Hello, Spongey here
Well, I haven’t reviewed a good movie since Early November with Meet The Robinsons. And with Christmas being upon us, I figured we’d go back to the good stuff.
So of course, I picked a DCOM based on a Disney Sitcom. You think of that when you think of Christmas classics, right?
Well anyway, the sitcom in question is none other than Good Luck Charlie. I wanted to get Part of my Disney Sitcom look back, which includes GLC, out by now. But this is my only chance in the schedule to do this movie (You’ll see why in a few weeks).
And I couldn’t get that out in time due to lazyness. So I tried just writing the GLC section and putting it up on Paste bin so I could link to it here. However, I could not finish it in time.
So now I’m stuck explaining the show briefly , so you can know the full context behind my enjoyment of this movie. But to be fair, there is a twist in this movie I fully go into in that section, so maybe it was for the best.
Good Luck Charlie is the genuinely decent Disney sitcom that isn’t Wizards of Waverly place. It centers on the Duncan family, specificaly the teen girl Teddy,as they deal with their new baby daughter, Charlie.
Hilarity ensues. I’ll introduce the characters in the review proper, I will say the show deserves it’s ‘;Good Disney sitcom” status. When I finish part 2 of that look back, you’ll see me go into how I think of it compares to Wizards of Waverly place.
But for now, I shall say it has a surprisingly sweet family aspect, and the humor feels very natural with the actors being down to earth and funny. To to mention that, like Wizards, the characters end up fairly likable despite fitting the typical archetypes.
Add in a good Disney star as the headliner, and you have a recipe for success. It’s not exactly a perfect show, but like Wizards, it’s good fun. And with it’s well deserved success, it only makes sense that there would be a movie!
Though this one is a bit different from the other DCOM sitcom movies. For one, it is relates to the plot of the series, and it’s somewhat vital to the story. You’ll see why later. And 2nd, it”s more of a “TV special” type of film than an actual movie based on the series.
You can tell by the lack of “Movie” in the title. So it’s not as huge in it’s scale, as even The Suite life movie (I swear, i’ll do that one in January). But don’t worry, it still feels like a proper movie, and it still works for those who doesn’t know the series.
Anyway, let’s try to end this intro. Even before I saw it, I knew it would be good since, hey, the Wizards movie was great so the other good Sitcom should make a fine film too. The director did “A very brady” Sequel, and the writer did-
This, isGood Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas!
The movie opens at the Duncan house as Teddy, played by Bridgit Mendler, is doing her video diary for Charlie. Yeah, she does these video diaries for Charlie so she can look at when shes older. Which she does but that’s another story.
Oh, and by the way-
Teddy us, I mean Charlie…yeah I mean us, that that they are doing to visit Mom’s parents at Palm springs for Christmas. Amy aka Mom (who is also nice but I got no picture for her) is stressed out because visiting the grandparents mean losing the usual tradtion that make their Christmas so “special”
By the way, it is nice to see the jokes without a laugh track for once. It’s clearly shot in a theatrical way, though it’s not quite as impressive is it was for the Wizards and Suite life movies.
She goes on specifically about the “putting the star on the tree” tradition which mostly leads to joke. Yeah, this is less plot heavy then the aforementioned films, at least until the plot itself kicks in.
They are interrupted by the oldest kid, PJ, played by Jason Dolley. PJ is the dumb one. Yet, Jason must like that kind of character, but at least he’s very good at playing them.
“I can’t wait to get to palm springs, where the only thing that’s Frozen are the slushies!”
Well, Christoper Lloyd will be very unhappy. So then comes in the bumbling Dad, Bob, played Erik Allan Kramer.
“Bob, tell the kids that the star on the tree tradition is very important”
‘Yes, very important”
PJ: What is important?
“The thing…that your mom says”
Yeah, the comedy is actually pretty amusing, like in the show itself. So in the least the lack of story in the early parts makes for good humor. While Dad fumbles with a thing, Mom heads up the room of Gave, played by Bradley Steven perry.
