Published on April 1st, 2013 | by Clint Davis
Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star 
Summary: With "Bucky Larson", Nick Swardson may have sunk his film career before it started. This would have struggled as a 4-minute television sketch.
R | 97 mins.
Director: Tom Brady | Screenplay: Allen Covert, Adam Sandler, Nick Swardson
Starring: Nick Swardson, Christina Ricci, Don Johnson
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Imagine being a big shot movie producer, with the power to either crush a filmmaker’s dream or green-light their project and fork over millions in hopes of finding a hit. You’re sitting behind your impressive oak desk in a Hollywood office when this idea is pitched to you:
“How about if we make a movie about a dimwitted, bucktoothed protagonist who stumbles into becoming the world’s most-recognizable internet porn star–but the kicker is…(wait for it)…he’s got the world’s smallest prick! Can I have $10 million to get it done?”
You would have to either be stoned or have a gun to your head to give this the thumbs up, right? Now imagine that this movie is being pitched by a comedian who’s movies never gross less than $100 million at the box office. That’s how Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star was made.
The screenplay credits for this turd of a film show Adam Sandler’s name listed on the first page. Even Sandler’s worst movies draw an audience (Jack and Jill made $149 million worldwide), so it’s easy to see why a studio would give him a little extra slack–Sandler should have Alan Smithee’ed this after a rough cut, because it’s one shit stain that won’t wash away from any resume.
Nick Swardson, also a co-writer of the script, plays the titular character who dreams of making it big in Hollywood. Swardson is a very funny character actor and has picked up a dedicated following from his memorable turns in TV’s Reno 911! and the Sandler/Covert vehicle Grandma’s Boy–he also showed his gift for portraying interesting oddballs on his own Comedy Central series Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time. I have a hard time believing Bucky Larson would have worked as a one-off character in one of his show’s 4-minute sketches, let alone as a 90+ minute movie.
The movie’s screenplay shows zero respect for its main character, so it leaves the audience with no feelings at all for him. Pretty much every character in this film is completely vacant and ugly–with the slight exception of Christina Ricci’s Kathy, who is the closes thing to a real human being in the story. The best way I can sum this movie’s awfulness up is by saying that when Pauly Shore makes a cameo as himself, you wish you were watching Jury Duty–then you wish you were on jury duty…anything to get away from this unfunny mess.
Ripping this film apart is nothing new, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star is one of a select few movies in history to net a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I feel I would be harming my readers if I didn’t do my part in warning them to steer clear.
Swardson’s television show has since been cancelled, and his only film credits since this debacle are Sandler’s That’s My Boy and Marlon Wayans’s A Haunted House, which combined for a 27% score.
Hey, at least he’s improving.