Good Luck, Chuck (2007)

Rated: R
Grade: CFCD=F
Budget: $25 million
Box Office: $34 million US, $21 million int’l, DVD N/A

Directed by: Mark Helfrich, making his first movie, although he edited X-Men: The Last Stand, Red Dragon, Honey, Rush Hour, Showgirls, Predator, and Rambo 2.
Starring: Dane Cook, Dan Fogler, and Jessica Alba.

Because of his reluctance to fool around with a scary girl in junior high, Charlie gets hexed by her. This causes him to be never capable of loving anyone, although ever girl he sleeps with marries the next man she dates. Women line up to get the benefit of his curse, but then he meets a woman he’s terrified to lose, the danger-prone penguin-keeper Jessica Alba.

Entertainment Value: C
I should have known better with Dane Cook (Employee of the Month, Mr. 3000, Stuck on You, and Torque), but for whatever reason I always have high expectations from Jessica Alba. Maybe it goes back to loving Dark Angel so much. There are two problems here. One is that this movie is totally vulgar, more on that in a moment. The other is that it’s just not funny, or not funny enough. And I should have sensed all of this with the very opening scene around a basement game of spin-the-bottle with a teenage goth-girl undressing and coming on to a boy. Ick. That being said, it did have some funny moments and I think there’s enough interesting philosophy here to make it only a C.

Superficial Content: F
Drugs/Alcohol D, Sexuality J, Violence C, Language F, Illegality A.
The language is atrocious, particularly from Dan Fogler, and the characters use marijuana or talk about it regularly. The violence is one fistfight and a lot of comic accidents, including scalpels being thrown into someone’s back. But the real, and I mean real issue here is sexuality and nudity. It’s a J, and though we watched the unrated version on DVD, I honestly don’t know how this movie could have even been an R. Whole sequences involving shown sex and nudity would have to be removed to get it down from an NC-17 in my opinion. Aside from the core elements of the plot, Dan Fogler plays a plastic surgeon for women and molests himself several times. I hate to tell you, but I want to warn you, too.

Significant Content: C
Sex without love is meaningless and eventually unsatisfying. When you love something, you surround yourself with things that remind you of that person or value. When you find someone you really love, you become willing to do anything to keep them, even help them find happiness with someone else. It’s the flaws in another person that we really fall for. Sex outside of marriage is fine and has no real consequences. Plastic surgery for sexual attractiveness is normal.

Artistic/Thought Value: D
Any time the vulgar content interferes with the story, I’m bothered by it. To call this art is really a mistake. However, it does raise some very good questions about relationships. My favorite is the idea that Charlie is really doing women a service, if his curse is real. Making it possible to give many other people real love even at the possible expense of ever finding it for himself is interesting. Also, the overtone of the whole movie that sex ruins premarital relationships rather than helping them is nice to see.

Discussion Questions:
~Do you think it’s correct to say that we fall for someone’s flaws? Does this change after we get married?
~Would you forsake having true love for yourself if you knew that you could help give it to many other people in the transaction?
~What do you think the overall impact of this movie on a viewer’s sexual morality?
~What does this movie have to say about gender and attitudes toward marriage? If a real man had this “power,” do you think women would flock to him to receive the benefits? What if a woman had it? Would men seek her out in the same way? Are women (or men) these days truly frustrated about not being able to find a spouse? How might current sex ethics be responsible?
~Do you think hexes are real?
~What things does Charlie do that demonstrate his true love for Cam? When the willingness to wait until marriage for sex is removed, what ways to demonstrate true love are left?

Overall Grade: F
Not worth watching and certainly not for anyone under 18 to watch, although it has some interesting ideas if you’ve made the mistake of already having done so.

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