Movie 43 (2013)

(On Cable TV, October 2013) There’s something almost awe-inspiring in the ways Movie 43 is determined to be such a bad and unpleasant film.  A collection of sketch comedy skits meant to be as offensive as possible, Movie 43 has the unusual merit of featuring two dozen A-list actors, each appearing on-screen for only a few minutes.  Sadly, they don’t have anything to work with: the sketches are uninspired, the pacing is off, the subject matter more puzzling than amusing, and there are no directorial flourishes strong enough to offset the abysmal quality of the script.  It feels like a big dare: Even by the low standards of sketch comedy films, Movie 43 doesn’t manage to come anywhere close to laughs.  The only segment of the film I’d rescue from a burning warehouse would probably be “Veronica”, the sort-of-romantic back-and-forth between Emma Stone and Kieran Culkin, and it’s largely because it feels comparatively better than the rest –not because it’s any good.  Movie 43 sounds like one of those annoying kids who discover big swearwords and then spend the rest of the week repeating them, not realizing that the rest of us have moved one –it feels like a decade-old relic of the gross-out comedy wave, and is about as impressive as a deflated fart cushion.  (I briefly considered the possibility that I’d lost my sense of juvenile humor, but then I watched the equally-crass horror spoof A Haunted House and chuckled like an idiot throughout.) Let’s not mention the actors involved in this debacle: I assume they were paid well for a short shoot and let’s celebrate the fact that Movie 43 died a quick and unlamented death at the box-office, landing on Cable TV about as quickly as it could.

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