• Publication date: December 19, 2010

The Great Buck Howard The Great Buck Howard

Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) is a newbie law student who yearns to be ...

Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) is a newbie law student who yearns to be a Hollywood screenwriter. Against his father's wishes, Troy secretly leaves school to become an assistant for The Great Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a washed up magician whose popularity peaked in the mid-1970s. Once a frequent guest of Johnny Carson's and a Vegas celebrity, Howard now earns a living performing at small town venues, usually to older audiences. Traveling alongside Howard to cities such as Akron, OH and Bakersfield, CA is not exactly glamorous, especially given the magician's verbal abuse and erratic, grandiose behavior. Nevertheless, Troy is intrigued by Buck and does learn a thing or two about showbiz. Despite accusations from friends and family that Troy is wasting his life and education, he continues to believe in Howard's possible return to stardom. Up and coming New York publicist Valerie Brennan (Emily Blunt) believes that Howard's career can be resurrected too, assuming she can tolerate his insults and diva-like theatrics. Valerie has gathered a dozen of Cincinnati's top media outlets at Buck's latest show, where he intends to send a crowd of 200 individuals into deep sleep. The outcome of the mentalist's performance could propel Howard back into the limelight, or merely solidify his has-been status. Concurrently, Valerie and Troy's business relationship transforms into a romantic affair, though his strange loyalty to Buck could drive them apart. Has Troy truly thrown away his future by joining Howard, or does the experience mark a new chapter in the young man's life? Who is the real Buck Howard, and are his acts purely illusional or truly magical? The Great Buck Howard is loosely based upon real life mentalist The Amazing Kreskin and director Sean McGinly's experience touring with him. Rating: Rated PG for some explicit language including suggestive remarks, and a drug reference.