It throws a lot at the wall, but at least a little bit sticks.
I didn’t have high hopes for this movie. Despite the star-studded cast (including Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Kate Winslet and Halle Berry, among many others), this film looked like it was going to be your typical raunchy comedy aimed at the young male demographic, full of bathroom humor and sexual innuendo.
Don’t get me wrong: It was indeed a raunchy comedy aimed at the young male demographic full of bathroom humor and sexual innuendo (seriously, don’t go see it if you’ve ever been offended by, well, anything), but I’m not sure it could be called “typical.” First of all, the film is essentially a series of unrelated shorts sewn together by an over-arching plot. This helps it pass at a steady clip and, since each scenario can thus be wrapped up quickly, keeps the jokes and characters from becoming stale.
Second, underneath all the off-color jokes, there’s a real examination of movie tropes. By juxtaposing a routine trope (such as a marriage proposal) with an absurd joke (insert bathroom humor), it’s a lot easier to realize that the trope itself is what’s absurd. Real life does not resemble movie clichés, so why do audiences so readily accept them? Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t take any time to try to answer this particular question, but that is probably just as well, since it would only serve to turn the tone serious and bog the pacing down way too much. The ending, however, keeps true to this theme by giving us an interesting plot reveal. It isn’t anything Earth-shattering, just satisfying in the sense that it was completely apropos.
If anything, Movie 43 proves to us that Snooki can read.
As far as the individual shorts go, the majority of them are actually pretty funny. I’m nowhere close to the target audience for this movie (being female and all), but I actually laughed out loud through the majority of the movie, most especially at the Tampax commercial in the short entitled Middle School Date. Come to think of it, the only other woman in the theater was also laughing as hard as I did during this point…kudos to Elizabeth Banks and Elizabeth Wright-Shapiro on the idea for this one. (Elizabeth Banks also directed this short.) The worst short, by far, is the very last one involving an animated cat who is a little too obsessed with its owner. Oddly enough, this particular short featured Elizabeth Banks as its star. Guess you can’t win ‘em all.
I know most of my fellow critics have panned this movie, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. I know the jokes are pretty appalling (nothing is off-limits), and it might not be the best comedy out there, but it has heart and it has wit (you can’t say the same of the slapstick style humor of Bridesmaids, and everyoneloved that one for some reason). I would heartily recommend this movie to anyone looking to spend an hour and a half laughing – provided they’re not easily offended, of course.
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