When Bad Movies Happen to Good People


There is a movie out there with the “imaginative” and “clever” title, Movie 43. It’s become something of a critical darling in the last few days, by which I mean the critics are having a grand time destroying it. Consider this from Richard Roeper’s review:

As the ads for “Movie 43” promised (threatened?), you can’t un-see this thing, so please: Stay away. Even if you might think that sitting through “Movie 43” would be an adventure along the lines of experiencing “Showgirls” or “Howard the Duck,” you’ll be filled with regret five minutes into this atrocity. There’s camp-fun bad and interestingly horrible bad, and then there’s just awful.

“Movie 43” is the “Citizen Kane” of awful.

We’ve been hearing about this movie for some four years, as producer Peter Farrelly somehow coaxed more than a dozen A-list stars and talented character actors into appearing in a series of aggressively tasteless scenes loosely strung together as proposed elements of a movie that Dennis Quaid is pitching to Greg Kinnear. So whenever a Gerard Butler or a Johnny Knoxville or a Jason Sudeikis or an Uma Thurman became available and/or were blackmailed, Farrelly would bring in a director, and they’d shoot a scene. Unfortunately, the shooting was never fatal.

Why do bad movies, and TV shows, happen to good people? Often with some stars, I think it’s that they feel their star fading, and so do whatever they can to get back into the limelight. Others, especially British ones, seem to have the “work is work” attitude. Still others, perhaps, just can’t choose a good script to save their lives. I’m not sure what exactly happened with this movie, though the Guardian newspaper seems to have a theory.

I’ll admit that I’m merely baffled when I see these kinds of poor career choices. I am not sympathetic. I do not worry for those involved. All the major celebrities are still bankable personalities, and the minor actors are the sort one would expect to get roles in films like this. No one’s career will end because of this movie. That is, perhaps, something of a shame.

I have no real ending to this article, but I can offer you this much about it: like it or not, at least it took less time for you to read than it would for you to have seen Movie 43.

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