'Movie 43': What the Critics Are Saying
With 11 directors and just about every A-list Hollywood star on its roster, on paper, Movie 43 has the cache of a hit. Unfortunately, according to critics, it lacks just about everything else. The raunchy comedy (whose plot is hazy at best, even to those who have ventured to see the film) isn't fairing well with reviewers, who are describing the film as something no comedy ever wants to be labeled as: unfunny.
The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck says, "... despite the dizzying array of talent involved both in front of and behind the camera, this god-awful exercise is so painfully unfunny, so screamingly bad, that it immediately qualifies as one of the worst films of all time."
Here's what other critics are saying of the film:
"Providing a rickety framework for the otherwise disconnected vignettes is a thin plotline involving a desperate filmmaker (Dennis Quaid) pitching ideas to a bewildered studio executive (Greg Kinnear) who eventually is forced to keep listening to them at gunpoint. The principals behind Movie 43 might want to employ a similar method on whatever baffled audiences the film manages to attract, since that’s likely the only way the keep them in their seats. All of the segments feature the sort of cheap scatological humor aimed at the lowest common denominator, with the actors apparently eager to prove just what good sports they can be."
"Movie 43 is a collection of one-joke short films strung together as a feature, movies built seemingly built around this guiding directive: Find big-name stars and see how far 'out there' they'll go for a laugh. If you're the sort who laughs at the title of that novel, this might be the movie for you -- a dizzying array of actors in a wide variety of oh-no-they-didn't sketches, almost all using oral sex and penis gags as their punch lines."
"You know, it’s kind of difficult to feel sorry for famous movie stars who have more money than god, but we spent a majority of Movie 43 squirming in our seats and wondering what, exactly, Richard Gere did to deserve this. Most of the actors appear to be visibly uncomfortable in their sections, and a report earlier this week essentially suggested that [Peter] Farrelly harassed most of the participants into being in the movie, sometimes waiting years for the actor’s schedule to open up so they could shoot a bit. (Gere, for all his clear unhappiness, forced the production to switch coasts to facilitate his sketch, which is hilariously impish. Right on Richard Gere!) The first section, with [Hugh] Jackman (playing a man who has testicles hanging off his chin) and [Kate] Winslet, was shot FOUR YEARS AGO. Even after people said yes, they didn’t want to be in this thing."
"The sketches aren’t united by a half-ignored framing device, so much as by an enduring fascination with bodily functions. Movie 43 is the most star-studded collection of jokes involving menstruation, flatulence, incest, bestiality, Snooki and nutsacks ever assembled, but the stars don’t elevate the material — they just descend to its level."
"That’s the largest ensemble cast ever assembled, all that talent and time completely wasted on an utter catastrophe. Want one final nail in the coffin? Actual funny persons Trey Parker and Matt Stone were initially supposed to direct one of the shorts here, but it never happened, most likely because they read the script and realized they were dealing with imbeciles. Instead of directing poop jokes, they opted to write Book of Mormon, a wise choice given their musical has more laughs in its opening three minutes than Movie 43 ever pulls off. The truly amazing thing is that anyone involved here once brought us Something About Mary, this now seems like a fluke of the highest order, lightning hitting a guy living in an underground bunker."
Movie 43 opens in theaters this weekend.