Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star is still sitting at 0% on RottenTomatoes after 32 reviews (11 more than when I took this screencap), having grossed just $2.5 million to date. That’s a lot of negative reviews, especially considering Moneyball is at 95%, and Moneyball sucked. In a recent interview with Splitsider, Nick Swardson says part of the reason that critics hated it is that they just went in wanting to hate it.
Bucky Larson was a very interesting experience because it was a small movie, it was small budget for Sony/Columbia, and, you know, it was out there. It was a character nobody knew. It wasn’t a character from a show or from Saturday Night Live, you know what I mean? It was one of those things where I was like, either people are going to buy this or not. It’s going to hit or miss, and it didn’t really hit. I think when it gets to DVD people will realize, oh, this wasn’t as bad as we thought it was from the commercials. To promote an R-rated movie, with commercials, with this character, it was just really, really hard. It was hard to get the movie across to people. The trailer in theaters was really tame because we couldn’t show any of the insanity, and even if we did it, it wouldn’t hit because it had no context. It was just really frustrating. I knew the critics were going to bury us. It was a softball. They were waiting, waiting to hate that movie. It’s kind of funny that they get their rocks off on reviews like that. They review The King’s Speech, then they review Bucky Larson.
It’s a lot of work and a lot of reviewers aren’t going into that movie to like it. They don’t want to like it. None of those reviewers was psyched to see Bucky Larson and laugh. They go in with the mentality, f*ck these guys for making another movie. They go in there to kind of headhunt. It makes me laugh because it’s just so embarrassing. It makes them look like such morons. You can’t review Avatar then review Bucky Larson. Comedy is so subjective, you know what I mean? To sit there and technically pick it apart is so stupid. We’ve never made movies for critics, so we could give a f*ck.
I like Nick Swardson. He’s been the funniest part of a lot of bad movies, and I like his show, Pretend Time, which he was promoting in this interview. And to some extent, he’s right. Most critics are too uptight and self-serious to admit they like something deliberately crass. They all hated Your Highness, and Your Highness was great. That being said… Bucky Larson didn’t even screen for critics. So… does that mean critics went in wanting to hate it, or you went in wanting critics to hate it? I get the whole “we did this for the fans, maaaan” rap, but keep in mind, that’s what Nickelback says.
In any case, I think I see an even greater problem here. It’s, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but… it’s that your main character looked like this:
Was there a reason you had to dress the lead guy like a character from a Mexican sitcom? Also, did you see any of your commercials? Here’s one:
I’m willing to accept that critics by and large don’t know anything about comedy, but it seems like no one gave it a chance because they didn’t give anyone a chance to see it, and the main marketing strategy seems have been to annoy the sh*t out of everyone.
Burnsy adds: “He’s worried about the audience taking insane jokes out of context but he expects us to get why Peter Dante is dressed up like a doctor and yelling at us.”