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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 August 2013
Chuck and Buck doesn't seem to register much these days, just 13 years after it was released, but it is an outstanding film on a strange and not very popular theme. Following the death of his mother, Buck, aged 27, becomes obsessed with his childhood friend with whom he had some sexual experiences when they were 11, and starts to stalk him, relocating to Los Angeles where Chuck is a mover in the record industry with a beautiful fiancee (Carlyn) and swanky house. The film shows someone with a kind of arrested development, still very attached to toys, who pushes to the limit the tolerance of two very sympathetic young people. At the same time Buck writes a play and has it performed at a fringe theatre, directed by a very likeable Puerto-Rican woman called Beverly. It tells the story of this friendship, of course, and turns out to be quite terrible and badly acted, as we expect. However it does help Buck to get somewhere psychologically, and, as Chuck attends thanks to Carlyn's pushing him into it, serves to stir feelings about the past, and present insecurities. Up to this point much of it has been a comedy of embarrassment, making you feel it quite acutely as you sit watching it.

Things do come to a head with Chuck actually agreeing to spend a night with Buck, during which it becomes clear that this intimacy has left a mark on him after all, even though he has moved on in the normal way. Prior to this Buck had spoken to Carlyn in a way that lost our sympathy, where up to that point this feeling had been maintained by the excellent acting of Mike White (who also wrote the screenplay). This balance must have been very difficult to bring off, because there is something creepy about the character, and his blinkered vision is not without its offputting aspect. It needs to keep us on a knife-edge, and effectively does, so that we are genuinely moved when he cries on Beverly's shoulder having realised "there is no love left for me any more". It's a poignant moment, but there is an upswing at the couple's wedding, which we see amid shots of wedding cake sponge being cut in close-up. It remains true to its childlike surface right to the end, with a matching indie soundtrack. Indeed you feel director Miguel Arteta is a generous spirit, prepared to admit certain ambiguities in the situation in that all our past selves still have some claim over us, and that this weighs more with some people than others. The nature of our relation to our pubescent self is what the film explores, essentially with great kindness towards its unusual and possibly autistic central character.
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on 24 April 2010
Chuck and Buck grew up together as best friends until Chuck's family moved away when he was eleven. When Buck's mother unexpectedly dies Sixteen years later Buck writes to his childhood friend to invite him to his mother's funeral. Now a successful music executive Chuck returns to attend the funeral only to find after sixteen years apart Buck is emotionally and socially immature and has essentially remained an eleven year old child in a man's body. Embarrassed by the situation Chuck quickly returns back to his fiancé in Los Angeles and ignores any other attempts by Buck to contact him. Shattered by his rejection and his mother's death now making him financially independent, Buck moves to L.A desperate to rekindle their old friendship, which at first becomes a nuisance and soon descends into stalking and blackmail of a shared secret past.
If you're expecting a comedy then you will be hugely disappointed, this is a dark and often uncomfortable film which deals with adolescent homosexual experiences which is very much similar in tone to the work of Todd Solondz. But is you enjoyed films liked 'Happiness' and 'Palindromes' then 'Chuck and Buck' is a touching though uneasy experience.
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on 6 February 2014
An enjoyable low-fi film with excellent acting by the lead (Mike White who plays Buck in what I understand was his first feature film). Although Buck is without doubt a creepy character his sweet, childlike, and essentially innocent nature, ensures he garners the viewer's sympathy throughout most of the story (although you wouldn't want him baby sitting your kids!). Some funny moments ensue particularly leading up to the amateur play Buck puts on with his sympathetic and charming mother substitute Beverly, and there are lots of cringeworthy awkward situations, although thankfully the film never spills over into predictable violence or abuse (despite ample opportunity) and is sensitively handled throughout.

Like alot of these types of stories one does question what would you do if you were Chuck (and for me his reactions are very believable up until the final scenes where Chuck decides to resort to unexpected measures and the story loses some credibility; the attempted satisfactory ending also seemed a bit forced and hence a "Star" is docked). A mention too for some excellent music including tracks from The Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 May 2011
Creepy, complex story of upwardly mobile young yuppie stalked by his emotionally retarded best
friend from childhood.

Often very funny, but in an intentionally uneasy, uncomfortable way. It's full of unexpected turns
and details, and never opts for the easy or the simple.

Mike White is amazing as the infantile Buck. The other acting is good enough to do the story justice.

Filmed on low-end video, and not great looking, but this is a case where fascinating characters and
rich writing carry the day.
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This is one strange film and if you are an "indie" fan, you may like it. My point is that films should make you feel something and this one does more than that. Homosexuality is not the issue here. Child-like stalking and innocence beyond belief are the mainstay concerns. I did feel uncomfortable, empathic, uneasy, sorrowful, giddy and weird all over. This is a real-life movie and that's why people are so squirmish about it. The end will satisy anyone - creepy or normal to the hilt. It is a rare slice of life and sometimes we don't like being reminded that we have a mentally disabled relative.
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on 11 August 2015
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