Profile of a Razzie Lock: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

Columbia Pictures

When did we first realize that Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star might be something special? We admit it, we came to the movie late. It doesn’t even appear in our first Worst Picture predictions, made back in July. But, like every Razzie expert out there, we found ourselves hearing more and more whispers about it as the summer progressed. Last month we ran into one of our best studio sources — let’s call him “Jeffrey Katzenberg” — at a party in the Valley, and he sidled up to us and whispered, “I got two words for you: Bucky. Larson.”

“Jeffrey Katzenberg” knew then. And we know now, after having the glorious experience of seeing the 1:40 p.m. showing of Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star at our local multiplex. As the lights went down on us and the one other guy sitting alone in the theater (uh, loser!), we found ourselves fidgeting with excitement. Every year we Razzie gurus look for The One. Could we have found it? Does this humble comedy, about an imbecile from Iowa with horrible buck teeth who dreams of becoming a porn star, have what it takes to win it all?

Well, 94 brutal, horrifying minutes later, we knew it did. And so we’ll put our wager down against anyone and predict right now, September 15, 2011: Bucky Larson will win Worst Picture at the Razzies.

What makes us so sure? Here are 10 scenes that tell us Bucky Larson has the right mix of no-good awfulness and mortifying stupidity and B-list actors doing far from their best work to become a Razzie champ.

1. The scene in which a guy smears peanut butter on his genitals and has his pet goat lick it off. (Note: This is the first scene of the movie.)

2. Bucky trying to whistle to a songbird outside his window and spit dribbles between his buckteeth and down his chin.

3. Bucky spastically masturbating and shoving his thumb up his butt.

4. Stephen Dorff, as porn star Dick Shadow, intoning the dire threat, “Nothing grows in my cock-shade. Nothing.”

5. An anonymous porn actress saying, matter-of-factly, “I knew I would be good at this. I was a huge whore in high school.”

6. Bucky Larson ejaculating violently, spraying semen on bystanders, old ladies, and the camera lens, and then announcing, “My brain just sparkled!”

7. “Porn is to fantasize about the cock you wish you had — or the one you wish your wife had in her hand, or in her ass crack.” —Dick Shadow

8. Kevin Nealon, as Bucky’s roommate, sitting pantsless on the couch with a bottle of Jergen’s and a vibrator, just one of the countless scenes in which Nealon is tragically not funny.

9. Christina Ricci, as Bucky’s waitress love interest, delivering a heartfelt tragic-backstory speech over swelling music about how one time she dropped a tray and burned an old lady with soup.

10. Coming to the realization that Don Johnson is still a very handsome, charismatic man, which makes his appearance in this film even more tragic.

BONUS! 11. Feeling totally terrible and gross walking out of the theater afterward.

Who else might get nominated? I think Bucky Larson has a legitimate shot at nine Razzie nods. Worst Picture, Worst Director (Tom Brady [not that Tom Brady (despite what his IMDb video page suggests)]), Worst Screenplay, of course. Worst Actor for star Nick Swardson seems like a lock. Christina Ricci is actually the best thing in this movie, but she’ll be nominated nonetheless. Don Johnson should get a nod for Supporting Actor, and Kevin Nealon is both awful enough and just famous enough to land one, too. Worst Screen Couple, sure. I even think this movie could be a dark horse in Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, if voters realize it’s a rip-off of Boogie Nights.

But will they realize? Will voters know? To some extent, that’s up to Columbia Pictures and the campaign they’re almost certainly planning in their offices this very second. But it’s also up to you. Nothing makes Razzie magic like word of mouth, so stop just reading RazzieWatch and get out there and see a movie! I know I’m glad I did.

New This “Weak”

Reviewers are lining up early to get their shots in at I Don’t Know How She Does It, perhaps because they’re worried that all the good “I Don’t Know How …” jokes will be taken if they wait. “I don’t know why she does it,” Lisa Schwarzbaum writes of the movie’s star, Sarah Jessica Parker. “What I don’t know: why these movies keep getting made,” the Voice’s Melissa Anderson gripes. On the other hand, MSN’s Kat Murphy steers clear of the gag and instead unleashes one of the most enjoyable spittle-drenched tirades we’ve read all year, in which she calls IDKHSDI “toxic drool masquerading as a comedic paean to working moms” and “a cliché-ridden, misogynistic mess,” and straight-up calls Sarah Jessica Parker “horse-faced.” It’s the kind of vicious pan that can give a previously unheralded movie real Razzie heat.

On the “Bore”-izon

Look, I get it. We Bought a Zoo is quality up and down the line. It’s got Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in it. It’s directed by Cameron Crowe. It’s 20th Century Fox’s big awards hope this year. It’s inspirational and funny and everything. But seriously, would you be at all surprised if, at the end of this trailer, a big credit appeared on screen reading “HAHAHAHA JK ACTUALLY DIRECTED BY GARRY MARSHALL”?

Dan Kois is a veteran Razzie guru and a fine artist whose paintings and erotic sculptures are on display at the Pacific Western Bank at 11150 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, through September 21.

Previously: RazzieWatch: Who Will Win Worst Supporting Actress?
RazzieWatch: Worst-Director Showdown
RazzieWatch: Who Will Win Worst Actress?
RazzieWatch: Smurfs and Aliens
RazzieWatch: Who Will Win Worst Actor?

To comment on this story through Facebook, click here. Read more Hollywood Prospectus.

Contact us at

Filed Under: Awards, Christina Ricci, Movies, Razzies, Razziewatch, Tom Brady, We Bought a Zoo