Buck is a man-child who has lived his existence in a life of kindergarten collages and lollipops. Buck remembers his old childhood friend Chuck, with whom he feels a need to reconnect with after having invited him to his mother's funeral. Buck treks out to LA where Chuck, now a music record executive, is living his life. Buck ends up developing an obsession with Chuck and begins stalking him.
At the center of Miguel Arteta's funny, creepy and poignant new film is Buck, a 27-year-old man who inhabits the mental world of a preadolescent boy. As played by Mike White, who also wrote the screenplay, Buck is needy and sensitive, an object equally of sympathy and revulsion. The film chronicles his attempt to rekindle his childhood bond with his old friend Charlie (Chris Weitz), who has grown into a distant, self-absorbed careerist. Mr. Arteta's visual sense, Mr. White's insightful script and strong supporting performances from Mr. Weitz and his brother Sam, as well as from Lupe Ontiveros as a kindly theater manager, make this one of the most unusual and affecting coming-of-age stories in some time. ''Chuck and Buck'' is an antidote to the current epidemic of lazy nostalgia for the innocence of childhood and therefore, magically, one of the few truly grown-up movies you're likely to see this year. — A. O. Scott
2000-07-14 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Chuck and Buck