Test of endurance: Movie 43 defecates out gross short-filmsMovies
Hugh Jackman with a pair of testes on his neck, a feature he seems sublimely unaware of; in fact Kate Winslet, on a date with him at a restaurant, is the only one who seems to notice.
Halle Berry, on a dare, rushes in to blow out the candles on a blind child's birthday cake. Anna Faris, in search of the ultimate proof of love, asks her boyfriend to defecate on her.
These details pretty much convey the tone of Movie 43, a gross-out sketch comedy that is credited to 13 directors and nine writers, although the presiding figure is Peter Farrelly (There's Something About Mary, Shallow Hal).
Elizabeth Banks in Movie 43.
He has somehow managed to persuade a cast of well-known Hollywood actors to set aside a day or two to take part in these short films: Jackman, Winslet, Berry, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Emma Stone, to name but a few.
Quite what they were thinking when they agreed to take part in this is anyone's guess, and it's debatable whether the presence of so many A-listers makes the experience more or less bearable.
The items are loosely linked by the figure of Dennis Quaid, as a manic screenwriter pitching ideas to a studio executive (Greg Kinnear).
Schreiber and Watts bring conviction to one of the rare sketches that actually has an idea to explore: the tale of parents determined to give their son a humiliating educational experience.
Most of the other segments are tests of endurance.
Movie 43 isn't the low point of Western civilisation that some US reviews seem to be suggesting; but it really doesn't have much going for it.
What Fairfax's other reviewer has to say:
With Movie 43, gross-out artist Peter Farrelly is out to see just how much the market will bear. It is a sketch comedy in which all bodily functions are covered - masturbation, menstruation, urination, defecation and yes, sex. We also have coprophilia, child abuse and an assortment of deformities and disfigurements.
But the big news lies in Farrelly's success in getting so many big names to follow him, lemming-like, into the abyss. To name just a few, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Uma Thurman, Richard Gere, Dennis Quaid and Halle Berry have all been persuaded to throw themselves into this mess, nudging and winking all the way.
A couple of unimpressed critics have jokily wondered if blackmail was involved. Hypnotism could be another possibility. I can only think that some form of mass delusion was at work in persuading 11 directors and 26 stars to find amusement in anything they're doing here.