The idea for this movie was simple. Lots of outrageous short films placed side by side with a pseudo underpinning narrative thread. Some bits are better than others but one thing you can sure bet on is raunch raunch raunch.
I do enjoy a raunchy comedy once in a while but I will still always prefer a clever one much like Bridesmaids. Movie 43 is similar in vain to what Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez did with Grindhouse except in reverse. Instead of high octane medium length action films spliced with absurd commercials crafted by all sorts of different directors, this film pursued high raunch short length comedies spliced with few commercials directed by a random pool of wackos.
Dennis Quaid walks into Greg Kinnear's movie pitch office and begins to deliver his first film idea, complete with silly commercials. Since the first short entails Hugh Jackman escorting Kate Winslet on a blind date with a conspicuous scrotum on his neck, Kinnear rightly, wants to throw Quaid out of his office. Quaid pulls a gun and multiple bizarre mini-farces result. The best being the truth or dare episode between Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant. I'm aware of the utter hatred heaped at this movie, especially by Richard Roeper, whose review has gone viral. I won't say the film doesn't deserve the harsh criticism but it's not quite as awful as these people would have you believe. It's really offensive but has some clever parts too.
The problem with this type of comedy is that in pushing-the-envelope style offensiveness you rarely hit upon something actually hilarious, instead you initiate the gag reflex or the just plain stunned reaction. You want to laugh but feel uncomfortable or bad or dumb for doing so. If you have to think about laughing you probably won't—it should be a burst of spontaneity which you can analyze for worthy content later. Like the end credits state—dedicated to anyone who has ever had a dirty thought. I get that but given the talent at your disposal I still hoped for better, smarter comedy in place of the cheap, quick and easy gratuitousness.
Recommended Viewing: Kentucky Fried Movie - Amazon Women On The Moon - Airplane
Bob Scale: The Critic: 4.5 - The Fan: 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 5