"Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star" is another dispiriting batch of comedy runoff from Adam Sandler's busy second- and third-banana factory at his Happy Madison shingle. This time the sputtering spotlight gets thrown on chipmunk-cheeked comedian Nick Swardson, last seen doing his signature naughty-cherub thing for Sandler in the romantic comedy "Just Go With It."
Here he's a weirdo rube from Iowa with a bowl cut, buckteeth and a dream of becoming a porn star in Hollywood. For Swardson and co-writers Sandler and Allen Covert, the scenario makes for an inept, lazy R-rated movie whose sole purpose is as a glossary of euphemisms for genitalia and sexual acts.
As is usually the case with Sandler-universe output, the (attempts at) humor stem from extremes of naiveté or hostility, sweetness or filth. So for every instance in which Edward Herrmann and Miriam Flynn give aw-shucks performances as Bucky's parents — '70s-era adult film icons whose stardom Bucky accidentally discovers and becomes inspired by — there are crass, loud and resolutely unfunny figures like Don Johnson's aging, bitter porn director, Stephen Dorff's angry, threatened porn star or Kevin Nealon's mean, petty roommate.
The central conceit, meanwhile, is a goof on "Boogie Nights," in that Bucky hits it big in spite of his micro-endowment, because he makes average Joes feel good about their own sex lives with size-obsessed wives and girlfriends. That's about as charitable as "Bucky Larson" gets toward women, incidentally, and that includes the notion that a friendly, attractive coffee shop waitress (Christina Ricci) would have anything to do in her off-hours with Swardson's abrasively awkward loon.