Movie 43 (2013)
I can still remember when this movie came out, thinking it couldn't possibly be that bad with such an all-star cast. But then, reviews started to come out about how bad it actually ended up being, and those reviews remain, to this day, one of the only times they've influenced whether or not I've seen something. Well, I managed to hold out for ten long years, but what can I say? Eventually, morbid curiosity, word of mouth, and a place to post about it led me to finally check it out in my free time. And surprise, surprise, it's just about as bad as suggested.
This is quite honestly truly fascinating in how bad it ends up being, and it really makes you question what most if not all involved were thinking when it got made. What's more is reading that there were even some actors that, once signed to the project, tried to back out but couldn't for whatever reason, such as Richard Gere... yes, Richard Gere, which is just one name on a massive list in this all-star cast. Chances are that if you've ever seen this for yourself, there had to be at least one name in here that made you utter the line "Say it ain't so". For me? Oh my, so, so many names that just do not belong in something this awful. Just wait, because I'm gonna list them ALL!
The film itself is an anthology of shorts, each featuring big names of the time. They're all part of a pitch from struggling filmmaker, Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid) trying to get producer Griffin Schraeder (Greg Kinnear) to buy his script with all the horrible ideas that we get to see first-hand. Going through these shorts one by one, all I'll have to do is tell you what each is about before you decide for yourself whether it's bad, stupid, or just plain offensive. We start with 'The Catch', which sees Beth (Kate Winslet) on a blind date with Davis (Hugh Jackman) who has testicles on his chin, and it's "funny" how awkward things keep getting as it goes... still with me here?
'Homeschooled' features a neighbourly meeting over coffee where Robert and Samantha Miller (Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts, respectively) discuss how they homeschool their son, Kevin (Jeremy Allen White), as neighbours Sean and Clare (Alex Cranmer and Julie Ann Emery, respectively) react awkwardly by how creepy things get. This is followed by 'The Proposition' where Julie (Anna Faris) asks her sweetheart Doug (Chris Pratt) to poop on her, intimately, resulting in a mess of toilet humour. And if the names haven't gotten to you yet, just wait, I have so many more.
'Veronica' features store cashier Neil (Kieran Culkin) exchanging nasty but intimate dialogue with a girl named Veronica (Emma Stone) accidentally leaving the store pager on during the rather awkward exchange. Then out of nowhere comes 'iBabe' which is the one featuring Richard Gere as the boss of a company trying to sell what is essentially nude women in the form of some sort of iPhone or iPad or something... don't try to make sense of it, it's ridiculous and stupid and low-brow. It's no wonder Gere tried to get out of it. It seemed to be meant to be a statement about how ignorant dudes are, but it was such a stretch that it ends up just looking dumb.
'Super Hero Speed Dating' features Robin (Justin Long) trying to score on a speed dating circuit while Batman (Jason Sudeikis) keeps screwing him over at every turn. Joining the cast in this one, among others, is Uma Thurman as Lois Lane, Bobby Cannavale as Superman, Kristen Bell as Supergirl and Leslie Bibb as Wonder Woman. Then for some reason, it goes to a PSA announcement about how children reside inside machines. It's such a weird and random turn you don't expect, and you simply don't know what to feel about it. The concept is a little funny, but it's so stupidly random that it loses you completely.
'Middle School Date', features a handful of guys, Mikey (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Nathan (Jimmy Bennett) and their father (Patrick Warburton) not understanding how to handle Nathan's date, Amanda's (Chloë Grace Moretz) period, complete with gross-out visuals and all ending in a graphic commercial about tampons, involving a shark attack. 'Happy Birthday' was the only skit that had me crack a smile, where Pete (Johnny Knoxville) captures a leprechaun to surprise his best friend Brian (Sean William Scott). The leprechaun is played by a digitally warped Gerard Butler and it's honestly kind of amusing. Plus Knoxville and Scott are two actors that don't feel out of place here.
'Truth or Dare', however, brings us back to something more similar to the shock of the first segment, as we see Emily (Halle Berry) and Donald (Stephen Merchant) on their first date. They have a round of Truth or Dare in the middle of a restaurant leading to extremes. It could almost be funny if the punchline wasn't actually so offensive. Finally, it all ends with 'Victory's Glory' which is basically just a segment of Coach Jackson (Terrence Howard) perpetuating the stereotype of black basketball players. In other words, they win automatically if they're black. After that the credits roll with a few outtakes, and we're happy it's over. But the movie isn't done with us quite yet!
It all finally actually ends with a horrible skit called 'Beezel', which features an animated cat who has homoerotic fantasies about his owner, Anson (Josh Duhamel) and gets between him and his new love interest, Amy (Elizabeth Banks). It all just leads to gross-out humour and straight-up (albeit animated) animal abuse. The saddest part? It was written and directed by none other than James Gunn! Altogether, this is quite simply one of the biggest messes of combining all-star casting and low-brow humour I have ever seen before. It completely lives up to the fascination of how terrible it is, and all I can say in the end is "Wow... just wow!" As mentioned earlier, it is truly fascinating how bad this ended up being!
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