Chuck & Buck

Directed by Miguel Arteta
Starring: Mike White, Chris Weitz, Lupe Ontiveros, Beth Colt.
MPAA Rating: R for sexuality and language.

Review by Lauren Snyder <>
August 27, 2000

I like to see art house films. Any movie which has anything to do with Sundance or a European film festival has already got my attention. After all, Joe Q. Public can discuss Gladiator and The Patriot, but only a person "in the know" can talk about Dancer in the Dark and Time Regained.

I went to see this movie so I could shore up my cred with fellow artist types. Who knew I would be so quietly enraptured by it? It's a strange little film about Buck O'Brien, a 27-year-old man who still lives in a world of Blow-Pops, 80's style apparel, and a "close" friendship he had with Chuck 16 years ago.

When Buck's mother dies, he decides to contact his estranged friend Chuck, who dutifully goes to the funeral, bringing along his fiancee Carlyn. After seeing Chuck again, Buck decides to follow Chuck back to L.A. in order to recapture the "special times" they had together. And the story really begins to get creepy from there.

This movie was written by Mike White, who also plays Buck. Imagine Chris Elliott circa "Get a Life!" with more hair and a child-like psycho edge, and you've got the gist of this actor and his performance. Chris Weitz, reminiscent of a young Christopher Reeve, plays Chuck as deceptively straightforward. What pleased me most about the casting was the lack of pretty Hollywood types. It's so refreshing to see regular-looking people in films.

Chuck & Buck isn't for everyone. There are some who would be disturbed at the homoerotic overtones at play. It's a little slow at the beginning. The sound isn't great, and the cinematography isn't pretty. However, if you want to impress the girl or guy sitting next to you at your local coffee bar, see this film and be surprised at how good it really is.

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Chuck & Buck (2000)

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