Chuck and Buck
Described by one character as Ďa homoerotic misogynistic love storyí, this quirky movie takes you somewhere you donít expect.† Itís a real oddity, but an enjoyable one, in a disturbing kind of way.
I thought it was shaping up to be another Surrender Dorothy, but it goes along its own path, while covering similar ground with its focus on obsessive love.† Only without the cross-dressing and sadistic abuse.† Helped along by an upbeat soundtrack that keeps the atmosphere from getting too heavy.
Chuck & Buck are boyhood friends in their late 20s who havenít seen each other since they were 11 years old.† When Buckís mother dies he invites Chuck to the funeral.† Buck is a child-man who sucks lollipops and surrounds himself with toys & knick knacks from the past he canít let go.††
Chuck HAS moved on, to a successful career as a record producer in LA.† When Buck decides to take Chuck up on his offer to visit, Chuck is reluctant to rekindle their friendship.† But Buck just wonít take no for an answer.† He moves to LA where he stalks Chuck, now calling himself Charlie, with a fiancťe, Carlyn.
Buck is a weedy ginger geek with pale eyelashes and no chin.† Chuck is a hunky brunet with rather odd ears.† Buck soon begins to disrupt his perfect new life, with unsettling reminders of a past HEíD rather keep buried.† Like their games of sexual experimentation.†
Buck appears to be gay but this (again) isnít really a gay movie.† Itís about growing upÖor rather fear of change.† You donít know whether to like Buck, feel sorry for him, or be afraid of what he might do with his misplaced love.† Heís certainly easier to understand that the boy in O Fantasma.† Heís an innocent, stuck in a state of arrested development ever since Chuck moved away.† Although he comes on to Chuck, Buck is almost asexual.† Thereís a scene involving a boy Buck offers a candy called a blow pop that only emphasises how childlike Buck is.
Buck writes a play to attract Chuckís attention, to win back his lost love.† The actor he chooses to play Chuckís character is hopeless but he looks right so Buck picks him.† All of this plays out in a way that kept me guessing to the very end, like a twisted fairy tale with darkness lurking in the woods.†
The actor who plays Buck so effectively is also the writer, and what a good job he does on both counts.† Chuck isnít up to his standard, but not bad as these things go, and his aloofness suits the character.†
Though billed as romantic comedy, there's sadness as well as encroaching creepiness that make it hard to tie down. As Buck says, Chuck made him the way he is. Maybe this is the only way Buck can move on with HIS life and find the love he needs.†