Chuck & Buck | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Chuck & Buck

Charlie, who left his hometown years ago, feels obligated to return for the funeral of the mother of his former friend Buck, who still surrounds himself with toys and photographs from their childhood. Buck's mementos have evoked an exciting and mysterious time during the bleak years of his mother's illness, and he doesn't seem nearly as affected by her death as by the eagerly anticipated reunion with Charlie, whom he insists on calling by his childhood nickname. Much to Charlie's dismay, Buck follows him back to Los Angeles, where, ignored by Charlie, he spends his time working on a play he's written about their past. He hooks up with the manager of a tiny theater (powerfully played by Lupe Ontiveros), who sees Buck as exploitable, naive, poorly socialized, and driven--not so different from the other dreamers who flock to the area. Mike White, who wrote the screenplay, plays Buck, and Chris and Paul Weitz (American Pie) play Charlie and a guy who auditions for a role in the play within this delicately toned movie--possible the most daring and honest drama about sexuality I've ever seen. Directed by Miguel Arteta. 85 min. Landmark's Century Centre.

--Lisa Alspector

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