Reel Reviews: 43 jokers and nothing’s funny

Don’t play truth or dare with Halle Berry in Movie 43. - Relativity Media
Don’t play truth or dare with Halle Berry in Movie 43.
— image credit: Relativity Media

Sometimes a film comes along that is so different, so much of an acquired taste that it fails to make an impact the first time around and it takes time for it to grow into something that demands a following. It becomes a cult film, if you will.

Movie 43 is not that film.

We say, “It’s a valiant attempt and a miserable failure.”

TAYLOR: I’m a fan of sketch-based films, be they thread together or not. The Zucker brothers gave us the Kentucky Fried Movie, and Amazon Women on the Moon. Monty Python gave us And Now For Something Completely Different as well as The Meaning of Life, which may be the best sketch comedy movie of all time.

From Weird Al to Woody Allen, many have kicked at the can, to varying degrees of success. Usually the films push the envelope of what most consider tasteful, as well as plenty of titillation.

HOWE: I know that you have to push the boundaries of movies, but some of the skits in Movie 43 are a little disturbing. The home-school sketch for example is just wrong on all levels. I won’t tell you the outcome of it, but if parents acted like that they would be locked up for life. It’s just not funny, but then again about 91 per cent of this movie isn’t funny.

TAYLOR: Well, funny is subjective. I find myself, for the second film in a row, thinking this film is aimed at the 14 year old, who can’t go to it. One of the oddest things about Movie 43 is that it has two versions. The film we saw is “the North American” version, but in Europe and elsewhere, the film is lacking Dennis Quaid pitching these ridiculous tales. Instead, there are three teenage boys surfing the web to find the “most banned films,” who apparently stumble upon the tales told.

HOWE: This movie should at least have a health warning on it like they do on certain products. I would be mortified if my parents went to watch this, thinking it would be a great movie seeing the calibre of stars: an Oscar winning actress dipping her breast in guacamole or an Oscar nominated actor having a pair of testicles under his chin. And those are just some of the tamer points.

TAYLOR: The 43 refers to the number of recognizable stars in the film. It might be true that this is the largest ensemble cast ever assembled, and to be honest, I can appreciate their bravery, but I have to wonder how many of them left their shoots scratching their heads?

They must trust producer Peter Farrelly, who has been defending his film by tweeting to critics, “It’s just a little movie. Lighten up.” I applaud the attempt, Mr. Farrelly, but you had $6 million and 43 big names, maybe your movie fails because you’re not funny.

With Movie 43, Farrelly is like a kid in a candy store who poops in every bin.

Taylor gives Movie 43 1.5 iBabes out of 5.

— Howe gives it 1 team pep talk out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews,  appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.

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