There was a moment in this year’s season finale of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon walks into the writers’ room and finds Frank and Lutz and Twofer playing videogames and she is like “why are you guys still here, you have the whole summer off,” and it’s like, “hold on wait a second this show is very funny and we all kind of know that showbiz people, even make believe showbiz people, live glamorous Hollywood lifestyles but WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE THE WHOLE SUMMER OFF?!” Get back here and watch these fucking terrible movies with me, you jerks!!!

Before we get to the latest round of nominees for The Hunt for the Worst Movie of All Time, I think it is important to revisit a fundamental philosophy behind the Hunt, which is that any movie can be nominated. ANY MOVIE! Even Benny and Joon! The point is, nothing is sacred, and a nomination is not a death sentence. (Get it? Death Sentence?) If your precious (500) Days of Summer is so great, then what are you worried about? I’m sure it will turn out fine! (Bad example. But there have been nominated movies that got good reviews. It is a Hunt not a Witch Hunt.) So:

  • Somewhere
  • Nell
  • Running with Scissors
  • Spread
  • Australia
  • Love and Other Drugs
  • Synechdoche, New York
  • Greenberg

As always, please consult the Official Rules. Next week is a holiday, so we won’t start for another two weeks, but don’t make a big deal out of it. It will get awful enough soon enough for all of us, I’m sure.

Comments (117)
  1. That’s a whole lot of terrible movies! Looks like Gabe’s summer fun is going to be…

    Danny Torpedoed.


  2. Wait, there’s been a mistake. I nominated Nell, but I only meant the seasons after The Chief died.

  3. An unexpected focus on indies this time around. Still looking forward to it, but remember when bad movies had explosions and former pro-wrestlers and sometimes even exploding former pro-wrestlers?

  4. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • No kids movies
      Also every single Pixar movie that doesn’t have Larry The Cable Guy in it is the best

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • You have no heart. Lit’rally.

        • I second UP. Nice work ripping off other animators, Disney.
          Also The Lion King for the same reason
          Taxi Driver? More like Taxzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzi driver
          Raging Bull? More like Scorsese’s Raging hard on for DeNiro. Get a room already.
          Inception? More like fast and furious for New Age hippies.
          Shawshank Redemption? A movie about criminals, you guys should be ashamed of yourselves.
          Pulp Fiction? That movie’s so ridiculous, it’s like someone from youtube made it.
          Seven Samurai? Naked butts.
          Wait, you really didn’t like it? We weren’t being facetious? Never mind I earnestly nominate Black Swan then.

        • I think I’m gonna surprise even myself here and agree with you. Up is as great as promised for the first 10 minutes, and then it doesn’t really get good again until the last three minutes. The actual plot of the story is very boring. To be fair, I’m 30 so a movie about balloons and talking dogs et cetera isn’t really meant for me. Good thing I don’t run Pixar, I guess. Good thing I don’t run a lot of companies, really.

          • I’m 30ish, and I dig talking dogs. And, you know, dreams. So.

          • Fair enough, Baby Friday. As well you should. I guess my point is, I prefer a plot like “The Wizard of Oz” over the plot of “Up.” Conflict of Oz: girl is taken far away from home, wants to return. She figures out how, but there are many distinct challenges that she must accomplish in order to achieve her goal. Up’s conflict: same thing really, except this time it’s an old man.

            Problem #1, his desire for being home is nonexistent. Problem #2, there aren’t any distinct challenges he must accomplish in order to return. This is by far my biggest problem with “Up.” Something something something about a…who’s the bad guy? I don’t even remember. Some kind of hunter or something? Maybe he sells fur? It all feels like a strange tangent, like a parent rambling an incoherent story to their child at night. It’s all filler for the pay-off at the end, the “last page of the book” part, which we all agree is great. It’s like the writer(s) had this idea: hey, imagine an old man loses his wife and doesn’t see the point of living anymore, but fate takes him on one last adventure. But the writer(s) didn’t really have an adventure in mind, so they just threw some darts on the wall at that point.

            Obviously, me and Dusky Panther are the only people who feel this way, so there’s something wrong with our brains, probably.

          • I was hiding underneath your porch because I LOVE you.

    • Please elaborate.

    • Either you’re brutally honest and unaware of the dreadful repercussions for not keeping this opinion to yourself, or you’re making a play for an EGOT. Either way, your courage is admirable. Good luck out there, Dusky Panther.

    • I would love to downvote this, but the Panther is cool, so, no.

    • i logged in just to downvote you.

  5. That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Did you grow up in a forest? Are you Nell? From the movie Nell?”

  6. I am so excited about Australia! Excuse me while I go on a celebratory walkabout.

  7. Dammit, I was too late for the nominations! For the future, I nominate “Choke” (remind me next time we nominate to nominate “Choke,” will you?).

    • I know. I’ve been busy so I forgot to nominate Sex and the City 2.