Gabe is the trouble maker, who doubles as being likable and funny. He’s in the middle of his new video game, Galaxy of Death 2. Except, it was his Christmas present, and it is not christmas yet.
By the way…yes, this video game is important to the plot. You’ll see why later.
So yeah, he got into his present, but Amy lets him keep it anyway cuz she makes him say the star thing is important.. ..It kind of makes more sense in context, especially with Amy’s character.
Back downstairs, Teddy is visited by her good friend, Ivy. She’s the fat black one how is kind of like Teddy but more into the girly stuff, and yada yada. Also, I forgot to go into Teddy, who is the nice who does an edge to her, by being kind of snarky, and tons of stuff I’ll go into during the lookback.
We find out the two planned to spend spring break in Flordia…by themselves. Naturally, Teddy has been wanting to ask for permission to go alone, but she hasn’t done so yet. Yep, this is pretty much the big thing that head starts the plot, as you’ll see in a bit.
‘Is now a good time?”
Amy comes in crying about how she can’t find the star.
“…Right, not a good time”
After dropping that plot point, Ivvy leaves and Teddy asks Bob why Amy is so focused on the star. Bob says sometimes what you focus on isn’t the source of the problem. Bob thinks maybe it’s cuzof the “first christmas with grandparents” thing but….trust me, it’s not it.
I love having seen this movie before and teasing something what will disappoint you. Anyway, it looks like Bob worry about this more as Mom’s parents…kind of hate him. Yep, it’s that cliché, but it’s done well.
Amy comes in and Teddy asks about the Spring Break thing. Spoilers, Amy says no.
“We not spending another minute discussing this”
Cut to them at the airport discussing it. I still love a good Gilligan cut. After the best line so far-
“I’m your mother, I never make sense”
-Bob tells Teddy that if she can buy her own plane ticket, she can go by herself. That shuts them up for a second. They go through the metal dector, which isn’t good for Gabe as he smuggled his whole game system with him.
I didn’t know those were metal enough to set them off, but okay. Of course, Gabe is caught red handed. I’m make the incredibly obvious joke since he is being searched at an airport…but it’s December, so I won’t.
“:Thank you for the…extremely thorough search”
Anyway, after that, they only have 2 minutes to get on the plane so CHRISTMAS CHASE MUSIC TIME! There’s a great bit where Bob dramatically jumps over a bench or something to get to this lady and after he falls on face-
“You didn’t need to do that sir. We saw you coming”
Thankfully, they all get on the plane in time. But then some chick on the speakers says they are overbooked by one seat, and they want a volunteer to take a later flight in exchange for a free round ticketed to any destination.
Ladies and gentlemen, the plot has been activated! Yep, Teddy is gonna do the above by herself to prove she is responsible enough to go on Spring Break by herself. Naturally, Amy objects and tags along with her.
Unfortunately, the next flight is in 3 days. So no matter who volunteered, they would be screwed over. See, this is why I’d rather walk instead.
After some bickering, what Amy’s ultimate reaction?
“Mom, you gestured her right in the nose!”
Yeah, these two are now up shit creek. They have no plane to get on, so now they must go on a wacky road trip to get to palm springs in time for Christmas. Yep, that’s our plot. It’s simple, but clearly shows off what these characters are like, and sets a personal goal for Teddy, and gives room for Mother/Daughter development.
Plus, I love a good road trip movie.
So first off, they try the bus, but in the meantime, the rest of the family arrives in Palm Springs. Right away, Grandma and Grandpa show up. They fit the personalities most grand parent characters that aren’t flat out elderly do. Grandma looks a tad overbearing, loves Charlie, and hates Bob.
Grandpa is awkward, and …well there’s another thing we’ll see later. Back on the bus, the two are faced with a tons of stuff, like some dude with a chicken and Amy getting bus-suck and throwing up in a bag.
“….That’s a really harsh of the review of the spring line”
Yeah, I’ll try not to quote every funny line but sometimes, I can’t resist. Then we cut back to the rest of the family….yeah, I could bitch about the cuts like back in the day but uh….nah.
