(On TV, October 2017) Given the subject matter (a man discovers that his romantic flings all go on to find their true love), it’s no surprise if Good Luck Chuck plays significantly coarser than the average romantic comedy. And therein lies a problem, because for all of its potential as a hard-R erotic comedy, the film is only too happy to pour itself in the usual R-rated rom-com mould, using its soft-R rating as an excuse for crudity rather than an honest treatment of its premise. It’s also ludicrously unaware of anything close to female agency. The case-in-point example scene has to do with a conventionally unattractive employee of the lead character throwing herself at him in romantic desperation—Good Luck Chuck plays the scene for laughs whereas there’s a lot more to explore here if it had the guts to do so. If the film works, it’s almost solely because of the charm of the lead actors—while Dane Cook may not be highly regarded as a stand-up comedian, he does play a likable lead, and Jessica Alba is up to her usual standards as the lead heroine. Still, there are plenty of missed opportunities—I kept waiting for a revelation that the lead female character’s impressive klutziness was a curse equivalent to the protagonist’s own, but that seems to have been forgotten somewhere along the way. The film picks up one lone point for having been obviously shot in Vancouver—the entrance to the aquarium is instantly recognizable even to a tourist. Otherwise, Good Luck Chuck is the kind of instantly forgettable romp, less obviously offensive than the slew of gross-out comedies from the early 2000s, but wasting so many opportunities along the way that it becomes vexing the moment you think too long about it.