It’s tough to know how to begin addressing this swill of a so-called comedy.
First, a word about the title of “Movie 43.” In England, it seems, this anthology of gross-out skits (sort of like some of the “Funny or Die” website parodies or the 1970s “Kentucky Fried Movie” and “The Groove Tube” flicks) has a different wraparound, or basis: A bunch of teenagers seek the elusive “Movie 43” and discover other movies along the way.
Here in the states, the setup involves Dennis Quaid as a lunatic who is determined to get his ideas for several movies pitched to a studio executive (Greg Kinnear). The executive wants nothing to do with the madman, but when Quaid character threatens to kill him, the executive sits and listens to what the “filmmaker” has to say.
What we see unfold in these short movies are the ideas he wants the studio to buy. The first stars Kate Winslet as a woman who goes on a blind date with a nationally known handsome bachelor (Hugh Jackman), only to discover that one of his body parts, which normally would be located elsewhere, is, well, on his neck.
In another segment, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber describe to their guests how they have tormented and ridiculed their teenage son while they home-school him so he can be as alienated and disturbed as other students his age.
Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone discuss their romance and breakup in vivid detail over the loudspeaker at a grocery store. There’s a vignette about Robin (Justin Long) trying to find a match at a speed-dating event only to be thwarted at every turn by Batman (Jason Sudekis). Kristin Bell stars here as Supergirl, with Uma Thurman as Lois Lane.
Richard Gere is a corporate executive trying to understand what’s so dangerous about the new iBabe device that is injuring young male purchasers. In yet another scenario, Johnny Knoxville presents a live leprechaun (Gerard Butler) to his buddy Seann William Scott. Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant go on a blind date and end up spending what appears to be days involved in a game of Truth or Dare. After the credits, Elizabeth Banks and Josh Duhamel find their romance being threatened by the constant presence of his obsessive animated cat.
This isn’t funny. It’s disgusting, with enough body-function humor to make some viewers cringe. The star power is involved to make audiences think there might be something worthwhile here.