MOVIE 43. A movie that makes you hate (it or yourself)
The Farrelly Brothers’ comedies have never claimed a seat among these brilliant, intelligent and subtle representatives of the genre. It would be quite catchy to call their films “praise of stupidity”, but it’s not entirely true. The titular Dumb and Dumber are unreformable morons, but the film does not value them. It’s not about telling or teaching anyone. The point is that juxtaposing a few scenes and dialogues devoid of any deeper (or even any) content can be disarmingly funny, even if it is – diplomatically speaking – not very politically correct. To this day, the memory of selling a dead parrot to a blind child makes me chuckle unhealthily. And while I’m not too proud of it, it makes me laugh even more. Movie 43 raises all the elements characteristic of the brothers to the nth power.
Movie 43 could be called a child of the Internet age. People have less and less time, so the presented content also starts to shorten. Many times I caught myself that, taking a moment off from work at the laptop, I preferred to watch a series of short videos on YouTube for entertainment instead of one, but longer one. Quantity, variety, speed, more stimuli. There are plenty of sites on the Web that make their money this way – CollegeHumor, Funny or Die, a bit of Cracked. They create sketches, scenes, monologues – no longer than 3-4 minutes. After watching, you choose: thumbs up, thumbs down and keep going, or finish. Quickly.
Movie 43 is a series of several sketches (each of which has a different director and screenwriter) connected by a pretextual buckle in the form of a screenwriter’s plot, who is desperately trying to sell the script to a film producer, presenting his next ideas to him. The shortest one lasts about 30 seconds, the longest about 7 minutes. Each successive of these sketches is more and more unpleasant, gross, insulting or just plain stupid, untainted by the desire to say anything. Even the title itself is completely random and has no meaning, but in the end some letters have to be glued on the poster. However, feeling a certain awkwardness and a twinge of internal shame, I must say that this is stupidity of the fascinating kind. Kind of like that movie that’s so bad you can’t stop watching it – out of curiosity, wanting to see what else you can come up with.
And it starts with a heavy pipe with the scene of Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman’s first date in a fancy restaurant. The idyllic and warm atmosphere is disturbed by the observation – he has … testicles on his neck. And only she seems to see them. So much for the idea, then there is a spiral of resulting distasteful situations and behaviors. Many subsequent sketches also repeat this pattern: they introduce some extremely abnormal element into the world presented and make the abnormality of the whole situation noticeable only by one of the characters (or only by the viewer).
However, to be honest, it wasn’t just curiosity that kept me in the chair. There was something else, I don’t even know what. Perhaps it was the fact that the film is self-aware – the aforementioned film producer reacts to all the perversions of the abnormal screenwriter with an expression that was probably glued to my face for most of the screening. It’s as if the crew responsible for the film were testing the strength of the film stock. How much will he endure if we show that we know very well how fucked up the film we have made? There are also a few less obscene skits that break you down with absurdity. My favorite is a social advertisement about children locked in ATMs and vending machines. Staffing selection is also very important. I don’t know how it happened that such names ended up in such a film… and I can’t comment on it in any other way. I just wonder how long Halle Berry will remember kneading guacamole with her right breast.
Movie 43 is a movie that can be described by the well-worn phrase “it won’t leave you indifferent”. This time, however, it’s not about a “love it or hate it” situation. In this case, you’ll either rightly hate the movie from beginning to end, or you’ll hate yourself even more rightly for having a good time watching it. I feel a bit like a snob myself, because I know that this film does not deserve a high rating, but at the same time I liked it in some twisted way. And it annoys me terribly.