Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Movie 43 [2013]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (O)  Chicago Sun-Times (0 Stars)  AVClub (D-)  Fr. Dennis (1 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Chicago Sun-Times (R. Roeper) review
AVClub (N. Rabin) review

Movie 43 is actually a series of shorts each written, directed and acted by different people.  Coherence, such that it is, to the film is given by narrative featuring a writer/director named Charlie Wessler (played by Dennis Quaid) pitching the idea of a film composed of a series of shorts to a mid-level studio exec named Griffen Schraeder (played by Greg Kinnaer).  The central joke in the film is that Charlie Wessler is, of course, completely insane and the film that he's proposing is, except as a joke..., utterly unmakeable.  But then even as he's talking about these series of really stupid, generally over-the-top ridiculously offensive shorts, the viewers get to see these really stupid, often obscene shorts (often acted-out by some of Hollywood's top actors/actors) play out.  So we see an "utterly unmakeable" movie being "made" even as it is being simply "discussed as a hypothetical..."

The result is a really, really stupid R-rated with a huge capital R film.  Honestly parents, there's no reason at all to take a minor to this film and plenty of reasons not to.

That said, I do have to say that a number of the shorts, if borderline unspeakable, are very very funny.

Consider a couple of the vignettes:

(1) Kate Winslet plays Beth, a busy Manhattan executive being set-up to go on a blind date.  As the short begins, she's listing to her friend all the concerns that she has as she approaches this blind date.  Is he an unemployed "loser"? (No, he made senior partner at his law firm at 28).  Is he therefore "all business"?  (No, he's volunteered weekly at a homeless shelter for years and is on the board of numerous philantropic boards across the city).  Is he therefore fat, out of shape?  (No he's "run triathlons" or whatever...).  So they meet by the restaurant, Kate's character is impressed.  "Davis" (played by Hugh Jackman) is the good looking, benevolent, witty lawyer that she's been told that he is, EXCEPT when he takes off his scarf as they enter the restaurant, he's shown to have ONE utterly UNSPEAKABLE (and, indeed, obscene...) "defect" on his neck ;-).  The rest of the short proceeds from there ...

(2) Samantha (played by Naomi Watts) and Sean (played by Alex Crammer) share "the joys" of "homeschooling" their teenage son Kevin (played by Jeremy Allen White) to their new neighbors (played by Liev Schriver and Julie Ann Emery) telling them that they've wanted their son to have "the whole experience of high school" even if he was studying at home.  So Samantha (Kevin's mom) repeatedly knocks Kevin's books down as he carries them around the house (presumably to go to different classes) calling him a "loser."  His dad has him performing exhausting and humiliating drills on their drive way as part of after school "sports practice."  They even wanted him to have the "awkward experience having his first kiss."  So _both_ of Kevin's parents, Samantha and Sean, "hit on him." Sean (dad) in particular sitting next to Kevin tells him ever so awkwardly, "I'm not like into guys, but if I was, you'd be like totally who I'd be into..." (Insanely "Yuck" ... but also, honestly IMHO very funny.  What a nightmare THAT would be...!)

(3) Vanessa (played by Anna Faris) and Jason (played by Chris Pratt) have been dating for 16 months.  Both want to "take it to the next level."  Jason wants to propose, but before he can get the words out, Vanessa confides to him that she wants him to "poop" on her ... leaving him both disgusted and suddenly wondering if he really wanted to go out with her at all ... ;-).

And the other vignettes are all basically of the same vein, all both almost unspeakably disgusting and yet ... most actually "with a point."

Once again, parents, clearly this film is _not_ for your "young ones" and FILM MAKERS TAKE NOTE that it's REALLY HARD for potential viewers to justify paying anything near "full price" to see this gross-out fest.  Still, I suppose I found the film to be funnier than I expected.  Did this film "need to be made?" certainly not.  But it is (or can be) quite funny :-)

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