Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star Jan 19, 2012 20:56:13 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Jan 19, 2012 20:56:13 GMT -5
Would you like to see a movie with this man as your protagonist?
I admire Swardson's defense for this film because I imagine it was an unbelievable challenge to market. Here we have a character, unseen anywhere else, played by a second rate actor who hasn't quite made a household name yet. To market an unknown character with antics like the ones present in this movie doesn't require patience, but devotion. To go through with a project of this magnitude means you must have a lot of faith in the material.
In Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, there is no faith, hope, wit, soul, or even a sign that this was taken to a remote extent of seriousness. All the actors seem to be laughing at their own joke shamelessly - nearly all of them equally unfunny and sad. Adam Sandler hit a landmark year in 2011. Not only did he work on four movies this whole year, he starred in two of them. Out of the four released, Just Go With It, Zookeeper, Bucky Larson, and Jack and Jill, three of them you can simply look at the film's poster and decide if you want to pay to see it. They're films that almost don't even care that they're bad.
I've seen four films where Nick Swardson plays one of the lead actors or a supporting actor. Three of them easily dismissible, and one that wouldn't be considered mediocre if he was carefully extracted from the film entirely. He simply is not funny. I think it's honestly the material that makes him unfunny. I've seen scattered clips of his standup and he is slightly funny. Maybe he works better when he writes his own lines. Yet, that can't be. This was co-written by Swardson himself, who I assume wrote most, if not, all of the dialog for his character. Maybe he works best with himself and himself only locked in a sound-proof room where he can be alone with his thoughts.
Adam Sandler and his Happy Madison Productions company have now just given me one of the least ambitious comedies I have ever seen. This movie doesn't even feel like it's trying to be funny. It seems to be a series of cheap shots taken at a character that was made for that one purpose. Why not make a character who has some likability? Nope. Go straight to the drawing board and come up with a desperately unfunny character with no shining qualities, give him a desperately unforgiving plot to work with where he can get himself into lame, uninspired situations, and to top him all off, make him the most gullible, pathetic title character in the last few decades of film.
The fact I'm using the phrase "least ambitious" for a comedy film reminds me of a group of films in the last years that have also stopped trying. Parody films. They have been drab, tiresome works of dreck, glazed with immaturity and held together by such a simple, lackluster plot it almost doesn't matter. It becomes a competition for how many pop culture references can we throw into one film.
The same thing sort of occurs in Bucky Larson. It's a competition to see how many unconvincing gags we can put this pathetically embarrassing protagonist in. The story centers around a misfit with an annoying overbite named Bucky Larson (Swardson). Upon discovering his parents are ex-porn star legends, he travels to Hollywood, hoping that since he is the son (hopefully) of two icons he can make a living as one as well.
Let me say there is nothing funny about a man-child who pulls down his pants in front of a camera, grunting, moaning, and screaming before ejaculating. Absolutely, positively nothing funny about that scenario. Yet the film does it three, if not four times within its ninety minute runtime. If it's not funny the first time, it definitely won't be the second, the third, or even the forth time around.
Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star didn't upset me as much as some would think. It actually was rather typical of Happy Madison. We've seen this goofy, oddball style before. But that is no excuse for a terrible movie. The jokes are terribly flat, the lead character we are expected to sympathize with is wretched in his presentation, the setups are typical, the writing is labored, and we are offered nothing new in the terms of layout or formula. It's a movie experience of deplorable, unforgivable quality.
Starring: Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Don Johnson, and Stephen Dorff. Directed by: Tom Brady.