January 28, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 33°F


Review: Crude humor backfires in Movie 43

Taking the “star-studded cast” genre to a new level of underperformance, “Movie 43” is a failed attempt to make an overly outrageous and stupid comedy. Made over the course of four years by actors, directors and writers, the raunchy comedy does little for the audience in terms of laughs or enjoyment.

The plot of “Movie 43” comes down to a collection of 12 miniature stories and sketches all linked together as a series of movie ideas pitched by Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid). The film’s first cutaway story is a blind date between characters Beth (Kate Winslet) and Davis (Hugh Jackman). Things seem completely normal until Jackman’s character removes his scarf revealing that he has a set of male genitals hanging from his neck. The movie then continues with more stories of this crude type, including a post-relationship conversation between Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone and a brawl between Johnny Knoxville and a leprechaun played by Gerard Butler.

The large cast consists of 124 actors, including past Oscar winners such as Halle Berry; current nominees, like Jackman; and Saturday Night Live stars, such as Jason Sudeikis. However, this star-studded cast could do little to save the film from itself. While none of the actors did a particularly bad job, in the end the problem simply turned out to be the script they were given.

The script, which was written by 15 different people working separately on each segment, relies solely on rapid-fire attempts at cheap humor, most of which come up short. Though every now and then the movie features a funny sketch, such as from the random insertion of a fake commercial. The faux-advertisement satirizes a typical advertisement for charity and displays downtrodden children who are forced to live in appliances. Other than a rare humorous moment, most of the film is plain boring.

The directing of the film was split up between nine different people, with each directing one or two of the stories. The main director of the film is Peter Farrelly, who worked on compiling the entire movie and who specifically directed the segments starring Winslet and Jackman as well as Berry. Farrelly is known for his comedic hits such as “There’s Something About Mary,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Me, Myself and Irene.” Farrelly stands out as the most obscene, with both of his scenes involving nudity, crudeness and other forms of humor that, while they may work in some cases, definitely don’t work here.

In the end, “Movie 43” evokes the question as to why so many talented actors would agree to appear in it. “Movie 43” might be good for a few cheap laughs, but it is by no means worth anywhere close to the price of a movie ticket.

Overall Rating: 1 Star

Large cast fails to entertain in comedy shorts.