Movie Mom

I counted references to 23 movies in this 80-minute film, not including Girls Gone Wild and “The Bachelor,” or about one every three and a half minutes. Throw in a couple of songs and a dozen or so celebrity shout-outs and you’d hardly notice that there is not actually a script here if the whole thing wasn’t just so slack and uninspired.

Instead of a screenplay, it has a year’s worth of “In Touch Magazine” (the one “Will and Grace” calls “Cheaple”) thrown into a blender with some crotch humor and a joke about beating up a homeless man as a way to spend a romantic evening.

Julia (Alyson Hannigan) is the overweight and insecure daughter of a Greek/Indian/Japanese family. Her father (Eddie Griffin) wants her to marry someone from the same heritage, but she loves cute dimpled doctor Grant (Adam Campbell) with a cute English accent even though his parents are American. She gets help from date doctor Hitch (Tony Cox) but there is a crisis when Grant’s gorgeous ex-fiancee re-enters the picture. What will happen? Well, we’ll stumble through a lot of shout-outs to movies and celebrities on the way to finding out.

I feel a little bad about repeating myself here, but since it doesn’t seem to bother the people behind these things — or, as they say in the ads, “two of the six writers of Scary Movie — I don’t have any other options. As long as they keep making these movies I’m going to have to keep pointing out that SIMPLY REFERRING TO ANOTHER MOVIE IS NOT THE SAME THING AS ACTUALLY MAKING A JOKE ABOUT IT. Sorry to shout, but now I feel so much better.

To be more specific: mere exaggeration does not count as a joke, no matter how big you make your Jennifer Lopez-equivalent’s fanny or how long the cat spends on the toilet or changing the name Focker to Fonckyerdoder. Referring to the fact that perhaps Britney Spears is not entirely satisfied with the marriage or that Michael Jackson is very interested in making friends with children is not the same thing as being funny. Making a parody of a parody does not make it exponentially funnier. Making fun of the fact that you are making fun of it doesn’t either. A joke requires perspective and insight. Most important, it requires something fresh and surprising. Not much of that here. And if it is not a crime to fail to take advantage of the comic talents of Alyson Hannigan, Fred Willard, and Jennifer Coolidge, it should be, and they should call out the comedy police here to arrest the “2 of the 6 writers of Scary Movie” for felony unfunniness.

Parents should know that this movie has a lot of very crude and disgusting humor and some strong language for a PG-13, including the n-word. There is comic violence, including shooting and punching, and sexual references and non-explicit situations.

Families who see this movie should talk about the movies it parodies and what assumptions it challenges. Why is it funny to make fun of movies we originally enjoyed?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Scary Movie (much raunchier material).

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