F.A.R.T. THE MOVIE (DVD)

2 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 86 minutes
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I’ve done some background checking on this movie and I just wanted to tell everyone involved; you can’t have it both ways. You shouldn’t be allowed to put this movie down in your bios as the feature you just appeared in with a cast member of “Party of Five,” when the person in question (Heather McComb) was in, like, five episodes; you shouldn’t refer to the movie you had a lead role in as “Artie” when it’s being released on DVD across the globe as “F.A.R.T. The Movie;” and, most importantly, you shouldn’t release a nondescript romantic college comedy that happens to star a couple of Chris Farley’s brothers in it and then re-market it as a “wild and crazy” frat house romp when the wildest thing about it is a scene with a couple guys playing quarters.

Artie, our tragic hero, was born with a regrettable gastric condition: he farts whenever he’s nervous or excited. Proving the American dream true once again, he has risen above his disability to become a senior at…Buck U. Artie also has an unrequited crush on the curvaceous Andre’a (Christine Steel) who, in turn, is going out with the slick Johnny Alpha (Adrian R’Mante). Johnny, in true Stan Gable fashion, torments Artie at every opportunity. Meanwhile the new transfer student, Emily (McComb), is falling for Artie. This bizarre love triangle plays out against the background of Artie’s fraternity, where he is brothers with Bear (Kevin Farley) and Scooter (John Farley).

The DVD copy of “F.A.R.T. the Movie” I received says “Starring the Farley Brothers” in bold type across the cover, so it’s fairly obvious what demographic the distributors are aiming for. Oddly enough, there’s remarkably little scatological humor for a film centered on a guy who can’t control his gas. I suppose the writers needed a new angle on the traditional romance and so threw in a guy who breaks wind a lot.

How much does it have to suck being Chris Farley’s brothers? It’s the Jim Belushi Syndrome all over again: no matter how good an actor you are in your own right, everyone will continue to measure you against your dead brother. Belushi may have escaped this somewhat, seeing as how John died 20 years ago, but he doesn’t help his cause by making more “K-9” movies and “According to Jim,” which has the impressive honor of being one of the worst shows on network TV. For their part, the Farley boys seem like decent sorts. Kevin is obviously related to Chris and has some of his physical comedy skills. And as occasionally engaging as John Farley is, he looks like he must be adopted. In any event, it would take Oscar™ winning performances in a Merchant-Ivory movie for these guys to distance themselves from the legacy of their deceased brother, and that ain’t happening here.

Of course, neither of the Farley boys are carrying the movie (never mind what the DVD cover says). Seth Walter plays the lead character, the 30-something “college student” who will triumph over the machinations of capricious Fate and win the lovely Emily for himself. I don’t have a problem with the nerdy underdog getting the girl so much as I do with the fact that Walter, like the older Farley, just looks out of place. I mean, he could be older than me, and I’m far enough removed from college age to have trouble remembering if I even went. Seeing his balding ass snuggling up with a 24-year old almost gives one the creeps, which is something most comedies attempt to avoid.

“F.A.R.T. the Movie” suffers from trying to be all things to all people. It’s too gross to be a touching romantic comedy, and too schmaltzy to be a gross-out comedy.

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Posted on January 1, 2006 in Reviews by
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