I’m not sure how many tedious sex jokes and humorless physical gags people can take before they run out of the theater screaming, but Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star certainly tests the limits. Out in theaters this weekend, Nick Swardson leads the pack in this crude comedy conceived and co-written by Adam Sandler about a sheltered but loveable guy who goes to Hollywood to become a porn star.
Bucky Larson does more to prove that Sandler has lost his powers to amuse than any of his other silly cinematic comedy losers over the last few years. It’s just not funny, and the humor is so low-brow and crude it will have audiences cringing en mass and running for the soap.
Swardson plays Bucky, a buck-toothed Midwesterner who bags groceries and has never had a girlfriend, let alone had an orgasm. When he gets fired from his job, and his friends try to cheer him up with a “nudie” film, he finds out his parents used to be famous porn stars when he watches a porno they starred in.
Instead of embarrassment, Bucky sees his parents’ history in adult films as a sign that he’s destined to become a famous porn star himself. So he goes out to Hollywood with a smile and a very small dick, and tries to break into the porn industry.
The movie was so bad, and the dialogue so painfully awkward, that even the most experienced comic actors crashed and burned under the monumental weight of its crapitude. Swardson pulls off the goofy innocent, and is perhaps the only comedian who could have given the circumstances.
His performance is in line with what we’ve seen from him before in comedy bit parts and on his TV sketch show Pretend Time. Swardson hasn’t been given many great roles, and though he has some natural comic timing (his stand-up is pretty funny), he certainly hasn’t evinced any actual acting talent thus far.
Stephen Dorff, Christina Ricci and Don Johnson play co-starring roles, and provide some of the better moments in this dismal attempt at comedy. Dorff plays Dick Shadow, porn star extraordinaire, with great oily bravado. Dorff is usually seen in dramas and indies, and this marks his first studio comedy. He plays this over-the-top porn star straight, so his character ends up being one of the funnier elements (but it’s all relative).
Johnson gets honorable mention here because he brought a lot of charisma to the has-been porn director Miles Deep, though the character was as redundant as any of the other characters.
I’m not sure what Ricci was doing in this movie, and her performance seemed forced and awkward. She played Bucky’s love interest, a girl with dreams of waitressing in a nice restaurant. Perhaps she was embarrassed at the role, or her participation in this pic. Even silly comedy regular Kevin Nealon came across clumsy as a crazy roomy with rage issues.
Director Tom Brady (The Hot Chicks) is no stranger to these kind of comedies, and his pedantic filming style and the low production values do nothing to enhance the making-a-movie-in-your-parent’s-garage look to the film. Bucky Larson is the type of film you expect to see boom mikes popping into frame or actors looking off screen for line prompts.
This is an example of Sandler at his worst, and by the looks of his recent and upcoming projects (hello Jack and Jill), there’s even worse to come. Comedies like this are an insult to audiences, with dirty adolescent jokes and sight gags abounding. Skip this pic and save yourself the money and self-loathing.