There’s a little game I like to play when being forced to watch films like this. The kind of movie that makes me want to rub my own excreta into my eyes to block out the turgid mockery of the entertainment before me. This game is far easier to play than it is to explain to your partner why you’re groping blindly around for the pizza with shit streaming down your cheeks.
Picturing the genre staples of the Sassy BFF and Commitment Phobic Man-child feeding on the human offal of the Bespectacled Lovelorn Thirty-something heroine never fails to raise a smile. Any Jessica Sarah Parker movie is exponentially increased by imagining her fending off a mob of flesh-eaters with a bloodied Manolo Blahnik. Trust me, it helps.
And Just My Luck is one of those movies where I was praying for the shuffling undead to slowly fill the screen and tear into Lindsay Lohan quicker than a stoner with a bargain bucket.
Jake, played by Chris (Capitan Kirk V2.0) Pine, is a good-hearted band manager trying to help a little British quartet called McFly hit the big time (more on this later). If you can’t picture Chris Pine imagine a crayon drawing of Matt Damon tattooed onto the face of a newt.
They kiss and her “good luck” is passed on to him and his “bad luck” passed to her. In this film Luck is an aggressive, quick-acting STI. The writers seem to have confused the concept of good fortune with herpes. Jake’s life improves dramatically and the band he manages gets signed by a music mogul, while Ashley’s turns to shit quicker than drunkenly ingested week old kebab. Hilarity does not, sadly, ensue.
It also becomes abundantly clear that Ashley is a complete moron. If it wasn’t for her good luck she would be wearing her clothes inside out and trying to bite her way into tinned food. She can’t complete the simplest of tasks without almost killing herself and those around her. It makes her completely unlikable as we realise that she doesn’t deserve any of gifts that Lady Luck has lavished on her. She hasn’t had to work for any of it. Shorn of her luck-laden life she learns little and wins no sympathy. Not to ruin the ending, but when they unsurprisingly end up together, you’re left with the overwhelming feeling that poor Jake has got a rather rum deal. Within weeks he’ll be spoon-feeding this now luckless simpleton after she attempted to scrawl her ‘X’ on a cheque and managed to puncture her lung.
To be honest I’ve always had a soft spot for McFly and thought of them as the thinking man’s Busted; a trio that always struck me as three pricks standing behind an eyebrow. On the other hand, McFly were less pop-punk than Busted and were not as aggravatingly attractive; McFly even have a singer who looks like Bernard Cribbins dressed as page-boy. In Just My Luck they simply stand around a bit aimlessly in the background waiting to play, ‘Five colours in her hair’ for the fortieth time while Chris Pine falls over.
Overall this movie is an admirably high concept comedy that failed to engage me any way apart from imagining my fantasy zombies feasting on its heroine in more and more grotesque ways.