by Zack Roddy
Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) is a law school student who dreads getting up every morning if it means that he has to study law. Troy dreams of becoming a writer, but it has always been his father (played by Colin Hanks’ real life father Tom Hanks) who decided that he must become a lawyer. In an on the fly decision, Troy unceremoniously drops out of law school, packs his things, and moves to Los Angeles.
When looking for a job to support himself as a writer, he answers an ad to be a personal assistant to a celebrity performer. With dreams of working for a star, Troy is less than impressed when he is landed with Buck Howard (John Malkovich). Howard, a magician who prefers the term “mentalist”, is most famous for appearing on The Tonight Show 61times- when Johnny Carson was still the host. Buck is the ultimate diva- difficult, cold, rude, and completely unaware that he is now a has been. Despite this, Troy is still drawn in to his world of magic. Hoping for one final chance to jumpstart his career, Buck decides that he must devise a new trick that will blow audiences out of the water. Along for the ride in this new adventure is a sexy publicist (Emily Blunt) who is there to secure the press, and who has instant chemistry with Troy. But if Buck’s trick is a failure, he going to go down hard, taking Troy with him.
The Great Buck Howard, written and directed by Sean McGinly, succeeds in making Buck Howard one of the most lovable jerks ever. This has a lot to do with John Malkovich’s flawless performance, and Colin Hanks is equally as good as the film’s down to earth hero. While not the most enriching comedy, it does succeed in making the audience laugh often, and it is certainly recommendable.