The base "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star" never stood a chance, not even with Adam Sandler's imprematur stamped on it.
Sandler may be able to get a movie made, via his Happy Madison company, natch, but he can't get a studio to respect it.
In a year of dubious comedies that pushed buttons and envelopes - namely, "Bridesmaids," "Hall Pass," "Bad Teacher," "Horrible Bosses," "The Hangover 2" and, worst of all, "A Good, Old-Fashioned Orgy" - "Bucky Larson" was the only one to be treated as if it had cooties.
Jeez, even the soiled, god-awful "A Good, Old-Fashioned Orgy" was screened for critics. But "Bucky" was hidden from the press, with all its pans running in Saturday papers. If Columbia felt so embarrassed by the film, why greenlight it in the first place? Oh, yeah, right - Adam Sandler.
This is not to indicate that "Bucky Larson" is a good or even not-bad film. But it says something about an industry that finds something harmlessly hilarious about women vomiting and defecating uncontrollably (as they did in the big setpiece in "Bridesmaids") but gets all judgmental about a film about a bucktoothed nerd with a tiny penis who has pretensions of becoming a huge porn star (that would be "Bucky Larson").
And he does become a porn star because of that small member. See, it doesn't intimiate the guys who download his films and it makes the women more admiring of their boyfriends/husbands, regardless of size.
Tom Brady, who directed, is no auteur (far from it, his two previous accomplishments were "The Hot Chicks" and "The Comebacks"), but he is smart enough to stand back and let his rather estimable cast members(Christina Ricci, Don Johnson, Edward Hermann, Miriam Flynn, Kevin Nealon and Stephen Dorff, among them) take a bat at the low material without exactly embarrassing themselves except when they want to.
Nick Swardson, who limns the role of Bucky, is a reliable Sandler house player ("Just Go With It" and "Don't Mess with the Zohan") and funny character man ("The House Bunny" and "Grandma's Boy") who has been sitting on the sidelines too long and deserves a breakthrough.
"Bucky Larson" is not exactly the film that will put him on the map and, hopefully, it won't completely derail his career. As he has in other films, Swardson makes the most of theoretically unplayable material, working beyond the call of duty as his film's star who is also its best team player.
Adam Sandler obviously likes and has nurtured him, but at this point, Nick Swardson needs a Judd Apatow in his life. Like right now.