Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011) Movie Review

Complaining about “Hot Chick” director Tom Brady’s 2011 comedic effort “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” is akin to eating a stinky chicken baguette from a backwoods flea market and then complaining when your backside is suddenly spraying bloody excrement all over the bathroom walls. Anyone who sits down with this by-the-numbers Happy Madison production shouldn’t have a single thing to gripe about. If you were stupid enough to think that “Bucky Larson” would be anything other than physically intolerable, then you deserve to be disappointed, upset, angry, or whatever misplaced emotion you experience after watching a bad movie.

Don’t get me wrong — this is one of the worst comedies I’ve ever seen. And if I wasn’t strangely attracted to painfully unfunny motion pictures, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near it. Everything about the movie is God-awful, and it pretty much starts from the very first frame. Thing is, I knew that’s what I was getting myself into. In fact, that’s precisely why I watched it, rubbernecking at the television screen like a Caucasian suburbanite at a fatal car accident. Let me put it another way: When I watch a Rob Schneider movie, am I furious when it’s not funny? Of course not! It’s a Rob Schneider movie. Expecting anything more from the guy is pure delusion.

Nick Swardson stars as Bucky Larson, a professional grocery bagger who discovers that his parents were porn stars while masturbating to one of their old films. Having recently been fired from his dead-end job, Bucky sees this revelation as a sign that he is destined for stardom. In pornography. With his parents blessing, Larson heads for Hollywood, though breaking into the scene isn’t as easy as he’d imagined. He soon befriends a wide-eyed waitress named Kathy (Christina Ricci), a woman who is battling her own unique set of demons. Taking pity on the buck-toothed weirdo, Kathy helps Bucky find a place to live, and a budding romance is born.

After a baffling series of events that begins with Bucky masturbating during a casting call for a mac-and-cheese commercial, our hero meets up with jaded porn director Miles Deep (Don Johnson). As a fan of Bucky’s famous parents, Miles is quick to put the uncomfortable young man in his latest production. Problem is, Bucky has an abnormally small penis, and is prone to extreme bouts of premature ejaculation. Not exactly porn material. Just when things are looking bleak, someone happens to upload a video of Larson’s shenanigans to the Internet. Within days, Bucky is a viral sensation, and a string of hit motion pictures are quickly produced.

That’s all you get. Writers Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, and Nick Swardson are operating on autopilot, which isn’t good considering they’re not that great when they’re on top of their game. There’s very little conflict in the movie, outside of a last-second relationship issue which is resolved almost as soon as it arises. Swardson does wring a few laughs out his one-note character, and there are a few fleeting moments when you actually want to see the guy become the star he think he’s destined to be. Unfortunately, the jokes are as weak as the characterization, and these nuggets of enjoyment don’t last long. As for the cast, well, let’s just say that we all like paychecks.

“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” is garbage. It has almost no redeeming qualities, and those hoping for a little cheap female nudity will be shockingly disappointed by the lack of boobage on-display. Then again, this is exactly what I had anticipated. Despite my tolerance for the “Police Academy” franchise and countless other questionable comedies, this one ranks as one of the worst I’ve stumbled upon, second only to the Tim Meadows misfire “The Ladies Man”. And while “Bucky Larson” didn’t make me want to murder the world, I do feel as though I’ve wasted a small portion of my life having watched the damned thing. That’s the best compliment I can give it.

Tom Brady (director) / Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, Nick Swardson (screenplay)
CAST: Nick Swardson … Bucky Larson
Christina Ricci … Kathy McGee
Don Johnson … Miles Deep
Stephen Dorff … Dick Shadow
Ido Mosseri … J. Day
Kevin Nealon … Gary



About Todd Rigney

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Todd was raised on a steady diet of Hollywood blockbusters, late-night Cinemax programming, and USA’s “Up All Night,” which may explain why his taste in movies is more than a little questionable. When he isn’t providing news and reviews for Beyond Hollywood, he can be found lounging lazily on his couch, perched in front of his television, or dwelling in places where direct sunlight can be easily avoided. He's happily married, in his 30's, and totally badass. If you'd like to reach Todd, you can follow him on Twitter or send him email/scoops to todd (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • http://twitter.com/BrentMMcKnight Brent McKnight

    Still not as bad as LADIES MAN? Impressive. Great review, Todd.

  • X_p

    i liked parts of the ladies man… only movie i have ever walked out of is Kung Pao cus that thing is atrocious! i imagine this one is as bad if not worse. i hate Sandler and friend productions mostly cus theyre not funny anymore and none of them are relevant in any sense cept being washed up. from chris rock to schneider to this guy.

  • DutchBastard

    What! Kung Pow is brilliant! I’m still waiting for the freaking sequel!