Is ‘Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star’ The Worst Movie Ever?
Bruce Fretts: Bret Watson picked the right week to take a vacation: He didn’t have to suffer through the Adam Sandler-produced atrocity Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. So I forcibly enlisted our pal Matthew Aaron—host of the hilarious podcast The Matthew Aaron Show and like Nick Swardson’s titular porn star, a Midwesterner—to take one for the Two Cranky Guys team. The question is, Matthew: Is this the worst movie of the year—or the worst movie of all time?
Matthew Aaron: I think it may be the worst film I’ve ever seen. Ever. I laughed once during the entire movie.
Bruce: Which was one time more than I did. Even the movie’s premise isn’t funny: Swardson stars as an Iowa nerd who discovers his parents were porn stars in the ’70s and heads to Hollywood to follow his destiny. And he succeeds despite—or actually, because of—the fact that he’s hung like Bret Watson (or so I’ve heard). Sorry, Bret, but it serves you right for leaving town!
Matthew: I saw it with my friend Steve, and we sat near the emergency exits in case we needed to leave. I told Steve, “All right, I may give you a signal during this flick, and we may be outta here.” And he kept telling me, “Give me the signal! Give me the signal!” I said, “We came for it. Let’s sit through it. Maybe there’s a Sandler cameo.”
Bruce: Was there one? I saw something online about him having a cameo, but I nodded off during the endless Adult Film Awards sequence in Vegas and thought maybe I missed it.
Matthew: No, but Pauly Shore does show up in that scene. And by the way, when this is Pauly Shore’s worst film, what does that mean?
Bruce: I woke up to see Pauly’s face and thought I was having a nightmare. I guess if Pauly Shore could be a movie star, so can Nick Swardson. I was barely aware of him before this movie, aside from his role as the fat, horny id-iot—a stock character Bret and I have been moaning about for the past year—in Just Go With It.
Matthew: I actually liked Just Go With It—that’s how much I love Adam Sandler, because nobody liked that movie!—and I saw Swardson in Grandma’s Boy, which if you haven’t seen, you’d walk out of that.
Bruce: I didn’t see it, but it seems like the prototype for this movie, because it starred another of Adam’s little-known buddies, Allen Covert, who cowrote Bucky with Adam and Swardson.
Matthew: Allen Covert looks like Paul Newman compared to Nick Swardson. I turned to Steve and said, “I’d rather watch Allen Covert act in this.” I didn’t know Adam cowrote it until the end credits. I turned to Steve and said, “This is my hero! Bruce set me up to shit all over him.”
Bruce: When you move to L.A., all you’ve gotta do is make friends with Adam, because every one of his pals gets to make movies—Rob Schneider and David Spade owe him their careers. Everyone wants to be in business with Sandler, because his star vehicles make $100 million guaranteed, no matter how bad they are.
Matthew: I don’t know about that. Have you seen the trailer for Jack and Jill?
Bruce: That may test the theory. Sandler creates these one-note characters, but some of them, like The Waterboy, are funny. I couldn’t figure out what was supposed to be funny about Bucky, aside from his buck teeth and bowl haircut.
Matthew: I think that’s the joke, along with the pubes and the small penis.
Bruce: Which we’ve already seen ad nauseam from Ken Jeong in the Hangover movies.
Matthew: What bothers me is Sandler has all this power, and this is the movie he chooses to make? Coming from a guy who can’t get a job in Hollywood like me, it was painful to watch.
Bruce: I thought you might identify the character’s journey from the Midwest to L.A. seeking stardom…
Matthew: People in Iowa must love this film. It was really insulting. I’m used to it, because everyone I talk to in Hollywood thinks Chicago is surrounded by farms.
Bruce: And what’s Christina Ricci doing in this movie as a love interest for Swardson? No wonder she’s doing a TV series like Pan Am if these are the best film roles she can get.
Matthew: She’s a good actress, and it bothers me to see her doing films like this. I’m also a huge Don Johnson fan, and I figured that thing they wrote in the script about him owing money to the Vietnamese Mafia had to be his real life, because why else would he do this movie?
Bruce: I love Don Johnson, too, but I can’t figure out what he’s doing with his career. He’s also got a cameo in A Good Old Fashioned Orgy and a role on Danny McBride’s awful HBO series Eastbound and Down. He’s trying to reinvent himself as an alt-comedy father figure, but he’s picking all the wrong projects.
Matthew: I thought maybe you identified with his character, Miles Deep, because of his pill-popping and all the ex-wives.
Bruce: I did. I only have one ex-wife, but she had multiple personalities.
Matthew: I liked Kevin Nealon in the movie, but he had no role. The only time I laughed was when he popped out of a closet, and there wasn’t even a joke.
Bruce: There were no jokes in this movie. By the way, the director, Tom Brady—not to be confused with the quarterback—also directed Rob Schneider’s The Hot Chick.
Matthew: The quarterback would’ve made a better movie. At least Gisele would’ve been in it.
Bruce: And for a movie about porn, there wasn’t even much gratuitous nudity!
Matthew: There was more male nudity than female nudity! And the boobs weren’t even good. That’s how bad this movie was—even the actresses with good boobs didn’t want to do it. They were like, “We’ve got better offers.”
Bruce: They would rather do actual porn. And I couldn’t believe Columbia released this movie over the 9/11 weekend. Hasn’t America suffered enough? In 10 years, we’ll look back and remember the tragedy of Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.
Matthew: They’ll have documentaries on MSNBC.
Bruce: Sorry, is it too soon to joke about that? Bucky Larson, I mean…
What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen? Fire away!