Ah, Movie 43. The anthology feature is stacked with a huge A-list cast such as Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Richard Gere, Liev Schreiber, Uma Thurman, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Banks, and Terrence Howard. Now, just because a movie has a stacked A-list roster doesn’t always guarantee a great movie (I’m looking at you Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and New Year’s Eve); however, the story behind how Charles Wessler – the producer of Movie 43 – got its talented cast is insane. In fact, talking about the behind-the-scenes stuff regarding this film would be more entertaining than the actual movie itself. That’s because this is a horrendous film. I’m not even going to try and drag out the article question. Twelve directors and Nineteen writers were attached to this classless, tasteless, low hanging fruit of a movie.
Here’s the thing, there’s nothing wrong with low brow humor; Wedding Crashers, The Hangover, and American Pie are just some of the notable films that have low brow humor. The difference between those three and Movie 43 is that those films don’t feel like a five-minute sketch stretched into a feature length. All three films are indeed crass, but they have a good and light hearted message behind them. Plus, none of those movies are slapping you in the face with crude joke after crude joke. The problem with Movie 43 is that there’s no other purpose than to be as crude and outrageous as it could be. Not every movie needs some deep or thought-provoking message; In fact, comedies aren’t necessarily tasked with the same objectives as a drama. However, when the simple joke of your film is that Hugh Jackman has a set of balls on his neck then you’re in trouble. “The Catch” has one joke and stretches it as thin as possible. That’s pretty much how each of the skits are.
There’s no subtlety behind the gags nor is there anything worth saying. What’s worse, there’s no cohesion behind the whole film. The point of an anthology series or movie is that there’s usually a common theme that ties the whole thing together. American Horror Story has a different plot each season; however, the common theme is well…horror. Trick ‘R Treat is a feature that centers the mythology of Halloween and the legends surrounding the yearly holiday. Fargo is a black comedy crime series that follows a group of troubled people in a small town. You pretty much understand my point in all of this. There are no ties to each sketch in Movie 43 so it feels like a disjointed mess. Perhaps the crude and vile humor is the common theme here? Maybe so. The film tries to piece together everything due to Richard Gere’s ibabe segment but it fails on all fronts because A) the segment features more lame and bland humor that doesn’t stick and B) it doesn’t fix the narrative mess that holds the film together. If there’s one thing about the film is that the actors do put effort into their segments. Given the low pay and how some of them were tricked into doing the movie, the fact that most of these A-list stars didn’t half-ass their sketch is commendable. However, when you’re given crap about a girlfriend wanting her boyfriend to take a s**t on her, their charisma and energy can’t outshine the bad material. Did Odell Beckham Jr. secretly write this segment?
Movie 43 could’ve worked. Instead of trying to make the most crass and vile comedy possible, had the writers sat down together and agreed to a common theme and messaging of the overall film then there could’ve been an interesting take on the genre that’s mostly used in horror. Like I previously stated, Movie 43 didn’t need to have a meaningful message; It needed to be funny. Of course, comedy is subjective so if this film is one of your favorite comedies, then more power to you. But if you focus on the narrative and plot aspects then there’s no denying the tremendous problems that Movie 43 has. Girl has her first period and a bunch of clueless men are disgusted by situation. Great. A racist segment about how a coach thinks that his black players are better than their white opponents. Awesome! Gerard Bulter as a freaking Leprechaun! On paper, these could be funny. In fact, Movie 43 manages to squeeze a chuckle or two out of me for some of the shorts. However, that brief period of laughter is drowned out by a film that is so desperate to shock with its vulgarity and crudeness that eventually you become bored and numb to the humor. Movie 43 is a horrendous film that actually saved by the A-list actors who probably wish they could take this movie out of their filmography.
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