Review: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Bottom line: A one-joke comedy that overcompensates with smutty, icky humor.
Cast: Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Don Johnson
'Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star'
The story of a budding porn actor undeterred by his, ahem, shortcomings, "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star" aims to be the grossest comedy of the year and may well succeed. Unfortunately, this inverse version of "Boogie Nights" is also icky and repellent in ways it probably did not intend.
Nick Swardson, a Comedy Central regular transitioning to the big screen (he also appeared in "30 Minutes or Less), plays Bucky, a low-IQ Iowan with Bugs Bunny teeth and a Mason Reese bowl-cut -- a man-child straight from the playbook of Adam Sandler, who co-wrote and co-produced. While watching a nudie flick at a friend's house, Bucky realizes that the writhing bodies are his parents (Miriam Flynn and Edward Herrmann), who apparently once specialized in aroma-fetish films (thankfully never explained). Thrilled by this discovery, Bucky decides to follow in their footsteps and heads to Hollywood.
Although Bucky's anatomy turns out to be lacking, the filmmakers can't stop there; they also give Bucky a carpet of body-hair and the lovemaking skills of a caged chimp. When a video of this repulsive creature begins burning up Internet bandwidth, porn director Miles Deep (Don Johnson, oddly endearing) realizes that Bucky makes inadequate guys feel like bedroom heroes. Soon, Bucky's growing fame threatens to unseat porn's reigning king (Stephen Dorff).
Aside from Johnson, the only other actor who escapes this mess with dignity is Christina Ricci, expertly balancing earnestness and silliness as Cathy McGee, a kindly waitress who falls for Bucky. Swardson's sweeter nature occasionally peeks out, but the film, ploddingly directed by Tom Brady (no relation to the far more graceful pro quarterback), is overly obsessed with smut, vulgarity and excretion. It opens with a joke about two goats and a grinning farmer, and only gets worse from there.