Nick Swardson as Bucky Larson in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star.
This is the worst Saturday Night Live sketch movie ever made that was never actually a Saturday Night Live sketch, it just feels like one. It ranks right up there with the Stuart Smalley and It's Pat movies, only even worse. It's co-written and produced by Adam Sandler and directed by the man who brought us The Hot Chick and The Comebacks.
The plot tells the story of Bucky Larson, a mentally retarded "young" man from Iowa who discovers that his parents were porn stars in the 1970s. He sees this as a sign of his destiny and immediately heads to Los Angeles to follow in their footsteps. One of his many problems is that he has a microscopic penis. It's so small that it can fit inside a drinking straw. However, when a clip of him appears online it becomes a hit because men aren't threatened by him and women see him and become grateful for the size of their men's penis because no matter how small it is, it's bigger than Bucky's. Bucky also meets Kathy (a slumming it Christina Ricci), a waitress, who becomes his girlfriend despite his lack of mental abilities, his page boy haircut, his enormous teeth and his tiny penis.
I can only assume this movie won't be a hit in Iowa since the residents of Bucky's hometown are all depicted as idiots. The opening scene shows a montage of his town including a man applying peanut butter to his genitals so that his goats will lick it off. There's a running "joke" throughout the movie about Bucky's Midwest accent. Earlier I described Bucky as retarded, but according to this movie that's just what people from Iowa are like.
Although the level of humor is stupid, insulting and ridiculous, in the interest of fairness I will say that I laughed a couple of times. Kevin Nealon plays Bucky's angry roommate in Los Angeles and is worth a few tiny chuckles. Bucky cumming on film for the first time is probably the funniest moment, but then they repeat the joke ad nauseam. At an hour and a half though, the three or four laughs don't justify the label comedy or even come close to making this movie watchable.
I don't believe anyone could play this part and make it worth watching, but Swarsdon brings nothing special to Bucky. He gets a co-writing credit. Or should that be co-writing blame? Here's one person who wasn't born to be a star.
Christina Ricci is superior to the material in the part of the girlfriend with the unfunny dream of becoming a great waitress. Just why she would be attracted to Bucky is best left unasked. He's nice to her when everyone else is mean, but why she would want to date him, let alone sleep with him, is never explained.
If you're considering seeing this movie, do yourself a favor and take the money you were going to spend on it and wipe your ass with it instead. It will have been put to a better use that way.
Nick Swarsdon, Tyler Spindel and Don Johnson in Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Nick Swarsdon once said that, “Comedy is so subjective, you know what I mean? To sit there and technically pick it apart is so stupid.” Some people think Bucky spitting through his teeth as he tries to whistle is funny while others do not? Some may think a leather dressed mannequin yelling, “Fart in my mouth.” is hilarious while others may find it disgusting. Well how subjective is this? Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star never even came close to making back its 10 million dollar budget in its theatrical release. On IMDB’s rating scale of 1-10, Bucky Larson is a 3. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 0 fresh score.
Penis and teeth size jokes are not enough to base an entire film plot on. The first problem being that Bucky does indeed act like he is mentally challenged. As Scott noted, the only reason given is that he is from Iowa. Apparently, Swarsdon has something against the good folk of that state. According to him, they have a horrible sense of humor, “If you want to be a comedian, go out. Do a week in Des Moines, Iowa. Try to make those people laugh.” I thought he said comedy was subjective?
There is a genuinely teeny, tiny, little seed of an idea here. This story may have worked had it been about two former porn stars that found religion, moved to the Midwest and raised a very sheltered, naive son who just happened to be hung like a mouse. Bucky should have been just out of high school and not middle aged. Swarsdon was 35 when this movie came out and looks like a real creeper. The scene where his friends tell him how to masturbate would have worked better with college age nerds instead of 30 something geeks.
Scott laughed when Bucky first came, while I found it gross. I smiled when Bucky dropped his pants for a porn scene and one film crew member exclaims, “That’s it?” while another says defensively, “It’s average.” The closest I actually came to laughing is when Bucky is at an autograph signing and a girl, with her boyfriend standing next to her, tells Bucky all about her boyfriend’s small penis. The looks on the boyfriend’s face are amusing. Those jokes work because each holds some level of truth. Something the rest of the film is sorely missing.
Photos © Copyright Columbia Pictures (2011)