I’ll just come right out and say it: I think it’s silly to give a comedy movie a Razzie award. I think the Razzies should be aimed towards movies that try to be taken seriously and yet end up being impossible to see as anything but a big joke.
Comedy is also in the eye (or ear) of the beholder. You can figure this out just by seeing what comedy shows are on television and noting the vast degree of difference — even if we just focus ones that actually have developed followings, we’ve got anything from All in the Family, Cheers, The Facts of Life, and The Office to Futurama, Archer, Robot Chicken, Kids in the Hall, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. And that’s barely scratching the surface. Typically what one person thinks is funny, there’s someone else in the world who thinks it’s stupid. That’s the nature of comedy.
Movie 43 can deservedly take some crap (literally) for catering to the lowest-common denominators: scatalogical and sexual humor. While compilation comedy movies like “The Kentucky Fried Chicken Movie” and “Amazon Women on the Moon” (both of which are worth seeing, btw) manage to vary things up and branch into the silly with only a few nods to sex, Movie 43 can’t seem to move away aside from the topic — well, aside from a clip about a pissy little leprechaun, that is, and another one about how blacks dominate basketball. But it doesn’t mean that none of the clips are amusing, if you can handle the subject matter.
It’s also rather amazing at the degree of talented actors who agreed to play a small role in the movie — we’re talking about Academy-Award winners/nominees here. There’s at least one star in every clip who is high-profile in the acting business, as well as the thin but sometimes amusing storyline that connects everything involves Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, and Seth MacFarlane, among others. (I guess I’m just amused that Dennis Quaid can actually come off looking like a crackhead living in a Dumpster behind Sears somewhere.) I’m not sure what favors g0t called in here, but someone was really saving up for a long time.
Not all of the segments are as funny as others. Some might even be (as expected in a string of comedy sketches) offensive to some. My personal favorite is “Homeschooled,” starring Naomi Watts and Liev Schrieber (ironically, a couple in real life) as parents raising their teenager at home while trying to provide him with an “authentic high school experience” … which ends up being full of enough existential angst, alienation, and social rejection/abuse to give some of us flashbacks of our own miserable teen years. (You have been warned.) But I still laughed at some of the fake ads, the Speed Dating bit (with a pervo Batman trying to help Robin — impeccably cast as Justin Long — score with the ladies), and even the opening clip with Hugh Jackman as the guy who has dangly bits hanging from his throat and Kate Winslet as his unsettled date gets some mileage.
No, it’s not high art, but was it the worst movie of the year enough to win the Razzie? Do we laugh at something because it’s funny, or do we think something is funny because we laughed? Well, as Veronica says, let’s not have another chicken or egg debate…