Movie 43 (tbc)

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Review byMatthew Turner5/02/2013

One out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Painfully unfunny series of comedy sketches that has a certain amount of curiosity value because of the big name stars attached, but nothing to recommend it outside of that.

What's it all about?
Conceived by Peter Farrelly as a comedy sketch compilation film in the vein of 1977 hit The Kentucky Fried Movie, Movie 43 is presented as a series of short films linked by a tenuous framing story involving three teenagers (Mark L. Young, Adam Cagley and Devin Eash) scouring the internet for the mythical ‘Movie 43’; although, in the States, the framing device was different and featured Dennis Quaid as a desperate screenwriter pitching increasingly insane ideas to Greg Kinnear's movie exec.

The sketches, apparently cobbled together over a period of four years or so, include: Kate Winslet goes on a blind date with Hugh Jackman, only to discover that he has a large pair of balls on his chin; Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber attempt to recreate the full school experience for their home-schooled son (Jeremy Allen White) by bullying him and attempting to give him his first sexual encounters; Anna Faris asks her boyfriend (Chris Pratt) to poop on her, framing it as a romantic proposal; a pair of teenagers (Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone) have a racy argument transmitted over a supermarket's intercom; Batman (Jason Sudeikis) attempts to sabotage Robin (Justin Long) while he's on a speed-date with Supergirl (Kristen Bell); businessman Richard Gere chairs a meeting about a fault with an mp3 player shaped like a naked woman, called the iBabe; a girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) gets her first period, sending her date into hysterical panic; Johnny Knoxville gives best friend Seann William Scott an imprisoned leprechaun for his birthday; Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant play a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare while on a date; Terrence Howard attempts to convince America's first black basketball team that they can play the game; and Elizabeth Banks has to compete with a disgusting cartoon cat (Beezer) for the affections of Josh Duhamel.

The Bad
To be fair, a couple of sketches are amusing in concept, but all of them are dragged out well beyond sustainable length and only the home-school sketch generates anything approaching an actual laugh. Instead, you spend the whole film wondering exactly how Farrelly and co convinced the various stars to sign up (Elizabeth Banks presumably insisted on directing one of the sketches, for example).

The Worse
Aside from obvious niggles, such as the fact that the framing device doesn't work, the film's main problem is that it's nowhere near as outrageous or as shocking as it clearly thinks it is and the main result is that you end up feeling embarrassed for all the stars involved. On top of that, all the sketches are poorly written, so that even the potentially funny ideas fall flat.

Worth seeing?
In a word, no. Ultimately, Movie 43’s curiosity value fails to compensate for the embarrassing, painfully unfunny sketches. Avoid.

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Content updated: 25/01/2020 02:36

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