Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 95 minutes
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Jenny McCarthy could stand a few lessons good toward any future movie she might make:
1. Don’t cater to Hollywood’s homeless ^ 2. Gross-out effects don’t always make a comedy funny ^ 3. Another writer may bang out a worse script, but a performer who doesn’t have writing skills should not try their hand at scriptwriting.
McCarthy, led by director John Asher, stars as Rebecca, currently in the violent vortex of the end of a relationship (with Victor Webster, trying so badly but not distancing himself from his time on “Days of Our Lives”), in which she screams, whines, and pounds the pavement on Hollywood Boulevard, fueling the theory (and possible fact) that movies which take place in L.A. outside of Hollywood, as opposed to movies inside Hollywood (excepting “The Player”), are much better. Spotting a fortune teller’s establishment, she walks in and finds rule number one, Kathy Griffin, as the soothsayer.
Kathy Griffin doesn’t need the work. She’s shrill, unfunny, and unpleasant and it’s nearly expected that Dom DeLuise will then walk into this movie some time later. It’s not that every actor playing roles in Hollywood needs to be likable or relatable. They just need to have something that’s worth watching, and Griffin has nothing. She makes such a big show on Bravo about her life on the D-List and that’s petty enough, a last gasp for a career which she knows isn’t doing so well. But why keep trying? Money does make the Hollywood universe, but she needs to find it somewhere else. There’s only so much that can be done in making fun of Hollywood. In fact, what seems good enough to joke about in Hollywood is only funny because it’s so alien to the rest of the world. But there also comes a time when it becomes clichéd and tired. As if it’s not bad enough that Jenny McCarthy is the star of this purported comedy, Griffin contorts her face during her part and kicks off the unpleasantness that creeps its way through the rest of many minutes which should be sheared off and trashed.
In her quest to get revenge on her ex-boyfriend, Rebecca’s joined by her friends Michelle (Carmen Electra) and Carrie (Kam Heskin). Electra tries to make herself look different by adopting a voice and style from “tha’ hood” as if the concept hasn’t been overused enough already. Kam Heskin looks exactly like every blonde actress walking around Hollywood. She nearly could be confused with Amanda Seyfried of “Mean Girls”, Amanda Detmer of “Big Fat Liar” (who hopefully is making herself different from the thousands out there), and Amy Smart of “Road Trip” and “Rat Race”. Same blonde mannerisms put to better effect by Seyfried, same kind of face as Detmer, and really nothing that’s the same as Smart, but the blondes are spreading! Spreading, I tell you! Run! Get the hfuhruhurr out of Hollywood if you want to live!
While mugging and screaming her way through “Dirty Love”, Jenny McCarthy fails to grasp rules two and three. “There’s Something About Mary” may have kicked off movies which contain numerous gross-out effects, but McCarthy doesn’t understand the concept. Gross-out effects only work if they seem genuinely embarrassing to those characters forced to endure the embarrassment. Plus, they should be given time. Good comedy is slowly built up, as in the opening sequence of “American Pie” where Jim (Jason Biggs) tries to hide a sock boner. It’s advantageous enough that Eugene Levy was a part of that, but not every gross-out comedy will have the benefit of Levy. But there’s Jim, embarrassed, trying to shoo away his parents, until that very last moment when the laugh bursts through. It’s slowly built up. In one horrific sequence where Rebecca has the worst period of movie history, she runs throughout a supermarket, bleeding all over the floor and even slips and trips on a puddle of her own creation. All this, while trying to avoid her ex-lover seeing her with a package of jumbo tampons since her kind aren’t available.
Meanwhile, Eddie Kaye Thomas as John, harboring hidden love for Rebecca while reluctantly supporting her romantic endeavors, isn’t much damaged from the machinations performed here. He’s simply a man picking up a paycheck and doing whatever was required of him. He does have the best line of dialogue after Rebecca leaves the diner, but doesn’t do much beyond that. While McCarthy, Electra, and others should be incriminated for the complete waste of time here, along with completely undermining what comedy should do for laughs, Thomas has no problem at all. He’ll move on, finding more work. He does deserve better and has the potential for it too.
Hollywood is definitely at its worst here and not the type of Hollywood which would dare to greenlight this; just Hollywood being portrayed on film. There’s nothing glamorous about that part of L.A. and humor can be reaped from what looks normal and unpleasant, just not as careless as it’s done here. It’s simply a showcase for actors trying to make it somehow by presuming they can overdo it and people will notice. Maybe Kathy Griffin is one of Jenny McCarthy’s inspirations. Unfortunately, maybe she also helped McCarthy learn how to write a script. Most likely, it’s simply McCarthy going nuts, rehashing romantic clichés that have been done too many times before, right up to the “bright future” ending, couching it in a “relational relationship” movie, trying to make people say, “Hey, I lived through that!” Yeah right. There’s no point to what’s here. I hope it spontaneously combusts. Break as many props as deemed necessary, look as ridiculous as possible, but don’t expect the humor to come through.
Posted on September 14, 2005 in Reviews by Rory L. Aronsky
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