Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: Movie 43

The year was 1991.  I had hopped on the train to Boston to enjoy a saturday with friends.  After a fine meal, we decided to see a movie at the Loews Copley Plaza (gone but not forgotten).  Someone insisted on seeing a movie I had never heard of called Drop Dead Fred and we all acquiesced.  I was basking in the glow of a perfect day away from school and thought nothing could ruin the moment.  Twenty minutes into the movie, I realized that I was horribly wrong.  There was one thing that could do just that…and I was now watching it.  As I walked out of the cinema some ninety minutes later I uttered these three words: “worst movie ever.”  In the two decades since, I may have echoed that sentiment a few times, but no movie has truly been able to seize that moniker from Drop Dead Fred.  All of that changed yesterday when I watched Movie 43, because it is indeed the “worst movie ever.”

Movie 43 is a collection of self-contained sketches directed by a collection of individuals featuring casts that are accomplished to varying degrees.  The comedic (and I use that word lightly) skits are tied together by a plotline featuring Dennis Quaid as a deranged screenwriter who desperately and forcibly pitches script ideas to a film executive (Greg Kinnear).  What ensues is a litany of asinine juvenile sketches that wouldn’t even be good enough for the SNL cutting room floor. 

Let’s cut to the chase.  Yes, it really is the worst movie I have ever seen and were it not for extreme boredom I probably would not have made it past the first twenty minutes.  However, what is most surprising about this movie is some of the names attached to it.  Some of that can be explained away by the fact that each actor’s awareness of the production was contained to their own respective sketches.  While that nugget absolves absolutely no one, it makes things a bit more palatable.   Peter Farrelly (There's Something About Mary, Kingpin) however has no such excuse as he championed this project from start to finish as a writer/producer/director.

So what makes it so bad?  The skit about an eligible bachelor with testicles on his neck (Hugh Jackman) would in most cases mark the low point for any film, but not in this one.  With sketches about coprophilia (Anna Faris), female menstruation (Chloe Grace Moretz), and rowdy birthday leprechauns, the film manages to reach new lows every time you think it could not possibly get any worse.  The experience of watching Movie 43 is best likened to following the real life exploits of Lindsay Lohan on TMZ.  It’s repulsive and disgusting yet demands attention because you just can’t help but wonder how far the once mighty can fall.  Rest assured, this film will plummet beneath whatever depths of idiocy you can fathom.

If I absolutely had to pick out a bright spot or two in the movie, I would single out real life couple Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts for their portrayal of a married couple who has opted to home school their son.  Likewise, Terrence Howard as the coach of an all black high basketball team stands slightly above the other sketches.  Sure, those two skits have moments where they pander to the lowest denominator in society, but there are also some genuinely funny punch lines that almost make you forget the shame and regret that mounts the longer you watch this movie.

To spend any more time discussing Movie 43 would be a disservice to myself and to the rest of humanity.  Before you clicked on this post, you were probably not inclined to watch this movie and hopefully, nothing I have written will in any way change your opinion.  There’s bad; then there’s terrible; and then there’s another level that you should completely avoid and this is one of those movies you should never watch…ever…under any circumstances.  In fact, should this DVD ever find its way into your life, you should treat it as you would the VHS tape from The Ring.  Break it; burn it; throw it in a well; whatever you need to do to make sure your eyes never see a single frame.  You’ve been warned.

Standout Performance: Everyone who passed on this movie.  


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