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‘Movie 43′

by Giovanni Fazio

Somewhere in the nexus between “Family Guy,” “The Hangover” and “Jackass,” grossout humor became very, very mainstream. Once upon a time, a movie with jokes about pooping on one’s partner or shooting Tabasco sauce up a bodily orifice would have been John Waters territory: fringe, freakish and low-budget. Yet these days you can make that film with Hollywood’s A-list.

Movie 43
Rating

Take, for example, “Movie 43,” which opens with Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet and the biggest pair of bollocks you’ve ever seen on screen. Chloe Grace Moritz, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Richard Gere and a host of others join them in this flirtation with career suicide.

Essentially a loose collection of short sketches made by a dozen different directors, “Movie 43″ has little holding it together but for one overriding idea: Be as crude and tasteless as possible. The filmmakers deliver, but with depressingly unfunny results; if you removed every reference to genitalia, bodily functions and homosexuality, the number of actual jokes remaining would be exactly three. To call “Movie 43″ an utter failure would be charitable; the more honest reaction would be to have every print burned and its makers consigned to an institution where they can get the treatment they so clearly need. (G.F.)