Weekly Wire
NewCityNet Film Tip of the Week

JULY 24, 2000: 

Chuck & Buck

Miguel Arteta's "Chuck & Buck" (from a script by Mike White) is a shot-on-digital-video comedy that, based on its apparent subject, should be abhorrent, but in fact dances marvelously along the guard rails of bad taste, stalker fear and even the perverse need to possess another, arriving at something that is laugh-out-loud funny and even frighteningly sweet by the end. Arteta manages to avoid the pitfalls of his erratic first feature, "Star Maps." That seems partly because of the script by screenwriter Mike White, and partly because of his almost otherworldly performance as Buck, a 27-year-old emotionally stunted man who's been shielded from the world by his parents. When Buck's mother dies, and his old pal Chuck (a comically wooden yet genial Chris Weitz, also known as the director of "American Pie") comes to the funeral, Buck rekindles his obsession with their games at the age of 11. One angry journalist at Sundance dubbed it "a gay stalker comedy," but that's not quite right. "Chuck & Buck" is actually an eccentric take on how prehensile childhood sexual experiences shape our adult lives, and it's the kind of niche feature with fresh, strange material that one hopes the digital video revolution is all about. (Ok, I'm a fucking Pollyanna.) 85m.

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