‘Movie 43’ A Star-Studded But Medicore Grab Bag Of Comedy Skits
Published: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Updated: Sunday, January 27, 2013 19:01
When one sits down to watch a Farrelly brothers film, certain expectations should be kept in mind. First and foremost, it is not going to be an intellectually stimulating comedy. Really, it will be utterly devoid of any and all intellectual weight from the second the credits begin until the film finally takes its last fade into black. Movie 43 is certainly no different, almost warranting a disclaimer at the door to check your brains with your coats and pick them up at the end of the film. Relying on its eclectic mix of comedy all-stars and respected Hollywood heavyweights, this comedic pro bowl of sorts takes a bunch of actors and essentially makes them do the basest, most inappropriate things possible.
The movie begins with Dennis Quaid as an aging amateur film writer and, judging by his clothes, Justin Bieber wardrobe impersonator. He is attempting to pitch his feel-good, smart, American movie that any studio head in his right mind would want to get behind, and so begins the first of 12 short stories that comprise this “movie” within the movie. Without missing a beat the movie begins with a working class Kate Winslet going on a date with a successful lawyer and philanthropist played by Hugh Jackman. After checking her coat at the entrance of the restaurant, Winslet discovers the horrifying deformity hidden by Jackman’s scarf, setting off a chain reaction of laughs that leave the audience attempting to quiet their own laughter so they can hear the next joke for the rest of the film.
As the shorts continue, all having absolutely nothing to do with the one preceding it, the audience quickly learns that nothing is off limits. All of the taboo comedy concepts are thoroughly covered, from bathroom humor to sex jokes—the filmmakers had a proverbial free-for-all with this one. Interwoven between the random mini movies, the main story arch of Dennis Quaid is occasionally revisited. After being flatly refused fairly quickly into his pitch, he decides to take matters into his own hands and demand to receive the funding at gunpoint, bringing him to the studio head. The introduction of the studio head brings rapper Common into the film as well as a cameo from Family Guy mastermind Seth MacFarlane.
MacFarlane’s cameo raises a bit of a concern about the nature of the film. It shows that it is more of a sketch comedy show than anything. It relies entirely on a series of famous cameos to come in for five seconds or five minutes, make some crude joke about sex, and then leave without ever being addressed again. While most of the jokes were very funny, the film’s format just left the audience a little put off. Though that kind of style works great for things like Saturday Night Live, it just does not seem to translate onto the big screen. The sudden transitions into a completely unrelated story often resulted in a confused audience still processing the events from the previous short, which were often so shocking that it took a minute or two for everyone to pick their jaws off of the ground and wipe the tears of laughter out of their eyes.
All in all, the movie was exactly what most people were expecting—it was very stupid, very base, and most of the jokes were very funny. Watching serious dramatic actors and even Oscar nominees do and say some of the things that they did in this movie was a hilarious and refreshing change of pace from the usual uptight Hollywood dramatic society. However, the sometimes over-the-top shock humor did not always sit well and occasionally just made it seem like the filmmakers were trying too hard to be disgusting and get a rise out of people. Overall, despite some undeniably funny parts with some unbelievably funny actors, Movie 43’s choppy storyline (or lack thereof) made it impossible to walk away completely satisfied.