About a month ago, I published my list of the Worst 10 films of 2012. The picture to take the #1 spot on that list was ‘The Campaign’ – the Will Farrell/Zack Galifiankis political comedy which inexplicably seems to have its share of promoters (based on the comments I received for ranking the picture so low). ‘Movie 43’ makes ‘The Campaign’ look like an artful rendition in comparison; and I doubt this picture will have anyone promoting it. Even the releasing studio, Virgin Produced, didn’t screen this in advance for critics, because they knew how we would react to it.
The film’s ads state we can’t unsee this thing. My dear readers, I beg of you not to see this. I watched it and am now I’m reviewing it for you so you don’t have to. Film critics may have the best job in the world – but this is a perfect example of when it becomes rough; I was just robbed of ninety minutes of my life. And despite the fact that I’ve only been a contributor to Chic Darling for a short period of time, ‘Movie 43’ made me want to resign as entertainment writer. In fact, this may very well be my last review.
The idea for this project came from Peter Farrelly – who along with his brother Bobby Farrelly directed some of my favorite comedies of the 1990s: ‘Dumb and Dumber’, ‘Kingpin’, and ‘There’s Something About Mary’. Peter has obviously fallen of harder times. It was his idea to create a film consisting of twelve different storylines, each one done by a different director. These idiots include: Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, and Jonathan van Tulleken. ‘Movie 43’ stars one of the biggest ensemble casts ever in film: Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, and Kate Winslet to name a few.
This is the biggest waste of A-talent in cinematic history – those thinking that this will be an interest star-studded turkey are wrong. There is no camp value to be had; ‘Movie 43’ is gross, scatological, witlessly crude, offensive, and an entertainment-free dead zone as far as I’m concerned.
Apparently, this was shot over a four year period – the only fatality here is the audience. The first segment is entitled ‘The Pitch’. Dennis Quaid plays a mad screenwriter trying to pitch a script to film executive Greg Kinnear. Quaid’s outrageous ideas are dismissed by Kinnear, so what does Quaid do? He pulls a gun on Kinnear forcing him to purchase the film. The following segments show us exactly what Quaid’s ideas are. The second segment called ‘The Catch’ features Kate Winslet on a blind date with Hugh Jackman – when Jackman removes his scarf, she noticed an anatomical abnormality – he has a pair of testicles dangling from his neck; no one else seems to notice it, only her! Haha, hehe, whatever. Then there’s ‘Homeschooled’ where we get to see real-life couple Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts homeschooling their teenage son. They simulate a high school environment within their home so he can have a completely miserable (but normal) high school experience. Their actions towards their son are too cruel for me to describe. ‘The Proposition’ – another real-life pair Anna Farris and Chris Pratt consummate their love for each other by him defecating on her. Gross. ‘Veronica’: Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone engage in an uncomfortable sexual conversation which unbeknownst to them is broadcasted to the shoppers of a local grocery store because the intercom microphone was left on. And there’s the ‘iBabe’ – a replica of a nude woman which functions as an MP3 player; you see, there’s a fan built into the genital region of the iBabe which is mangling the penises of boys who are experimenting on it. And then there’s a fake commercial called ‘Machine Children’ which is paid for by the society of the prevention of cruelty to children inside machines.
I’m not done.
‘Middleschool Date’ – Chloe Grace Moretz gets her period for the first time during a date with a boy from school. He responds by dialing 9/11 to yell out “Help! My friend is bleeding out of her vagina.” Another faux commercial follows this – this time involving two women and tampax. ‘Happy Birthday’ – Johnny Knoxville captures a leprechaun (Gerard Butler) for Sean William Scott as a birthday present. ‘Truth or Dare’ – Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant are on a blind date in a Mexican restaurant (the least offensive dare involves blowing out the candles on a blind boy’s birthday cake before he gets the chance to). ‘Victory’s Glory’ – Terrence Howard is the coach of an all-black basketball team; they’re about to play an all-white team. His motivational speech: “You’re black, they’re white, this ain’t hockey!” Then end credits finally arrive and we see bloopers in which cast members break out of character and laugh. What were they laughing at? There’s nothing funny going on here. Oh wait, faux end credits too; there one segment left. ‘Beezel’ – Elizabeth Banks is jealous of her boyfriend’s (Josh Duhamel) cat. The cat masturbates over beach photos of Josh Duhamel. I’m not kidding.
Did any of this sound funny to you? What were these cast members thinking when they read the script? This isn’t a close call; this is a very bad screenplay. Now, I’m the person who normally defends crude comedies. I’ve given enthusiastic reviews to: ‘Ted’, ‘Horrible Bosses’, ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’, ‘Get Him To The Greek’, every Judd Aptow film, and almost every Kevin Smith picture. But these movies have smart writing, likable characters with a rooting interest; and amidst all the R-rated humor, they have a big heart, and so there’s a chance to get emotionally invested in the fates of these characters. Not in ‘Movie 43’, not even close. No one here is remotely likable; everyone is an a-hole.
‘Movie 43’ is deplorable, first-class junk. You couldn’t write worse jokes if I asked you to write worse jokes. Even with 86.9167 years left in this century, ‘Movie 43’ has made a strong bid for the worst movie of the 21st century. And if you liked this, you should probably unfriend/unfollow me right now. QED.