      I honestly think Gabe is just avoiding that one because he KNOWS that it actually is the Worst Move Of All Time, which would end the hunt, and I don’t think anyone wants that.

  8. 40 Days and 40 Nights didn’t get in!? Gabe, I don’t think you understand, this movie is like getting ear raped by M Night Shyamalan during the premiere of The Last Airbender. I’m goingmto have to set off on a werttrew-like quest to get this movie nominated. Here is a gif of how I felt after watching this movie.

    • I can’t support the heartwarming dedication of these campaigns enough. Team Son of Gabe. MORE WERTTREW-ESQUE CAMPAIGNS, PLEASE.

    • That gif is actually a pretty good representation of the movie itself. The protagonist sets out with a pointless plan to [ride an office chair/have no orgasms] for the length of [the hallway/Lent], which somehow draws the attention of [a cell phone videographer/TV news stations and the entire internet]. In spite of his plans to avoid [the ground/sex], he does [drag his toes on/have touchless feather sex with] the [floor/new love interest] and finally sees his plans thwarted altogether when he [loses his balance/is raped by his ex-girlfriend] which causes him to [crash to the floor/lose the trust of the new girl].

      Presumably, the touching reconciliation at the end got cut from the gif version to save space, which is just as well. It’s painful enough to watch as it is.

  9. I really disliked Greenberg so yay! And though I’ve never seen Nell, based on Gilmore Girls references alone, it should be good (read: bad)

  10. It seems that this is less The Hunt for the Worst Movie of All Time and more The Hunt for a Movie that Some People Liked But I Really Didn’t Exclamation Point.

    What I’m trying to say is that there’s no justice in the world that Fresh Horses hasn’t been included. NO ONE, not the writers, not the director, not your mom–NO ONE LIKED THAT MOVIE. EVER.

    • Also, I get the summer off.

      • I’ve always wondered how that works. Do you get a summer job? Do you need a summer job? Is public perception that teachers don’t have teacher work to do in the summer true? I’ll talk all answers in the form of song, thank you.

        • I don’t know what they want from me
          It’s like the more money we come across
          The more problems we see…

        • To legitimately answer your question–if they don’t work (we don’t, some do, I’ve done camps before) then they use the summer to plan, organize materials, and take classes. What’s really, really wrong is the public perception that during the school year a teacher’s hours are 8-3. I don’t even coach, and I still regularly have 12 hour days (and I’m part-time!).

        • My mom is a teacher and she’s never worked during the summer until last year she got a job with the census, lol? But that was the first time. And this summer she’s going to work at a bakery.

          Actually I’m not entirely sure why she never got a summer job because we are not anywhere near rich. We could really use the money actually. Maybe she just wanted to be home during the summer when us kids were also home? I’m the youngest and this is the first summer that I won’t be home… so I guess that is why.

    • Totally agreed. This is nothing here that approaches an outright trainwreck. Though I can’t to see Gabe DEMOLISH the opening credits for Love and Other Drugs in which Donna Gyllenhaal dances to early nineties dance hits. Just a great sequence and not at all embarrassing for anyone involved.

    • Oof, I remember seeing the trailer for Fresh Horses in a movie theater. I think I was there to see Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise? And I think I rode my bike to the mall for that, and sneaked in? I was a kid, is my point, a young child who knew nothing. And even so, as Fresh Horses imprinted itself forever on my brain as the ur-type of a certain kind of movie that was going to fully endorse the ludicrous drama of adolescent love and the cruel cruel world and probably rich kids, even then I was thinking, “Oof. That is probably either embarrassingly bad, or much too adult for me.” And I kind of wanted to see it.

  11. Magnolia lives to fight another day

  12. Awe yeah, SPREAD. That’s what I’m talking about! Here we go!

    • Wrong tab. This is Videogum, KajusX. The webcam girls are to the right.

      • Oh no, That One! There was no euphemism or innuendo intended in my statement! SPREAD starring Ashton Kutcher is what I’m excited about! I’ve been lobbying for it for AT LEAST 6 months now, if not more. Webcam girls are not my bag!

        • Just joshin’ ya ;)

          • I know, That One, I know. When I can’t think of any clever comebacks or banter I always shoot for the completely literal reaction of, “Oh no! Someone has misinterpreted my words. I will now explain myself as dryly and matter-of-factly as possible!”

            Bring out the girls…

        • I couldn’t get past the first two minutes of Spread. I may have to torture myself through another Ashton Kutcher movie just for the laffs.

  13. I don’t know if anything can ever beat Elizabethtown, starring Ms. Cannes 2011 Kirsten Dunst.

    • Get Over It?
      Mona Lisa Smile?
      Marie Antoinette?

