. It'd be tough agreeing to date someone when you know that he's slept with a good percentage of the women in the city. One thing that's never brought up that I would have asked, if I were Cam, was whether Charlie had been tested for any STDs lately.

The penguin aspect of the movie was interesting, although I think the filmmakers took it a little too far. At one point in the movie, Cam explains to Charlie that she likes a certain kind of penguin because they're monogamous. When the male finds a female he likes, he searches far and wide for the perfect pebble to give her, and if she accepts it they're mates for life. The filmmakers carry this through to the very end of the movie, which was nice and sweet - I liked that. What I thought was a little over-the-top was Cam's obsession with penguins. It didn't really bother me during the actual movie. Yes, her bedroom was decked out with penguins, but so what? Then I made the mistake of watching the extra stuff during the ending credits. Boy, was that a mistake. I ended up fast-forwarding through almost all of it, so that I wouldn't end up quite so scarred by the sight of Cam and Charlie's stuffed penguin sex tape. Eww.

When I asked my sister for a romantic comedy for my birthday and she gave me this, I wondered what was wrong with her, but, overall, I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would. It's not the best romantic comedy ever, not by a long shot, but it has more heart than I expected.

Watch-alikes:
  • Employee of the Month (live action movie) - The hot new female employee at the Sam's Club-like store of this movie seems to have a thing of anyone who makes Employee of the Month, inspiring one of the slackers who works there to get his act together. Unfortunately, he's facing some stiff competition from an ambitious co-worker. Those who'd like another romantic comedy that uses crude humor might like this movie. In addition, Dane Cook (who played Charlie in Good Luck Chuck) plays the slacker.
  • Fifty First Dates (live action movie) - Henry Roth is a veterinarian in Hawaii who's afraid of commitment - he prefers to date vacationers, because there's little chance he'll ever see them again. However, when he meets Lucy, he finds himself wanting more. Unfortunately, Lucy suffers from short-term memory loss. If Henry wants a place in her life, he'll have to get her to fall in love with him again each and every day. To me, this movie feels like a less raunchy version of Good Luck Chuck. There's marine animals (I think Henry works at Sea World, but I'm not sure), a female lead who's a bit of a goof, and unexpected sweetness (when I think Adam Sandler I don't necessarily think "sweet").
  • Evolution (live action movie) - A meteor lands on Earth, bringing with it a rapidly evolving and eventually very dangerous organism. It's up to a fire-fighting cadet, a couple college professors, and a government scientist to defeat the aliens and save the planet. If you're interested in a funny movie that includes romance developing between a guy and a really klutzy girl, you might like this movie.

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