They arrive at the Grandparents’ house and Grandma warns Bob to keep Charlie away from all the expensive crap lying around. Yeah, you know where that gag is going but not every joke has to be unpredictable.
Back on the bus, Amy’s carsick-ness leads her to throwing up in the bathroom (Buses have bathrooms now I guess) for along time. At a rest stop, they say this:
“It was just a little carsickness”
“That’s like calling World War 2 just a little disagreement”
Unfortunately, the bus driver says they cant’ get back on cuz the other passengers refuse to travel with them. I’m pretty sure this would not fly in real life, but it is still a Disney sitcom after all.
“What mom is trying to express is that it’s a little unfair that you’re letting the chicken man on the bus but not us”
“But the chicken’s aren’t grossing everybody us”
The movie points out that bit of dumb-ness …then throws a bit to make it even dumber. But films like this thrive of rule of funny…and it is funny. And after a Gilligan cut, they get kicked off for good.
“I didn’t hit anybody”
/’Yeah I know, you were just gesturing for emphasis”
So they are stuck out here, and the nearest car rental place is about hours away by foot. Back at the Grandparents’ place, we get a hilarious where Bob leaves the room with a monster movie on, and Charlie comes in walking around like a monster, and she comes at this once priceless object thing, and Bob comes to see this and yells NOOO.
And it’s all done in SLOOOW MOTTTTIOOOON. Yes, it is freaking hilarious.
Bob is able to stop her, but not before Grandma catches them. Well, actually she catches Bob holding this glass…thingy.
CHARLIE: Bad Daddy.
Wow, what a bitch. Wait, is it poor form to say that about a baby?
One obvious break for commercial later, Grandpa bumps into Gabe who is not happy about not being able to play the game cuz of the whole no console thing. …But as luck would have it, Grandpa has one!
Granted he mostly has Golf games but still. So Gabe introduces Grandpa to Galaxy of Death 2.
“Whats that got to do with golf?”
Yes, that is an important plot point, but let us get back to Teddy and Amy. They don’t think they will make in time, and Amy is crying over it. Thankfully, right there is when they find the creepy rental car place, called Lenny’s.
“You must be Lenny.”
“Nope, I’m Daryl. I bought Lenny out”
Turns out this is not a car rental place, but Daryl does have an old ass car he can sell them. An old ass car that is ten years older than Teddy, and built in a country that no longer exists.
Either way, they at least have a ride now. I now there hasn’t been much in the way of joke or reviewing so far, but this isn’t a movie that gives me a ton to talk about. But it gives me just enough, hence why I am reviewing it.
Anyway, back at Palm Springs, Gabe has gotten Grandpa into GOD2 but now Grandpa has become a game hog. Wah wah. Also, PJ shows up with a sunburn cuz he uses Suntan oil instead of sun block.
Wah wah x2.
Gabe pops up and tells PJ a hot shower will make him feel better.
GRANDMA: The ignorance, it’s like you’ve been raised by wolves.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
And that is followed up by Charlie succeeding in making a mess. Then Grandma gives…Bob a time out.
“You can’t give Charlie a time out”
“Of course not she’s an angel!”
Even though she just made a mess on her own accord!
Let’s bounce back from that with THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF HOT MOM AND HOT DAUGHTER. Also, this line:
“What’s Serbian for headlight?”
NEWBORN POR-wait wrong movie. God, fuck that movie… …Anyway, not a ton happens here except them getting into a bliazzard and all that, so let’s get back to the Grandparent’s house the next morning.
Gabe wakes to find that Grandpa played the game all night. Granada’s rambling is pretty amusing here, especially when he mentioned when he only took one toliet break from 4 am to 4:45. Well, he is old so it makes sense that-okay, let’s stop before this gets creepy.
One fight later, Gabe is banished to that bedroom with Bob. After Bob eats mints off Gabe’s hair, (It Makes just as much sense in context) we cut back to Teddy and Amy the next morning, as their cheap ass car breaks down for good.
The car is taken care of by a repair dude, whose name tag reads Walter.
