Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

Several talented actors, such as Christina Ricci, Don Johnson, and Stephen Dorff, are totally wasted in the silly, unfunny comedy, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.

Nick Swardson plays the title role, Bucky Larson, a small town grocery bagger, a loser, stuck in meaningless existence, going nowhere in life.  That is, until he shockingly discovers that his presumably rigid and conservative parents were once famous adult film stars.

Feeling that he has finally found his calling, and reason to believe in  a better, more lucrative  future, Bucky packs up his stuff and heads out to LA LA Land, hoping to follow in his parents’ footsteps–and even make it bigger.

For obvious reasons, the studio did not hold press screenings, realizing what a turkey they have in their hands.  Columbia is dumping this Happy Madison production (Adam Sandler company) into the marketplace September 9, in competition with Soderbergh’s bio-medical thriller “Contagion” and Gavin O’Connor’s sports melodrama “Warrior.”

Not surprisingly, “Bucky Larson” is written by comedian Adam Sandler (who ten years ago could have played the part himself), Allen Covert, and actor Nick Swardson.

A sampler of a high concept picture at its very worst, “Bucky Larson” revolves around a single idea:  A dreamer, a wannabe porn star, who is not equipped (to say the least) with what it takes. (Sort of the opposite idea that guides TV’s series, “Hung”).

Here is how the movie came into being, per star-co-writer Swardson: “We were on the set of another movie when Adam Sandler grabbed me and said, ‘Hey, I have an idea for a movie – a guy whose parents are porn stars.’”  And I can see, how this haphazard, schematically constrcuted text was written, or rather orchestrated.

As for the lead character, essentially, Bucky is a good-hearted, gentle and naïve kid—just anpther country bumpkin confused about his future.  The writers make the most of this simplistic idea, an innocent Midwestern in the Big City and in the midst of a sleazy and corrupt enterprise.  But all of the tale’s decent concepts are explored and depicted in the first reel, and from that point on, it’s all downhill.

The writers would like us to believe that they are telling a “new” story with a “fresh” angle.  But what unfolds on screen is such a tired and tiresome formula—yet another version of a fish-out-of-water comedy about a guy trying to find his real identity and home.

If “Becky Larson” were made in the 1960s or 1970s, we could have had a few chuckles, but to produce in 2011 such a silly comedy, which has nothing interesting or funny to say about the much-exploited porn industry, is truly embarrassing, smacking of sheer commercialism.