Ensemble comedy blazes past all limits of decency

Photo courtesy of Relativity Media

There is a new form of comedy that has completely disregarded the generally accepted boundary between funny and just wrong—witless gross-out humor. The film Movie 43, which was released on Jan. 25, exemplifies this style of entertainment and pushes the limits of what should be allowed to play in a movie theater.

The plot of the film is fairly simple. A washed-up movie producer (Dennis Quaid, Soul Surfer) breaks into a recording company’s headquarters and pitches his ideas to a director (Greg Kinnear, Little Miss Sunshine), who is being held at gunpoint. The twelve film concepts that he introduces constitute the majority of Movie 43, splitting the film up into a series of shorts. The contents of these shorts, however, fall on all points of the wide spectrum of inappropriateness.

Each ten-minute clip involves one or more of Hollywood’s most famous actors and actresses: Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Uma Thurman, Terrence Howard, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler and Josh Duhamel are among the many that make up this ensemble cast.
Overall, Movie 43 comes off as nothing more than obscenely gross and offensive. The amount of nudity, blood, sex, feces and just plain weird situations dealing with every human genitalia possible is absolutely shocking. Some of the scenes will make viewers cringe in horror, some make them want to throw up and some are just outright awkward—but it is also embarrassingly hilarious.

This concept, while baffling to say the least, must be due to the great amount of talent displayed by all the actors and actresses in each short. Oddly enough, the acting is good despite the subject matter. But the laundry list of famous Hollywood stars attached to the film begs the question: what was so attractive about this movie, which clearly was inappropriate and uncivilized, to these top actors and actresses? Perhaps this film allowed them to cut loose and do something different, or they thought it would be an easy paycheck by just doing a ten-minute scene? Or maybe, for one reason or another, the actors and actresses wanted to intentionally add to what they knew would be a really bad movie.

This film, while amusing in some parts, is above all else really bad, in all possible incarnations of the word.

Still, the facts cannot be avoided; this film is gross. Take the first short clip, for example, which involves a man and a woman on a blind date. Everything is going well, until it is revealed that the man (Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables) has testicles on his neck, which he apparently thinks is totally normal. That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the movie. The movie takes on an SNL type of tastelessness that pushes it to the top of the charts in regards to those “trying so hard to make something funny that they actually just end up face planting” movies.

This film, while amusing in some parts, is above all else bad, in all possible incarnations of the word. There is no other way to accurately describe it. Its abysmal reviews after its opening weekend will most likely kick it out of theaters quickly. However, the actors, directors and producers had to know it was coming. After all, the movie’s own slogan states that “Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.” How unfortunately true.