As you know my favorite type of picture is the Badass picture. But not all pictures can be Badass pictures, that is just a sad fact of life that sooner or later each and every one of us must face. So if I was gonna make a list of the other types of pictures I like, and in what order, somewhere on there would be the ol’ sad ‘n funny. The picture that is so sad it’s funny or at least it’s sad and at the same time a little funny but maybe a little more sad than funny, really.
Anyway this one Chuck and Buck is one of those pictures. What it’s about is this poor schmuck named Buck who is I believe 27 years old but he lives with his mom in a room full of toys and sucks on lollipops all day. Then one day his mom dies and at the funeral he sees, for the first time in years, his childhood best friend Chuck. He tries to hang out with the dude but it’s really uncomfortable because Chuck is grown up now and some kind of record industry bigshot living in LA but Buck is like some kind of retard and all he wants to do is have sleepovers and talk about the stupid shit that happened to them when they were like 8.
Now if that’s all it was, hell that wouldn’t be a movie. But wait. There’s more. Buck becomes obsessed with Chuck. But Chuck won’t return his phone calls. So he moves to LA and spies on Chuck at work and writes a play about their childhood and puts it on at the children’s theater across the street. Chuck tries to be cool about all this but what’s he supposed to do when his childhood buddy starts coming over all the time and putting the moves on him whenever his wife isn’t around. jesus.
What I like about this picture is that both of the actors play the characters just right. I guess neither of them have acted before, Buck was a writer for some tv show (and wrote the movie) and the other dude I guess produced american pie and wrote one of the fatty professor movies. You wouldn’t know it though. He plays his role very straight and he’s kind of a serious, low voiced guy who looks like he could be the dad of the guy on the tv show Roswell. But that would make him tom hanks so he must not be. Anyway he plays the part very realistically, not exaggerated for humor or nothing, so it makes it very easy to imagine yourself in the same uncomfortable situation.
the movie would sink if Buck didn’t work, though. But this dude cuts the mustard. At first I didn’t think I was gonna like the movie because his childlike tendencies are a little too exaggerated, the way he has children’s toys in his room and never stops sucking on the lollies. But as it goes on you get more used to him and his patheticness brings some of the laffs. He has no social skills. He drones in a whiny, effeminate type voice about all kinds of boring shit about his childhood but he doesn’t seem to realize nobody else is interested in it. To him a good party story is, “Yeah we were best friends, and my name was Buck and he went by Chuck instead of Charlie, so they called us Chuck and Buck. Ha ha ha.”
He’s a pathetic loser and a stalker but he has a sweetness and an innocence so you start to sort of care about the motherfucker especially as the childhood secrets start coming out and it gets a little more creepy and icky and what not.
There are two other characters who are really funny in the movie. One of them is the lady who agrees against her better judgment to direct Buck’s shitty play. The other is the moron who he chooses to star in the play just because he looks vaguely like chuck.
This is a pretty good movie, I really liked it even though it was so fucking depressing. But it ends a little upbeat in my opinion. Anyway I will definitely watch this one again if they ever decide to do it for real, on film.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.