Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 237: Chuck and Buck (2000) - Rank 3/5


I watched this for the sole reason that it is cited by the nefarious Steve Goldberg, during an interview within "Kill Beau," that this is one of his favorite films in recent years. After seeing the film, it adds a new level of creepiness to the guy. "Chuck and Buck" left me feeling uncomfortable, but not in the sense that a good horror film does. It was more akin to the sensation I'm left with after a new episode of "Tim and Eric: Awesome Show - Great Job!" It's that wormy, knotted feeling you get after viewing something that had the intention of conveying a sense of the awkward (but unlike "Tim and Eric," I don't recall laughing as much).

The story is a twisted examination of childhood friendship and, more appropriately, the peculiar nature that such friendships take on when revisited after years of abandonment. The youthful relationship between Chuck and Buck is revisited when Buck's mother dies and Chuck (now calling himself Charlie), along with his fiancee, arrives to console his friend. But Charlie soon finds Buck making advances towards him and flees Buck's home and returns to Los Angeles. But not one to be defeated, Buck follows Charlie and makes one attempt after the next to recharge the relationship that he and Charlie had as young adolescents.

To give credit where credit is due, Mike White is quite eerie as the obsessive Buck. His character never reaches a level of unsettling hysteria that Glenn Close does in "Fatal Attraction," nor does he possess a terrifying dark side behind his pleasant demeanor as Sergi Lopez in "With a Friend Like Harry..." but there's a distinct creepiness residing below the obvious obnoxiousness of the character. Thus, the fear that Charlie experiences is not that of a man who is afraid of being killed, or even physically harmed, but that of someone who does not want to be outed for his childhood experimentation (Buck seeing their relationship as something far more genuine). But even so, Charlie seems far more tolerant of Buck's attachment than most individuals would be (especially high-powered execs in Los Angeles). Furthermore, the film tries to maintain a fair amount of redemption for its characters in order to provide a somewhat happy relationship for all involved, but such an outcome seems unrealistic for the scenario provided.

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