“I’m not Walter, I’m Lenny. I bought walter out”
Yes,this is the same Lenny that Daryl bought out. This is my favorite gag in the movie. Why? No idea, it’s just hilarious.
Anyway, they are close to a dinner and they hear that a couple is going to Las Vegas, which is where Daryl has said the nearest Car rental place is. Or something like that, either way this is better result in Disney’s the hangover…which GLC would take part in with the Jessie crossover, but I digress.
Anyway, they want to hitch a ride with the couple so they head in the dinner to strike up an acquaintanceship with them. They introduce themselves as Sue and Stan.
“So you’re going to Vegas. What a coincidence, we’re going to palm springs”
‘/How is that a coincidence?
Also, Amy orders a shit ton of food, which means she has is turning into her husband.
“Are you gonna eat that?”
“…That’s my napkin”
Yeah, this is the most humor focused of the Sitcom DCOM’s, but in the very least….i have a ton of funny lines to quote.
Long story short, ask Stan and Sue for a ride and they say Yes. I’m gonna pull a 16 Wishes on you and say something amazing is revealed during the car ride.
Back over at Palm springs, PJ is banished to the bedroom too cuz…he has some ointment all over him and Grandma won’t let him on the furniture. Okay. I only mentioned that to show how much up shit creek they are right now, cuz we cut back to the main plot right after.
It turns out that Sue and Stan are going to the AASN convention. What is AASN? Alien Abduction Survivor’s network.
Yeah, these guys are alien nuts. After that is said, Amy mentions that she is a bit sickly and the couple says that is a sign of alien abduction. The other sign is an increase in appetite, which Amy also has right now.
Needless to say, Amy thinks they are crazy and says she has not been abducted. But remember that reveal I mention earlier? Well…
“That big appetite on top of the nausea ? You have either been abducted by aliens or you’re pregnant!”
WHAT A TWEEST!
Yeah, that’s our twist that is kind of a “It was his sled” thing if …you know, you saw any episode made after this. But come oh, wouldn’t this movie be FAR more interesting if it had aliens? …Just me?
It’s here when the movie goes to pretty good to pretty damn good with all the stuff that is about to happen. After the reveal we cut to them being dropped off in Vegas.
“Can we talk about you being pregnant and not telling me?”
Weird how Teddy waited for the end of that long car ride to speak up.
Amy says that she wanted to tell the family all at once on Christmas day.
“How did this happen?”
“You know how this happened. You saw the film in Health Class”
You know-for kids!
“5 kids, really?”
So if this show has taught us anything it’s this: Keep it in your pants. …Though many male viewers can’t fault Bob here, if you know what I mean.
They would argue some more, but they look down to see their luggage has vanished. Man, no one in this movie can go 5 seconds with some crappy thing happening to them…but at least it is funny.
Meanwhile, the rest of the family is at the pool, when Amy calls Bob. One talk later, Bob decides they are just gonna pick them up. So a bit later, they tell Grandma they are heading out, and Bob leaves Charlie in Grandma’s hands.
But right away, Charlie starts messing with stuff.
“How did I stop her from breaking things?”
“It’s easy…just tell her not to touch them”
Grandma said that to him earlier. So that calls for a YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Back with Amy and Teddy, they have lost their luggage and are truly up shit creek. Amy and Teddy get pissed at each other since Teddy is a large part of why they are in this mess.
“I’m not the parent. I’m not the one who is supposed to be responsible”I!”
“I’m not the one who ruined Christmas!”
“I already feel awful, you just meant me to feel worse”
Now we’re in the real meat of the film. This whole movie is an interesting looking into their Mother/Daughter thing her and their separate characters. They are both most certainty at fault in some way, but here it’s obviously Amy.
This is a nice moment that reveals the heart of the movie. It’s not exactly original for the daughter to try to be responsible and fail, nor is it original for the Mom needed to learn to put faith in her and all that.
But it’s done pretty well here due to a healthy dose of heart and it’s still well written. When Teddy cries a bit and walks off, you genuinely feel bad for her. Granted, it doesn’t pain Amy in the best light, but they will make up for it later.
