Awfully Good: Movie 43
Movie 43 (2013)
Stars: A bunch of famous people afraid to admit it
Someday someone will make a documentary on MOVIE 43. They'll trace the history of the idea, chronicle the number of farts written in to the script, and they'll gather the incredible cast together and find out how they were each coerced, bribed or blackmailed in to participating. And I will be the first person to watch it, because I am fascinated—nay, obsessed—with this movie. I want to know why Hugh Jackman agreed to wear testicles on his chin and teabag a baby. I need the reasoning behind letting Richard Gere finger the vaginal fan of a female iPod. For the love of God, someone tell me how Halle Berry said "Yes!" to making guacamole with her naked breast
I'm going to get a lot of crap for this, but I don't hate this movie. I don't think it's some hidden gem that people will discover and appreciate years from now, but I also don't find it to be the cinematic disaster everyone and their mother claimed it was. I'm sorry; anyone saying this is the worst movie they've ever seen hasn't watched a lot of movies. I'll admit I laughed occasionally throughout, but overall MOVIE 43 is more "interesting" than "good," just for the shock value of seeing so many big stars potentially embarrass themselves and harm their careers. To be fair it looks like most of them are having fun letting loose and doing something mindless. Not to mention, there are a handful of real life couples here (Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts, Anna Faris and Chris Pratt, Emma Stone and Kieran Culkin) that probably just wanted a chance to work together for a few days.
The Zucker-Abrams' KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE was one of my favorite films growing up and I've been waiting years for another comedy anthology movie. While this is more AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON than KFM, it's pretty much what I expected from a Farrelly Brothers-produced shorts film—low brow humor, fart jokes and gross out gags. Sometimes it's a bit much, but it's not like MOVIE 43 isn't completely aware of how stupid and disgusting it is. ("The neck balls are just a metaphor!" is said within the first 10 minutes.) And I have to give credit to the filmmakers and actors for just going for it. When they commit to something dumb or disgusting in a skit they really go for it. (I'm looking at you, Beezel.)
Some skits, like Stone and Culkin's "Veronica" or the Elizabeth Banks-directed "Middle School Date," are completely worthless, but a handful are decent, funny ideas—if not just poorly executed. (Like Saturday Night Live, none of them seem to know how to end.) It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but to me MOVIE 43 is better than Aaron Seltzer-Jason Friedberg's entire filmography. Hell, I'm pretty sure I'd watch this over any lazy Adam Sandler comedy.
If you haven't seen MOVIE 43 and want to know what you're in for, here's a recap of the various shorts:
This overarching story that bookends each skit is pretty pointless and unfunny, but Greg Kinnear is a good proxy for the audience as a movie studio executive being forced to experience the movie at gunpoint and reacting accordingly.
Oscar-winner Kate Winslet goes on a blind date with Hugh Jackman, who is the perfect man—except for the apparent scrotal sack he has dangling from his jaw. You can expect every ball gag in the book, from teabagging to shrinkage, all starring some very serious actors.
One of the better shorts, this one sees Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber as parents who want their homeschooled son to have the typical high school experience, which means getting bullied, rejected, humiliated, and… [gulp] lucky.
Anna Faris pops the above question to her boyfriend Chris Pratt. What follows is simply the most juvenile and unsubtle scatological humor you can imagine. Although it is nice to see the return of TurboLax from DUMB AND DUMBER.
SUPERHERO SPEED DATING
This is essentially a remake/spinoff of the popular 2005 short "Robin's Big Date," starring Sam Rockwell and Justin Long. (Same director too.) Here you get Long returning as Robin, Jason Sudeikis as Batman, Uma Thurman as Lois Lane, Bobby Carnavale as Superman, Kristen Bell as Supergirl, John Hodgman as the Penguin and Leslie Bibb as Wonder Woman. It doesn't completely live up to its star-studded potential (i.e. more "bush" jokes than clever superhero gags), but the cast tries their best.
This probably would've been funny when they started making this movie 10 years ago, but iPod jokes are a bit dated now. The premise is that Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth and the rest of their corporate team are re-evaluating their flagship product—an MP3 player shaped like a naked woman that keeps mangling the fingers and penises of horny teenage boys.
MIDDLE SCHOOL DATE
Chloe Moretz gets her first period and freaks out her boyfriend, McLovin and Patrick Warburton. Not much else to it.
Another solid one. Johnny Knoxville gets his friend Seann William Scott an incapacitated leprechaun for his birthday so they can try to scam him out of his gold. Gerard Butler's foul mouthed leprechaun is probably the best part of this entire movie, so enjoy it while you can.
TRUTH OR DARE
Directed by Peter Farrelly, this short feels most like a Farrelly Bros. movie and stars Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant as a couple that makes their first date memorable by daring each other to do more and more ridiculous stuff. The game escalates pretty quickly, so I don't want to spoil all of the gags, but let's say giant fake breasts and a member of the "Jersey Shore" get involved.
Before they face their first racially integrated game, Coach Terrence Howard tries to give his African American basketball team a pep talk by stating the obvious. An amusing joke stretched out for five minutes.
This one is by far my favorite. Directed by James Gunn (SLITHER, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), it feels like a typical Gunn flick– dark, shocking and hilarious. It tells the story of a girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) trying to live with her boyfriend and his vengeful cartoon cat who wants her out of the picture. Again, I won't ruin all the good parts, but you get to see the animated feline pleasuring itself to pictures of Josh Duhamel in a swimsuit, as well as do something despicable with a stuffed bear and a hairbrush. Wrong, but so right.
There are also a few commercials here and there, a couple of which are actually pretty funny.
Clips from five of the better skits, including Hugh Jackman's chinballs, Halle Berry playing truth or dare, Elizabeth Banks vs. a cartoon cat, Chris Pratt letting it all out for Anna Faris, and a funny commercial. (NSFW)
Some naked iBabes and Halle Berry's enormous fake breasts.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- There is a fart or other bodily function
- Someone says "balls"
- Someone says "mangled"
- There is nudity
- A celebrity embarrasses him/herself