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Chuck & Buck (2000)

tomatometer

84

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 5

Poignant, unsettling.

audience

65

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 4,136

My Rating

Movie Info

Following his critically acclaimed Star Maps, Miguel Arteta directs this perverse Odd Couple-esque comedy drama. Childhood best buddies Chuck and Buck are reunited after 18 years during the funeral of the latter's mother. Chuck (Chris Weitz who also produced American Pie (1999)) is a button-down movie executive with a gorgeous blond fiancée, Carlyn (Beth Colt). By contrast, the intervening years do not seem to have matured Buck (Mike White) in the slightest -- he still plays with children's

R,

Drama, Comedy

Mike White

Dec 19, 2000

Artisan - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (87) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (72) | Rotten (13) | DVD (8)

Skirts stalker cliches and grown-up-kid-in-a-man's-body caricatures.

February 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Do you like the clammy as opposed to the scary? Do you like dread rather than drama, anguish and emotional coagulation rather than screamfests?

February 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chuck & Buck might be the most perversely agreeable stalker picture ever made.

February 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

That Chuck & Buck holds attention despite -- or partly due to -- its murky, troubling central conceit can be credited to execution that's stealthy and low-key throughout.

February 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Possibly the most daring and honest drama about sexuality I've ever seen.

February 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Genuinely unsettling.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Creepy, funny, yet surprisingly affecting, Miguel Arteta's darkly comic drama pulls off a remarkable balancing act.

January 7, 2010 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Of all the films to premiere at Sundance 2000, there is one movie that best represented what indie film is supposed to be.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Chuck & Buck is a film which you can't quite get a fix on: it's a movie about child sex which is also as airy and sweetly likeable as anything you'll see this year.

December 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Thought-provoking jet-black comedy that may not be for all tastes, but is well-worth seeking out.

October 30, 2002 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

This is a thoughtful, difficult film. See it if you are ready to be challenged.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Here's an odd film: a heartfelt, sweet and funny little story about a coming of age better late than never, it's also the disturbing tale of a pathetic gay sociopath and the man he stalks.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

It's certain to make almost everyone in the audience squirm, either out of embarrassment for the characters or because the situation hits too close to home...

June 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

It was often painfully difficult to watch. It was never predictable, though, which is saying something.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

One of the most fiercely original films about adults coping with their pasts.

December 10, 2001 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

This is a troubling yet rewarding film that ultimately gives us a sense of hope by showing us resolution within the confines of normal behaviour.

July 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

This weirdly comic film strips off the gloss of youthful beauty to explore the darker side of childhood and ask what happens when the wilful, needy child within refuses to grow up.

April 17, 2001 Full Review Source: BBC
BBC

Audience Reviews for Chuck & Buck

Odd, unsettling comedy-drama about a man who continues to have an obsession over his childhood friend. Writer and star, Mike White, is unnerving as Buck, a childlike, lollipop-sucking, 27 year old stalker that you won't soon forget. At once, humorous, tender, scary and pathetic. The film masterfully juggles all of these tones and it's difficult to categorize. Unique and memorable
January 18, 2009
hobster1

Super Reviewer

7.9/10

Mike White's "Buck" character will someday rank amongst one of the most unforgettable cinematic stalkers. White wrote the film, which was directed by Miguel Arteta, and it shows that White knows what makes movie stalkers so creepy, endearing, and ominous; innocence. White plays the stalker of the film, a man who is unable to grow up. He's able to bring out different emotions from the audience, taking us on a roller-coaster ride that doesn't care much for slowing down.

"Chuck & Buck" is the kind of film that most of us don't necessarily love, but it leaves us in a good mood regardless. It's such a deeply unsettling, sometimes even disturbing drama that will divide audiences for its creepiness and its characters, who are all likable, or at least by the end of the film, they are. I enjoyed the story here. I also admired Arteta's direction. He seems to be the kind of director who would understand the humanity, drama, and humor contained within Mike White's screenplay, although I do believe that White deserves most of the credit for the mostly positive outcome of the film.

Buck (White) is a lonely, timid, and innocent man in his late 20's, coping with the recent loss of his dear mother. His father had left his life long ago, and Buck doesn't have anyone to turn to. He invites an old friend who he calls Chuck (Chris Weitz) to the funeral party, and to his surprise, Chuck attends. Unlike Buck, Chuck has grown up, he is successful, and he has met the love of his life. Buck is not accepting. Buck doesn't want the party to be their last time to see each-other again. So this is why he's overjoyed when Chuck offers him to visit him and his girlfriend sometime in Los Angeles. He takes them up on this offer.

Buck has a lot of money to spend, but he settles for a motel. Buck is like a child, unable to let go of childhood toys and objects, so he sets them down in the room and feels at home. He waits a while, and then goes to meet his buddy Chuck. Since Chuck is a busy man, Buck entertains himself by writing a play, which he intends on premiering at a local theater, managed by Beverly (Lupe Ontiveros), who takes an unexpected liking to him. The play is inspired by the events that lead to "Chuck" and Buck's relationship as friends, which began with a onetime summer camp. What happened at camp is heavily implied when the film is nearing its end, but I won't let the secret get out that easily.

Mike White is a very gifted writer. I sympathized for his creepy, sentimental Buck; who is an obsessive stalker of the Chuck character. The man wrote the story so that we could identify and care about Buck and only Buck. Thus, White's performance, as an actor, playing the character, is also quite wonderful. Weitz is somewhat unlikable when we're first introduced to his annoyance and nigh hatred for Buck, although this is the point. Lupe Ontiveros is also wonderful as the theater manager, who insists on being Buck's only friend. I appreciated the relationships between each character because among other things, they felt real.

"Chuck & Buck" is not a great film, but it is an undeniably good one. There are those who will love it and form a sort of cultish circle around its existence, and I can't really say that the film deserves any more or any less. There was a lot that I really liked about the movie, to the point where flaws are out of the question. I do not know why this well-written, well-directed effort is NOT perfect, because it resonates fairly well, and I was touched in the end. Perhaps it has something to do with my admiration for unforgettable shots, usage of a great soundtrack, and the like. "Chuck & Buck" is not an art film, and it does not necessarily try to be great movie, so as a film that wins as a piece of entertainment and as a piece of human insight, it's satisfying and definitely worth seeing.
June 19, 2011
Ryan M
Ryan Marshall

Super Reviewer

It works largely because the central conflict is so fascinating. One man refuses to let go of the past and the other refuses to confront it. It makes for a unique and oddly moving film, especially when the two title characters are forced to find a way to reconcile their opposing perceptions.
July 9, 2011
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

For a very gloom subject, the movie knows how to be funny when it needs to. Mike White's performance really makes this a stand-out as he expertly portrays his unsettling man-child character and really makes us wonder about how we sometimes cling too much to our past and how past actions can affect or disturb us, yet it also has a touch of hope and it ends up being a rather positive movie about growing up and changing. I was really only bothered by how it seemed there was no end in sight at first, but I was glad how they finished the story.
October 8, 2009
divinetrash
Quinto Wallight

Super Reviewer

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