One sad montage later, we cut to that night as Teddy spots some street performers, and decides to get in on the act. Yep, it’s time for the Obligatory excuse to get the singing star to sing. Though since she is signing Deck the halls, it’s also an excuse to say Gay in a kid’s movie.
It doesn’t go well for a bit, which is why Teddy should have used the Chester A Bum approach to getting money.
“CHANGE?! YA GOT CHANGE?!”
But then Amy joins in to “help” which leads to a SONG FIGHT! It actually goes over well with the crowd and they get some money out of it. So they team up and make the song fights their thing.
But sadly Bob, Gabe, and PJ end up lost while driving to Vegas. And then..they are stopped by a bunch of dudes with weird guns.
“I’m gonna need to see your badges”
“Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges”
Like my new running gag?
They laugh evilly and we get back to Amy and Teddy. …Yeah i’ll comment on those guys in a little bit. The two grab some dinner with their money, and discuss Spring break.
“Letting go. You take a trip like that by yourselves and you really are a grown up. I just want you to be my baby”
Yeah, this film isn’t exactly original but damn if I don’t find this insanely moving.
“You did not ruin Christmas. At least we’re together!”
Nice, but remember how their luggage vanished? Yeah, they see a homeless girl who popped up earlier wearing one of Teddy’s tops.
“…She looks better in it than I did”
They not so subtly approach the girl.
/’The jig is up”
“And you look awful in that top”
The girl responds by…crying.
“I just didn’t know what else to do cuz I was so hungry!
‘…Could you stop crying so we can call the cops?”
“Sorry, I’m just so tired , and I’m lost and I just wanna go home but I can’t cuz it’s like 1000 miles away, and I don’t have any money”
“How did that happen?”
Now, if you think is the most depressing thing ever, just wait. But first, let’s get back to Bob, Gabe and PJ as the bad guys take them to some shack and tie them to some chairs. The head bad guy mentions keeping the stone of whatever out of their hands. Bob tries to tell him the real story, but Bad guy thinks he’s lying and walks away saying there is “no way’ they are getting “The stone”.
Yes, they threw in a legit villain into this move. Even the wizards movie didn’t have a flat out good vs evil battle with the heroes…kind of, we’ll get to that one, I swear. But I’ll let Gabe explain:
“Every Christmas eve, Chuck (Name redacted cuz I can’t spell it) the billionaire who invented Galaxy of Death, hosts this legendary paintball tournament based on the game!”
Yeah, there’s your explanation. Now, at least they didn’t make him a mustache twirler or a guy who wants to take over the world. And they weaved it into the story with the Galaxy of Death subplot.
They also keep the scale normal with it being a game, and the fact that Teddy and Amy stay away from this part. But at the same time, it is still a little odd, and it doesn’t make much sense. He’s so into the game, that he thinks some random guys on the road are part of it and all that?
It’s just kind of weird. But I’ll let it slide. PJ is able to escape from his ropes thanks to the sunburn ointment, and he unties the others. They grab some paintball guns, walk into the next room and shoots down the guard.
“Now, where’s my car?”
“Can’t talk, already dead”
Gabe does some snooping and figures he could get them to the car AND win the game.
Awesome, but let’s get back to the main plot. The homeless chick tells them that she wanted to go to this music festival, but her said she was to young to go without an adult. They got into a huge fight,
“She said if I went to the festival, I might as well bother not coming home. I went anyway, my ride ditched me, and I wound up stranded here. ”
…Damn, this chick is a Woobie if I ever saw one. Yeah, her only purpose is to serve a parallel to the Teddy/Amy thing and all that, but it’s still done really well. You feel bad for her all the way…and it’s a good parallel!
After some talking, Amy calls the chick’s Mom to explain everything. She hands the phone over to Jordan (it took until this part to tell us her damn name) and they make up. Call it rushed if you want, but with the way it’s done, it is sweet and it makes sense.
Things seem okay, but the plane fair is sadly too much for Jordan’s mom to handle.
