I realize that actors take roles for a variety of reasons but I can't imagine why Lauren Graham, saucy star of The Gilmore Girls, would want to associate herself with the ill-conceived, limply-executed Lucky 13. I know good roles for women are sometimes hard to come by but this film has nothing going for it that Graham could have expected to add to her career.
The main problem with Lucky 13 is the story that writer/director Chris Hall starts with. Zach (Brad Hunt) spends his entire life pining for gorgeous neighbor Abbey (Graham), even as they develop into close friends. When she announces that she's finally leaving their sleepy little burb to pursue a career as an artist in New York, Zach decides he finally needs to act. While chatting with his buddy Bleckman (Harland Williams) he realizes that he can learn from his past mistakes by asking all his ex-girlfriends about what he did wrong. His plan is to become the perfect boyfriend and convince Abbey to… I'm not sure. Stay? Marry him? Take him with her?
It doesn't matter because this tortured set-up is just an excuse for Hall to drop loads of misogynistic observations on how stupid and screwed up gurlz can be. The film has the maturity level of a kid worried about catching cooties. It's not that the characters are immature, but rather the filmmaking itself. There is no insight into the kinds of characters that a film like this needs – and there are no characters to care about. In fact, the film (after a short prologue featuring child actors with more personality than any of the adults) asks us to care about these three characters with absolutely no real development whatsoever. They're introduced sitting around on the lawn, heads bobbing like mental patients, and nothing but nonsense dialog to move things forward.
Even the specifics of the characters' lives are dumb. Thirty-something Zach lives with his parents because, I guess, he's a loser. So what's Abbey's excuse? It's just a device to keep them neighbors. And Bleckman's charm is that he thinks he's hot stuff with ladies when in fact he's not. Whoop-dee-doo. With Williams sleepwalking through the performance, this dunce character is about as interesting as watching white bread turn stale.
Williams' uncharacteristically bland performance is nothing, however, compared with the annoyance of watching Hunt mumble through his role. I can't remember a less inspiring combination of actor and character than this. Zach has no personality and there's nothing about him to hold the audience's interest. To make matters worse, Hunt portrays this dullard with little-to-no enthusiasm. Surrounded by a cast of far more capable actors (That 70s Show's Debra Jo Rupp and punk legend John Doe play his parents), Hunt is at a loss for how to anchor the film.
So what's Graham doing in this mess? Her film career hasn't offered the same quality of roles as her Gilmore Girls performance should have earned her (When Bad Santa stands-out as one of your finer projects, you're in trouble) and this dreck is just another stumble. If the producers of Wonder Woman have any vision they'll choose her over laughable choices like Kim Basinger and Jessica Biehl, but that's a discussion for another day. For this film, Graham's talents are utterly wasted. Buried in a lame script and coupled with lead performances that range from bland to boring, Graham cheerily tries to steer a ship that can't do anything but sink.
The anamorphic widescreen video is pretty good. The image is reasonably sharp and colorful. There are times when the film gets a little soft, but overall the picture is very nice.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is also fine. Voices are clear and the mix, while conservative, sounds fine. English, Spanish and French subtitles are available.
Just some trailers for other releases.
Lucky 13 is everything that a movie in this day and age should not be. Bland characters, lame story, boring dialog, cliché set-up. Chris Hall: Don't direct any more films. Brad Hunt: Don't act in any more romantic comedies. Thanks a lot, guys.