Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
Buck's mother coughs and dies. That releases him from his childhood, which has lasted well into his 20s. He invites his boyhood friend Chuck to come to the funeral. Chuck, a music executive from Los Angeles, arrives with his fiancee, Carlyn. Buck grins at Chuck confidingly.
"You . . . wanna go see my room?" he asks. This line, early in "Chuck & Buck," sets up the tone of the movie. Buck is stuck at the age of 12 or 13; Chuck has grown up and now finds himself stalked by a weirdo who still wants to be his junior high school buddy.
This surface story would be enough for most movies, but "Chuck & Buck" has subterranean depths, and is a study in how we handle embarrassing situations--or don't handle them. Buck (Mike White, the film's author) is a gawky case of arrested development, who stands too close and doesn't know when to stop talking and never realizes when he's not welcome. He's had only one valued relationship in his life, with Chuck (Chris Weitz), and assumes it has been the same with Chuck. "I noticed there aren't any pictures of me around," he says on his first visit to Chuck's house.
How did Buck get invited to visit Chuck and Carlyn (Beth Colt)? At his mother's funeral, Carlyn unwisely asked him to visit them if he was ever in L.A., and a few days later, he is in L.A. Buck visits Chuck at his office, tails him to lunch, turns up everywhere, sucking on his little Tootsie Pops down to the fudge surprise. Chuck tells him bluntly to get lost. But it's not that simple. Chuck bears some of the responsibility for Buck's feelings, and he knows it.