“Guess i’ll find a shelter tonight and find enough Money for bus fair”
Santa Christ, this chick is depressing.
So anyway, Teddy gives Jordan her plane ticket.
“It’s brought me a lot of trouble, but if it gets you home for Christmas, it’s worth it”
So they all say bye and Jordan heads off. But their troubles aren’t over since, you know, Bob and the others are too busy with their game to pick them up. So Teddy figures they know which route Bob was taking, so they’ll rent a car and meet them halfway.
Except the car rental place is not open…but Gary’s bike place is.
‘…bought this place from Gary”
“So you’re not Gary. My name is-”
“Wait, don’t tell us. Are you Walter?”
Again, best gag in the movie.
Anyway, they grab a Bike and head off, as we join them at 6 am the next morning. Christmas day, to be exact. Meanwhile, the game rages on and at least the game itself is a lot of fun when we see it here.
Lots of awesome slow-mo later, Bob is taken down so Gabe ends up grabbing the stone (which is glowing for some reason) and wins the game.
But Gary himself shows up to show how unhappy he is to see this. ….But Gabe has his team uniform on, which means Gary wins and it’s all good. Kind of a lame villain in the end, eh?
“Is there anything I can do to repay you?”
“Actually,we need a lift”
Yep, Chuck lets him hitch a ride in a helicopter to where Teddy and Amy are. How they knew they had left their spot is anyone’s guess. But either way, they are reunited and they hug it out.
Then the Grandparents show up by by the power of plot convenience. Yes, Grandpa is happy to see Gabe with the stone thingy.
And with that,we cut to later at the dinner Amy and Teddy were at when Bob and the gang arrived, and there they have Charlie put the Star on the tree that is there.
“It certainly has been a strange holiday”
“I think this is the best Christmas I’ve ever had”
They all agree. …Oh, and Amy announces the new baby news to the rest of the family.
“I know one thing you’re good at: Making beautiful babies”
….That sounded dirty.
And what better way to end the movie then have Teddy address the video camera with….
“Looks like you’re gonna be a big sister too! Good Luck charlie”
Then text says “The end…almost’. Wow, this movie is a great troll. We cut to them getting on the plane yet again which is…overbooked by one seat.
This is the worst airline EVR.
And so they offer the free ticket again, and Teddy says yes again.
BOB: …We’ll be back by new years.
“No one you won’t.”
Roll credits. Yeah, not much of an ending really. I’ve discussed abrupt endings before, but at least we gt a reinforcement of the moral in 16 Wishes. But at the same time, it matches the scale of the rest of the movie…so I can’t bitch.
This may the first time in forever I didn’t have much to say in the final thoughts. Anyway, this movie was pretty enjoyable.
Though of all the Disney sitcom movies, it has the least to talk about, and it should be the least interesting. After all, the story is minimal , and with it ends, it didn’t seem to have much in the way of morals after we get the big sweet moment.
But in the end, it’s probably the most ENTERIANING of them all, in terms of humor and how the sweet moments fit in. The plot itself is simple, but it works as a fun road trip movie, and they take advantage of the situations.
Every character gets something to do, even if it’s just a simple joke. Everyone has some hilarious moments, and the actors still do a good job at bringing these characters to life. Of course, Bridgit Mendler and Leigh Allyn Baker get the most to do, and as a result, shine the most.
Their relationship is the heart of the movie, and it works pretty well. It is pretty cliché when you stop to think about it, but at the same time, it’s done with so much heart that I enjoyed it. Baker is still hilarious as the kind of self centered mom and Mendler gets some of the best moments with her jokes and one of the sweet moments near the end.
And like I said before, this is clearly meant to be more humor oriented than the other DCOM films and since the show is funny, the movie is very funny too. Not the most hilarious thing ever, but it’s a lot of fun.
The sweet moments are done pretty well, and as odd (and pointless) as the “climax” was, it still pretty enjoyable. It’s just a fun movie with everything that made the show worked.
Not much else to say. Check it out.
Ah, it was great to do a good movie again,. I hope we keep it up next ti-