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Hey, Chuck, been there, done that ...

And that and that too. 'Good Luck Chuck' borrows heavily from the raunchy comedy genre. But does it work?

September 25, 2007|Geoff Boucher

"Good Luck Chuck" or is it "Déjà Vu Lou"?

The first thing we noticed about "Good Luck Chuck," which opened Friday, was that about 30 women took off their shirts in the film and none of them was named Jessica Alba. The second thing we noticed was that a lot of the scenes in the raunchy comedy starring Dane Cook and Alba felt oddly familiar. Is it all low-key homage or just a case of cut-and-paste scripting? You decide.

"Wedding Crashers" (2005)

In "Chuck," a pair of relationship-challenged buddies arrive at a wedding. One of them describes (lewdly) how easy it is to use the occasion to bed vulnerable women. Then he insists that his "wingman" needs to cheer up and support his quest for flesh. There's also a montage of topless women falling into the sack for one-night stands. Haven't we been down this aisle before?

"American Pie" (1999)

One of the main characters in "Chuck" is pleasuring himself with a carved-out and warmed-up fruit when a friend walks in and catches him in the middle of the especially awkward moment. A scene like that surely takes the cake -- or is it just leftover pie?

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, September 27, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
'Good Luck Chuck': An article in Tuesday's Calendar section about the movie "Good Luck Chuck" said the Farrelly brothers' movie "There's Something About Mary" was released in 1999. The film came out in 1998.

"13 Going On 30" (2004)

At the beginning of "Chuck," there's a flashback to a 1980s-era basement party where an awkward but perky youngster goes into a closet and, after some vague hocus-pocus, eventually ends up magically transformed. Valuable life lessons ensue. Maybe in some future movie a kid will come out of that same closet with an original idea.

"March of the Penguins" (2005) and "Happy Feet" (2006)

OK, who saw this coming? Alba's character in "Good Luck Chuck" communicates valuable relationship symbolism while lecturing schoolkids on the dedication of penguins to their mates and their eggs in the harsh winter of Antarctica. Yeah, well, that would be surprising and heartwarming, but Morgan Freeman and Mumble have covered this frozen ground already.

"There's Something

About Mary" (1999)

"Chuck" gives us a man pursuing the girl of his dreams, a smiley, sun-kissed blond who, oddly, is single, lonely and gorgeous. But the challenge is surviving all the injuries he suffers along the way, including an animal bite to his crotch. Hey, Ben Stiller still has the scar to prove he already did that same scene.

"Shallow Hal" (2001)

In "Chuck," a morbidly obese woman suddenly finds herself the object of attraction; key moments in her new dating life take place at poolside and over an awkward seafood dinner. Maybe this is supposed to be a deeper version of "Shallow Hal"? Also, "Hal" had a guy with a creepy vestigial tail -- "Chuck" has a woman with a creepy third breast. It's amazing how far we've advanced as a culture in six short years.

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