Review: What's So Funny About Porn? ‘Bucky Larson’ Has No Idea

Someone seems to have turned Nick Swardson's comedy setting to “Obnoxious Birthday Clown” and then yanked off the knob

Bucky Larson has buck teeth. Bucky. Larson. Has. Buck. Teeth. BUCKY LARSON HAS BUCK TEETH. ucky-Bay arson-Lay as-hay uck-bay eeth-tay.

Notice how that doesn’t get any funnier with repetition. Too bad no one informed the people behind “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” who think protuberant malocclusion is the most hilarious thing ever, particularly when it’s referred to over and over and over again.

The bearer of that prominent overbite is Bucky Larson (Nick Swardson), a hapless goofus with a bowl haircut and an unconvincing “Fargo” accent. After Bucky loses his job as a grocery bagger, his friends try to cheer him up with a porn movie, which turns out to star Bucky’s parents, billed as “Jim Spraysium” (Edward Herrmann, whose dignity will surely survive this misfire) and “Rosie Bush” (Miriam Flynn).

Bucky decides that he’s a porn-star legacy and makes his way to California to make it in “nude movies.” His screen test for washed-up director Miles Deep (Don Johnson) is a disaster — Bucky is, shall we say, underequipped for the part, and he’s so inexperienced with women that just the sight of a bra makes his, as he puts it, “brain go sparkly.”

But after Bucky’s audition becomes an online sensation with underendowed men whose girlfriends suddenly find their guys attractive by comparison, Bucky becomes a big star, beating out rival Dick Shadow (Stephen Dorff) at the adult film awards.

And that’s pretty much all that happens, except for an innocuous romance with waitress Kathy (Christina Ricci) and conflicts with an obnoxious roommate (Kevin Nealon). The script — by enemies of comedy Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, and Swardson — feels light on incident, but even lighter on jokes. Bucky needs an orthodontist and he has microphallus, and that’s pretty much all this film has to offer in the chuckles department, making it something of a chore for anyone above the age of 12.

The entire premise of “Bucky Larson” feels like a concept that’s about 35 to 40 years out of date, and while the porn business is a supremely easy target for comedy, this movie doesn’t have any idea of what might be funny about it, besides perhaps “tee-hee — boobies.”

Swardson, like earlier Sandler co-conspirator Rob Schneider, has been funny on TV in small doses. (In Swardson’s case, he had a hilarious recurring role as a low-rent hustler on “Reno: 911!” and was the best thing about Sandler’s unaired pilot “Gay Robot.”) But in feature films, Swardson’s more-is-more approach becomes thoroughly grating; it’s as though someone turned his internal comedy meter to “Obnoxious Birthday Clown” and then yanked off the knob.

If anyone in “Bucky Larson” deserves credit, it’s casting directors Lisa London and Catherine Stroud, who bring their best silk-purse-making skills to the project by giving work to veterans like Flynn, Ricci (if this is the best the movie biz is offering her, here’s hoping “Pan Am” takes off), Dorff, Curtis Armstrong, Mary Pat Gleason, Nicholas Turturro, and especially Johnson, who makes a perfect surrogate for Burt Reynolds’ porn auteur from “Boogie Nights.”

This talented cast can’t really do anything with the non-screenplay they’ve been handed, but at least they got a paycheck out of it. Although, come to think of it, doing actual porn might have been a more fulfilling career choice.