Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Not that there's anything wrong with that, Part II: "Chuck and Buck"

Simple coincidence that I ended up seeing another somewhat disturbing movie with homoerotic undertones so soon after "Strangers on a Train." Actually, this makes three if you count "Road House." And then there was "They Live" with that big alley fight clearly masking some forbidden desires. Tell you what ... let's move on.

"Chuck and Buck" had been on my list for a while, I guess since the various rave reviews from the indie circuit. I've seen the writer/star Mike White in a few things, most notably "School of Rock" and "The Good Girl," where he plays a holy-roller who delivers one of the best lines after Jennifer Anniston's character says she likes her nights to herself: "Well, maybe you'll have night after night of eternal hellfire all to yourself. Just kidding you. Drive safe. Bye-bye."

"Chuck and Buck" was the first movie to generate any buzz for White, and that's understandable. He plays Buck, a childlike twentysomething -- not childish, but childlike -- whose mother dies at the film's start. When Chuck, his best friend from childhood -- now a normal guy -- comes to funeral, Buck fixates on him to the point of moving to L.A. and stalking Chuck, who is engaged and has a thriving career in the music industry. As you can guess, hijinks ensue.

Actually, the movie is more disturbing than amusing, with White coming across perfectly as the stunted Buck. He's always sucking a lollipop, he makes a collage for Chuck, he scribbles a play about his life on a pad ... yeah, he's not getting a job or girlfriend anytime soon, especially since he considers Chuck more than a friend, if you get my drift. (And I think you do.)

As Chuck, Chris Weitz sort of looks like Tom Cruise, which is funny on a couple of levels. He's not as good as White but does a decent job trying to be polite while being creeped out. Weitz may be better known as one of the guys -- along with his brother, who also is in "Chuck and Buck" -- behind the "American Pie" movies, and he's probably a better director than actor.

But the bigger problem with this movie is the resolution, which can be tricky when it comes to stalker stories. Kill the stalker, and it's a cliche. Reform the stalker, and it's a copout. Let the stalker win, and it's a bummer. Don't worry, I won't ruin the ending here. Let's just say I was left even more disturbed and somewhat disappointed. OK, you really want to know what happens? Well, it turns out Buck was Keyser Soze!


Post a Comment

<< Home