movie43posterBy THOMAS EGAN

“Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it,” is the statement in the Movie 43 trailer viewed by millions of Americans. For those who went to see it this weekend, it is a guarantee that will hold true, yet not the way the producers intended.

Movie 43, directed by Peter Farrelly, totes a cast of heavyweight A-list celebrities. In fact, it is nearly impossible to own a television and not know at least seven of the featured actors.

Starring Dennis QuaidGreg KinnearJosh DuhamelElizabeth BanksLiev Schrieber and Naomi Watts, the movie centers around a string of inappropriate comedic shorts while the plot sits on the backburner.

Charlie Wessler (Quaid, The Day After Tomorrow), a dirty, poorly dressed man whose character is given little background, delivers the shorts, taken out of context from movie script, in succession throughout the film. He tries to sell the script to Griffin Schraeder (Kinnear, Little Miss Sunshine), a producer who recognizes the silly and incredibly inappropriate clips as part of a terrible script.

When Schraeder refuses to buy it, Wessler holds him at gunpoint, demands he purchases the movie, as it is his last chance to sell a script. Schraeder takes Wessler to a higher authority, claiming he doesn’t have the power to buy it, while Wessler continues to read excerpts from the script which do not fit together. Upon arriving at his boss’s office, Schraeder attempts to show that he is being held at gunpoint without explicitly saying it, and is ultimately thrown for a loop when events lead to his boss telling him he has slept with his wife.

After this twist of the century, the farce of a plot continues in no real direction, until the real producers and directors decide on an appropriate time to end the film with one more short, an excerpt about an animated cat whose love for its male owner (Duhamel, Transformers) leads it to attempt to murder his girlfriend (Banks, The Hunger Games). The bit was full of dirty humor and innuendo, but was funny nonetheless.

The topics of the shorts range from superhero speed dating to a new MP3 player shaped like a naked woman to a couple (Watts, King Kong, and Schrieber, Goon) who takes homeschooling a little too seriously, posing as bullies and throwing house parties to give their son a realistic high school experience.

These bits share two defining traits in a cast of recognizable faces and a draping theme of inappropriate humour which pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable for a public audience.

Farrelly wanted to create a film so inappropriate, audiences could not erase it from their minds. While failing to be memorable for its humor, it will definitely be remembered forever by all who saw it as “the weird movie that I wasted ten bucks to go see”.

Barely grossing $5 million on it’s opening weekend, Movie 43 flopped at the box office. It is good for a cheap laugh, though it is embarrassing to laugh. It will surely be a heavy favorite for worst movie of the year and will be remembered by it’s star-studded cast as “the role they wish they could forget”.

The 411

Title: Movie 43

Release Date: 

2 out of 5 stars

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