Chuck & Buck - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chuck & Buck Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2009
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
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2011

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.
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
February 1, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ July 10, 2007
Sweet and deranged, but really nice at times.
Super Reviewer
½ August 25, 2006
Weird, funny and a nice twist. Not for the homophobic.
½ March 17, 2013
Being part of the early stages of digital film-making, the crappy presentation of Chuck & Buck almost adds to the creepiness of it. Every single thing about this movie is terrifying, though subtle. Mike White plays an extremely damaged character whose child-like emotions keep him from being social with many people. His performance is probably one of the creepiest I've ever seen. The film does a great job of practically tormenting you with obnoxious songs about fun, unsettling behavior from the lead, and a filming method that makes you feels as if you shouldn't be watching the film at all, like you're intruding.
½ February 3, 2012
So freaking weird and creepy. But you can't help but feel for Buck, as ridiculous as the stuff is that he does. It's an unusual premise for a stalker film, and the ultimate realization is unsettling. There's a lot at play here, and it's a daring piece of cinema that somehow ends up making you happy at the end -- happy without Hollywood sugar-coating anything, because the resolution is really, really nice. This is weird piece of filmmaking that is simple but incredibly effective and memorable.
August 24, 2011
I liked this. Awkward moments throughout, but it works. It's hard not to feel sad for the main character. As someone who is slowly adjusting to adulthood this was a good movie for me to watch. The main character here has far worse problems than I have been faced with so far in life, so in ways this movie gives me some inspiration. If this guy can adjust to life, then so can I.
½ September 11, 2007
Had this idea been pursued to its conclusion instead of the pat, wishfully ready-for-TV ending we're fed, the movie would be a standout.
½ January 11, 2009
Let's call this homophobic drivel what it is. Whoops, I just did that! Perpetuates the Freudian belief that homosexual desire is a species of childhood experimentation and adult psychological maladjustment. That said, the cinematography is awesome and the mood edgy. But these don't excuse what the story says about same-sex desire: that it only plagues those who refuse to 'grow up.' As usual, gay men are sidelined in a story that privileges heterosexual desire, love and ritual (dating and marriage).
½ January 3, 2009
A stomach-churning stalker story that goes places I did not expect when putting it in the Netflix queue. Mike White (also wrote the screenplay) plays Buck, reunited with a childhood friend Chuck after the death of his mother at the funeral. The viewer quickly learns that Buck has longed to have his relationship with Chuck reestablished for some time, and just as quickly starts to seek out Chuck much to his dismay. While the production values of the film are low (looks like a home movie at times) and the dialogue is not incredibly crisp, the story does move effectively and keeps the viewer wondering how it will unfold, especially as it grows more lurid as the end draws near. Surprisingly despite a very adult subtext, the movie also tries to keep the mood light with poppy, upbeat music that I found distracting at times. While I preferred Arteta's "The Good Girl" (also written by White), this is a formidable character study that will be enjoyed by those whom don't mind such a film, that has a heavy dose of shock value associated with it.
October 5, 2008
Presented as a comedy, it's not at all: it's often unsettling and extremely sad. It's a powerful little sucker-punch about grief, loss and how actions can have long-reaching consequences.
September 27, 2008
This movie is like roadkill. You know it's disgusting. You know it's very unpleasant to look at, but for some reason you keep looking. I actually liked this movie quite a bit. Mike White is disturbingly good as Buck. I liked how the whole thing played out.
June 13, 2007
So on the surface Buck might seem like a stalker but when you get deeper into it you realize he's just trying to make sense of the world he's in.
½ July 25, 2008
I didn't actually like this movie lol. I liked it for its strength and showcasing the pain of unrequited love. Its is one of the worse and most uncomfortable things to watch.
April 29, 2008
I've never actually taken the time to sit down with a pen and paper and try to figure out my top ten favorite performances in film, but Mike White as Buck would absolutely be somewhere in that ten. You don't know whether to laugh, cringe, cry, run in terror or give him a big hug. I'm always encouraged to see White's name in the credits of an upcoming movie as writer or director, but "Chuck and Buck" makes me wish he spent a little more time in front of the camera. The same can't be said for Weitz, who does what he can with a difficult part, but whose talents are clearly more suited for behind-the-scenes duties. He's not so bad that it takes away from the overall quality, however, and he does well enough in a key scene to make up for a lot of the patchier stuff. Ugly to look at, tough to watch, and somehow entirely lovable all the same. One of my favorites.
January 16, 2008
makes creepy, homosexual, neurotic stalking pretty funny.

pretty sincere and intense at a few moments.
January 16, 2008
They don't get much weirder or more uncomfortable than this. This movie centers around two characters who were childhood friends. They engaged in a homosexual relationship in junior high. Then Chuck moves away. Chuck tries to forget it and writes it off as experimentation. Buck never forgets it. Chuck becomes the center of his adult fantasies. Buck is the ultimate greasy, gross, weirdo stalker. The movie takes one unexpected and nauseating turn.
March 14, 2016
Striving to be the next Harold and Maude or Rushmore, Chuck and Buck never really moves out of second gear. Autistic orphan Buck decides to stalk his childhood pal Chuck. No-one loses their temper, no-one refers him to the mental health services. Instead he engineers the production of his own dreadful play. A missed opportunity really.
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