05 February 2013

Movie 43

The only way I can really make sense of the idea behind this movie is that it's part of some kind of scheme to get revenge on a lot of Hollywood stars by degrading them as much as possible. Because I honestly don't believe that Peter Farrelly, who has made plenty of genuinely funny movies, could really have thought this was worthwhile. I mean, the idea is a good one - get a bunch of celebrities and put them in a string of outrageously lewd sketches. Definitely a promising start. Except that the humor in this movie is so wooden, dull, and even predictable, that it comes across as bizarrely mundane.

There are a few great moments. Semi-spoiler alert, in that I went and saw this movie knowing nothing about it, including who was in it, which decidedly contributed to the fun, so if you don't know either and actually want to see it, stop reading now or you'll rob yourself of one of the few pleasures the film offers. But highlights include a scene with Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone, and a very funny speech by Terrence Howard. There's a semi-comical sequence of men freaking out about menstruation that almost seems insightful, but maybe that's because of how dumb the rest of the film is. The movie's most shocking scene, to me at least, was one towards the end involving a cartoon cat. It was the one moment where the movie actually felt subversive.

Because here's the thing - gross has been done before. Accidentally masturbating to your mother is just not that risqué, especially if you've seen Polyester. I mean, it is gross, and cringe-inducing, but it's not really _that_ shocking, or all that funny. Which is a problem when you're making a movie that relies heavily on shock value in order to get some laughs.

Vaguely interesting is the sense one has that this is an attempt to make a movie version of a funny Internet video. But that genre just doesn't translate well to the big screen. I mean, good movies have been made based around skits (my friend Daniel mentioned Monty Python's Meaning of Life, and Woody Allen's Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask, as successful examples). There were parts of this film that I could imagine getting a link to in my inbox from a friend. Many of the scenes might have been amusing if they'd ended about 5 minutes earlier. But overall, the film just falls flat.

No comments: