Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star Directed by: Tom Brady Cast: Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Don Johnson, Kevin Nealon Running Time: 1 hr 36 mins Rating: R Release Date: September 9, 2011
PLOT: A clueless buck-toothed young man from Iowa (Swardson) ventures to California in hopes of being a porn star, just like his parents.
WHO'S IT FOR?: The humor of Bucky Larson might be best enjoyed by those who have little understanding of such sexual concepts like masturbation or even intercourse. This movie is made for giggly 13-year-olds who ironically shouldn't be allowed to see this movie (especially for its hard R-rating). It's a movie that will lose a great chunk of ticket sales because its main demographic has to sneak in by supporting Contagion.
EXPECTATIONS: There isn't much to expect from a movie when it isn't screened for critics, other than an anticipation of foul humor and bad jokes. Was this going to be like a witless version of the Matt Stone/Trey Parker cult comedy Orgazmo? Or possibly like the "lorno" scene in The Change-Up?
Nick Swardson as Bucky Larson: As failed as his first leading movie might be, Swardson shows (along with his buried work in Just Go With It) that he has character-actor potential. And as completely unbelievably alien Bucky might be to nearly everything in the world, he's at least a relatively fleshed out character. He's not just an imitation of a dumb boy from Iowa, and his thick accent isn't just a crutch. In a movie that piles on the groan-causing gags and forgettable moments, Swardson makes Bucky into a relatively memorable being. For better or for worse. Score: 5
Christina Ricci as Kathy McGee: We're not really sure why she's here, other than the fact that Bucky needs a love interest in order for this movie to properly write itself. It's nice seeing Ricci back on the big-screen (and not in something horrendous like After.Life), but she's wasted here as someone who never gets her own jokes. She's just someone submitting to this movie's stupidity. Score: 3
Don Johnson as Miles Deep: He might have had a small appearance in last weekend's A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, but Johnson has a larger part here as the veteran porn director who helps get Bucky's career off the ground. Unfortunately, it's just him dropping F-bombs thinking that if he repeats it enough it will make us laugh. Instead, his crassness is unsurprising, besides the fact that this is all coming from that guy from Miami Vice. Score: 3
Kevin Nealon as Gary: The most surprising aspect of the entirety of Bucky Larson comes from Nealon, who only has a handful of scenes but is strangely hilarious in each one. Nealon's performance has a perfect balance of rage, insecurity, and vulgarity to make it worthy of a laugh anytime he just shouts "F**K YOU!" to Bucky. Score: 7
TALKING: Nearly every side character in Bucky Larson is given a long monologue in which they express some dramatic moment in their life, but hardly make the audience laugh. Whenever the movie can't think of anything funny to say or do, it just resorts to making fun of Bucky's buck teeth. Appeasing the juvenile standards that it sets for itself, the movie has a vulgar vernacular of terms and phrases that wouldn't be remotely funny outside something as stupid as this movie, like "smell-garden" or "Shut your c**k!" Score: 3
SIGHTS: The nudity of this movie consists mostly of Bucky's backside, and thankfully not his "front" (which is meant to be comically small). Young boys hoping to see "lady parts" will probably feel ripped off by the movie's unbalanced nudity. Score: 3
SOUNDS: The Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star soundtrack uses familiar songs that have all been heard elsewhere, especially from other sh*tty Adam Sandler comedies. Of course Journey's "Faithfully" is used, along with "California Love" by 2Pac. Bucky Larson tries hard to get a laugh with a brief sequence that features Hanson's "MMMBop." Score: 4
BEST SCENE: My biggest laugh in Bucky Larson came from the extremely silent response that a joke concerning Bucky's high school - "Oh, my town didn't have a high school." Not even the folks who were there ironically could find anything funny in this line, along with many others.
ENDING: Guess what? The last joke involves his teeth.
QUESTIONS: Why did Bucky never call his parents when he got to L.A.? Why is Kathy so randomly respectful of Bucky's porn career? Why would we just assume she was a virgin? Who thought this movie was funny? Does Adam Sandler have some monopoly on the sense of humor of every 13-year-old boy? Will no one stop him? Is Jack and Jill going to be even more painful?
REWATCHABILITY: There's nothing here that warrants a second viewing, possibly ever. Once you've heard enough jokes about buck teeth, you should be all set. For the rest of your life.
Ignorance is the greatest weapon that a movie like Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star has. Even the title might be able to wrangle in some saps who think it's about a wannabe actor or musical performer. It relies on the ignorance of its (young) viewers to think that such silly situations like straw condoms are laughable, as opposed to terminally stupid. It relies on the ignorance of its character to construct the entirety of its humor.
One can imagine now 45-year-old Adam Sandler, Swardson, and their co-writer Allen Covert hunkering over their script and giggling to themselves constantly saying to themselves, "Get it?! It's funny that he wants to be a porn star because he has no notion of his sexuality at all! Wait, I think this scene needs more monkey sex sounds."
It's a movie that giggles all the way through its dumb story and rotten sense of humor, but no one else is laughing. The script's blitzkrieg of bombed jokes, met with dead silence from the audience, make for its biggest laughs.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10