Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
18Jan/124

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star (2011)

Also out this week on DVD are The Ides of March (Danny's review),
Abduction (my review), and Courageous (Danny's review).

Been a long time since I had nightmare fuel this potent.

"None of those reviewers were psyched to see Bucky Larson and laugh.  They go in with the mentality 'fuck these guys for making another movie.'  They go in there to kind of headhunt.  It makes me laugh because it's just so embarrassing.  It makes them look like such morons."
-Nick Swardson-
"I don't know what a taint is, but I'm sure if I have one it's thanks to my mom."
-Bucky Larson, Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star-

Two stories.

First story, I was talking to a coworker earlier today about Joyful Noise earlier today.  She took her daughter to see it, had a fairly good time, and didn't spot all of the glaringly creepy subtext I spotted in the film.  It's not the kind of thing an average moviegoer spots, which is fine, but I started to second guess my opinion further when other reviewers took a soft spot to it.  This isn't to say they liked it, but it became clear that I went in with more expectations (set, admittedly, very low) and those were unfulfilled whereas other people who just wanted some disposable fun were entertained while those who were prepared for the worst left a little better off.

Second story, Takashi Miike (the incredibly productive and sporadically brilliant Japanese director) supposedly used his own semen for a shot early in the shock thriller Ichi the Killer when the substance drips off of a plant.  When I watched this for the first time it was on the big screen and I had to leave the theater because there I started to dry heave.  Some visuals, like people getting slashed in the neck, cause my body to start rejecting itself.

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, wittingly or no, took inspiration from the latter story.  This is to say I spent the vast majority of the film dry heaving and covering my face with my hands because I was so repulsed by what I was seeing onscreen.  There will be not the slightest hint of rethinking Bucky Larson a la Joyful Noise.  This is one of the worst films I have endured and easily the worst film I have seen since Danny and I started this site nearly two years ago.

Take it all in.

Nick Swardson threw that temper tantrum during an ill-advised interview about the making of and reception to Bucky Larson in Splitsider last year.  He might have been onto something if he made The Producers.  Instead he made a film which almost singlehandedly proves Danny's theory that Freddie Got Fingered is a dadaist masterpiece of anti-comedy.

This film is cruel right down to its core.  Swardson plays Bucky as the most condescending caricature of Midwest sensibilities and adopts a physical defect to make him seem more comically appealing like Adam Sandler did in The Waterboy.  Having spent extensive time in and around the more rural parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio I must conclude Swardson's performance owes a lot more to Deliverance than it does to October Sky.  At the least, it's almost as terrifying as raping hillbillies.

Bucky discovers his parents used to star in pornos in the 70's while he's sitting in a basement underneath a black-light preparing to masturbate with his friends.  This happens within the first five minutes of the film and is not even the low point of the movie.  This behavior is not rooted in reality, or a common fear of anything.  Maybe it's pointing toward the Lacanian take on The Oedipal Complex?  Of course not, my mind is simply struggling to make sense of any of his actions and I'm cycling through philosophers and writers in a fruitless attempt at forming some kind of defense mechanism against this film.

Nietzsche.  C.S. Lewis.  Bueller.  Whatever, nothing helps.

The 80 minutes which follow make my time with kidney stones a more agreeable fate.  Larson decides to follow in his parents' footsteps and become a porn star.  He attains a degree of celebrity because he has a micro-penis.  How small is it?  Small enough a standard straw fits comfortably around the appendage.  Then there's the matter of his ejaculation, which is used to drum up business around his films, but given the speed and force with which it comes out should actually be studied to develop more effective propulsion engines.

Ah, gay panic, just what this film needed.

As a society, let's agree to feel very embarrassed for everyone who appears in this movie and sad for Christina Ricci, whose character crafts the straw condom for Bucky.  Take that as evidence Happy Madison Productions can scarcely go to no further low than the way Ricci and the other women are treated in Bucky Larson.

On the surface it appears to be a slightly emasculating tale since it celebrates the small penis and eschews traditional manliness.  Then there's the not so unsubtle plot point about how viewing his pornos makes women instantly horny for their man because they realize it could be much worse.

Wow, Swardson.  Since you had a hand in writing this too let's not pretend like you aren't working out some deep seeded gender issues here.  In a film which already features roughly ten close-up shots of semen dripping from various objects, this is just disgusting ideology.  The idea that any women would be happier with the worst man just because someone out there has a small dick is bad enough, but then you had the guts to actually go out there and say people were prepared to hate your vicious, disturbing film about a total idiot because that's, apparently, what critics do.

There are no funny lines.  I spent about fifteen minutes of the movie dry-heaving uncomfortably.  It goes into despairing territory and treats women horribly.  The performances are all from people who look like they'd rather be caught in a scandal involving an actual porno and I can guarantee the plot would be better.  I feel bad for the editor, who had to make something coherent out of a film with a hateful plot and no visual style whatsoever outside of Larson's outside teeth growing into the end credits.  The easy joke is to say the end credits were my favorite part, the harder truth is that this movie is now in my brain until I die.

The public ignored this as it deserves to be forgotten and do not, lovers of bad film, take this as an endorsement to watch this for your own "Bad Movie Night".  Joyful Noise may be worthy fodder, but Bucky Larson is cancer.

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star (2011)
Directed by Tom Brady.
Screenplay by Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, and Nick Swardson.
Starring Nick Swardson and Christina Ricci.

Posted by Andrew

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. This is so terrible that Kevin Nealon was the only one that had me actually chuckle here! KEVIN NEALON! Good review Andrew.

    • Thanks Dan O. I wish I chuckled once and, heck, I’d be ok if it came from Nealon. I used to enjoy his presentation during his SNL days on Weekend Update, but I feel horrible that he used one one of his only non-purgatory Weeds outlets by going straight into hell here.

  2. Humorous review Andrew. Bucky Larson was terrible. Dear God.

    Thanks for the link back.


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