Movie 43 (it’s a comedy anthology with the following segments)
Writer (for the most parts): Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Steve Baker
The Thread (in the European version, that’s the framing device; in the US, I gather, it’s a different story)
Director: Bob Odenkirk
Cast: Devin Eash, Adam Cagley, Mark L. Young
Director: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman
Director: Will Graham
Cast: Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Allen White
Director: Steve Carr
Cast: Chris Pratt, Anna Faris
Director: Griffin Dunne
Cast: Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone
Director: Steven Brill
Cast: Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Aasif Mandvi, Jack McBrayer
Superhero Speed Dating
Director: James Duffy
Cast: Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Bibb, John Hodgman
Director: Jonathan van Tulleken
Writer: Jonathan van Tulleken
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Cast: Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh
Director: Patrik Forsberg
Writer: Patrik Forsberg
Director: Brett Ratner
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Gerard Butler
Truth or Dare
Director: Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg
Cast: Stephen Merchant, Halle Berry
Director: Rusty Cundieff
Cast: Terrence Howard
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel
Calvin (Mark L. Young) and his best friend JJ (Adam Cagley) wanted to trick his little brother Baxter (Devin Eash) by making him look for a supposedly banned film that doesn’t actually exist – Movie 43. But Baxter actually finds something, and as they move from clip to clip they come ever closer to the truth.
People, heed my warning. I thought that a movie with that cast couldn’t possible be as bad as the trailer. “There must be something there,” I thought. “Something redeeming. It can’t possibly be all dick jokes, scatological humor and misanthropy?” Now I laugh in the face of my naivité. Because that really is all there is to this film: people behaving like disgusting assholes and we’re supposed to laugh about it. And all that remains after seeing the film is a question: Why? Why would anybody want to make such a film? Why are any of the actors involved in this? Why would anybody think that shit is funny? WHYYYYY????
The Thread is actually the perfect framing device for this film. It is juvenile, nonsensical, has a surprising amount of incest and misogyny and isn’t funny in the least. Just like the rest of the film.
The Catch: Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet on a date. Whatever could go wrong with that, even if he has a scrotum dangling from his chin? Well, it’s just not very funny. But at least it was one of the least offensive skits. So, yay?
Homeschooled: I really liked the idea of this bit – Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts homeschooling their son (Jeremy Allen White) and including all the high-school bullying in their curriculum. Unfortunately it goes nowhere but, again, in the incest direction. And I would have appreciated to get to laugh. I didn’t.
The Proposition: He (Chris Pratt) wants to propose. She (Anna Faris) wants him to shit on her. Apparently that’s not hilarious enough (I agree) because he has to make it happen by eating tons of Mexican food and drinking a laxative and then pretty much exploding. *sigh* [And I do think that anybody who is actually into coprophilia will be severely insulted by this.]
Veronica: This one was so close to being actually something good, it was probably the best segment (apart from Machine Kids). It, too, goes a little overboard and lacks really big laughs, but it’s so close!
[On a sidenote, why do I have such a difficult time telling Rory and Kieran Culkin apart?]
iBabe: Gah! An iPod that looks like a naked woman, including a vagina but in said vagina is a penis-mangling ventilation fan. Where should I start with the offensive, misogynistic clusterfuck that is this sketch? And just because you have a woman (Kate Bosworth) in the skit who is aware of the misogyny doesn’t make it any less offensive.
[On another sidenote: According to wikipedia, Richard Gere tried to get out of this project. I respect him for that. Colin Farrell actually did get out of it. I respect him more. George Clooney told them all to fuck off and didn’t get in in the first place. I respect him the most.]
Superhero Speed Dating: Robin (Justin Long) tries speed dating, interrupted by Batman (Jason Sudeikis) in full-on asshole mode. The “superheroes being dicks” thing is a bit overworked at the moment. But even if it wasn’t, this sketch would still be just not funny. And offensive. People being assholes is just not funny on its own. I’d love to see a movie with John Hodgman as The Penguin though.
Machine Kids: The actual best thing about this film and it’s only a minute long (or so). Don’t mistreat machines: remember, there’s kids inside them. I honestly laughed.
Middleschool Date: This segment has one delicious moment where Chloe Moretz (playing a girl who just got her period for the first time while at her boyfriend’s house, surrounded by guys who are freaking out) tells all the panicking men around her to just shut the fuck up and get over it (I’m paraphrasing). But that “men freaking out over period, not knowing what to do” is an actual plot is ridiculous.
Tampax: A fake commercial where a woman gets eaten by a shark because she didn’t use the right tampon and therefore wasn’t sealed tight. I admit it, I laughed.
Happy Birthday: Guys being guys. Which, according to this, means: misogyny, beating each other up, cursing and more misogyny. Fuck off is what I say to that.
Truth or Dare: A couple on a blind date give each other increasingly stupid dares. Starting with fondling an uninvolved third party, and it only goes downhill from there to end in actual racism. No.
Victory’s Glory: A trainer (Terrence Howard) gives his basketball team the speech “you’re going to win because you’re black.” And because it’s a black dude who makes that speech and all the white guys are racists, too, it is funny. Or not. At least there’s also Brett Davern.
Beezel: Amy (Elizabeth Banks) and Anson (Josh Duhamel) just moved in together and everything is great. Except that Anson’s cat Beezel is completely in love with him (including masturbating to swim suit photos). If the idea of Josh Duhamel making out with a cartoon cat amuses greatly, you might be the right person for this entire film. I was neither impressed nor amused.
Summarising: Stay as far away as you possibly can.
I was hoping you’d review this so I could look and check if there was some important commentary on the modern absurd I’d missed somewhere in between all the dick jokes – you’re usually pretty cluey. But glad to see that no, I was right, it’s just appalling. Do you think we could start a petition to get our movie ticket fees back??
We probably should! And I actually read somewhere that people got their money back (after seeing the entire film). If they can do it, so can we.
But really I was physically cringing during most of the film. If there is more meaning to it, then I missed it, too. Big time. [And thanks for thinking I’m cluey. :)]
[…] there) and Mark L. Young (who was the perfect caricature of the role he had in the best forgotten Movie 43). Ed Helms also hammed it up, which is always appreciated. But Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston […]