MOVIE 43 (various directors). 97 minutes. Opens Friday (January 25). See listings. Rating: N
There are certainly a few gags worth a laugh in Movie 43, the omnibus comedy meant to push buttons by being balls-out raunchy and offensive.
Unfortunately, they're all spoiled by the trailer - the marketing equivalent of premature ejaculation. Enduring the rest of this comically impotent project is like fucking after you've come. The fun part is over.
Twelve directors including Peter Farrelly and Brett Ratner tackle 15 scattered vignettes involving such subjects as physical deformity, racial stereotypes, a young girl's first period, horny animals and a fuckable variation on the iPod. Most of these segments stretch out their mildly amusing premises to unbearable lengths. The rest lack much of a premise to start with.
The movie wastes its high-calibre acting talent, an assortment of Oscar winners and nominees who are slumming it here for kicks. From the outtakes in the credits, it's obvious the stars are enjoying themselves. Too bad those laughs aren't contagious.
The most offensive segment, directed by Farrelly, is used to frame the movie. In it, Dennis Quaid plays a Hollywood has-been who desperately pitches Greg Kinnear's studio executive his idea for an omnibus movie that just happens to be the very movie we're watching. The built-in gag is that the exec gawks at how stupid the pitch is, but the movie still gets made.
In other words, the joke is on the audience, and the only people laughing are the ones behind Movie 43.
That's comedic masturbation.