      The general thesis being that Kirsten Dunst has been in her share of bad movies, and also Bring it On which is not a bad movie

    • VALENTINE’S DAY!!! But I’m sure after Love & Other Drugs that Gabe will implement some rule about no more Anne Hathaway movies or something. Remember, he did have to sit through Havoc, too.

  14. Greenberg is so bad. AND it has Gwyneth Paltrow’s brother in it.

  15. If this were a serious hunt for the worst movie of all time, Shadowboxer would have made the list.

  16. OK. I was on a plane last week and missed the nominations. Therefore, I’m using this spot to lobby a vote for Life As We know It for the Fall round:

    Why Gabe/Videogum should consider the 2010 movie “Life As We Know It” for The Hunt For The Worst Movie of All Time

    I’ve already outlined why I detest this movie here: http://videogum.com/259702/the-hunt-for-the-worst-movie-of-all-time-sisyphus-turns-2011/franchises/the-hunt-for-the-worst-movie-of-all-time/#comment-8196151

    But does it qualify? Let’s go rule-by-rule.

    It cannot be intentionally horrible. — Ok, right off the bat I may lose on this one because I would have to assume that anyone who casts Katherine Heigl (History’s Greatest Monster) in any movie is either producing the movie to take a loss or this is part of some weird Gentlemen’s agreement like Trading Places or My Fair Lady to turn Heigl into a star through treachery and deception (In which case, we must stop Gentlemen’s’ agreements.)

    It must have at least one A- or B-list movie star in it. (No “outsider art.”) Is Katherine Heigl an A-List star? Katherine Heigl was paid $12 million for this movie. Fuck me.

    It cannot be Glitter. (Or Crossroads.) If this movie has one saving grace… actually in retrospect, this movie does not possess a saving grace. It is saving graceless. Holly Hunter would be cast asunder if she tried to approach this film. (Aren’t Made-for-TNT dramas the best?)

    It has to have had a theatrical release. Life As We Know It was released theatrically on October 10, 2010, the same day that the first full-time White House correspondent for NBC News, Frank Bourgholtzer, died. Coincidence? Maybe. But check the records, Katherine Heigl was never invited to the funeral!

    It must be available on Netflix. It is available, because I checked. And now, because Netflix keeps track of movies you’ve looked at, I was recommended to watch Monkey Trouble starring Thora Birch. You are creepily smart, Netflix. (FYI: same amount of syllables in Skynet. Food for thought.)

    No matter how bad the movie, it cannot be based on a popular superhero. I just checked with the official guide to comic books (the Internet) and there was never a superhero called The Incredible Black Hole of Talent from Which not Light nor Joy Will Ever Escape. So l think it’s safe to proceed.
    No musicals.Lord, if Katherine Heigl starts singing, we are all well and truly effed.

    No Robin Williams movies (Note: In a lead role. Supporting roles will be considered on a case by case basis)I thought I saw Robin Williams in this, but that was just the monkey on Katherine Heigl’s back. (Still can’t open a movie strong sweetie. That salary won’t hold. Tick. Tock.)

    Only one Nicolas Cage movie per “round.” I drank like Cage in Leaving Las Vegas after watching this. (Also, sometime after viewing this I ate a cockroach like Cage in Vampire’s Kiss, but that was my own thing I was dealing with. Let’s table this for another time.)

    No children’s movies. Fun fact: The screenplay was written in crayon, I shit you not.

    Gabe is the boss. Mr. Delahaye, I’d like to schedule a performance review and in lieu of asking for a raise and an extra week off, I’ll instead ask for Life As We Know It to be included in the Hunt. (Also, Donut Tuesdays should be a regular thing, not just when Debbie in HR feels like it)

    Faithfully submitted, this day, May 23, 2011 by Frank Lloyd Wrong, Videogum Commentator

    • Also they filmed a bunch of this down the street from me which made traffic a total nightmare. So in addition to FLW’s solid points, this movie moderately inconvenienced HeyThatsMyBike for a few days. BURN IT AT THE STAKE!

    • I’m in the middle of an Epic Rewatch of Roswell right now, and so far, I think Heigl is the only cast member who *doesn’t* sing. Which I assume means she is Alyson-Hannigan-horrible and we are all pretty safe on that front.

  17. Um, I thought Greenberg was good.
    Gangy and badideajeans: come down here so we can fight.

    • I liked Greenberg too! But then, I liked “Margot at the Wedding.”

      • I liked Margot at the Wedding too, but he (Baumbach) pretty much has a lifetime pass with me after Kicking and Screaming and Mr. Jealousy.
        Everyone go see those movies!

    • Oh it is ON. Started off promising. Then WHAT THE FUCK WITH THE DOG. True story: after it was over, my friend Ben said “I will now refer to this shitstorm as the story of a very handsome German Shepherd’s battle with cancer.”

    • I liked Greenberg too, but I think it’s because I’m kind of crazy? So I like movies about other crazy people. I watched it with a couple of friends who are mostly not-crazy and are capable of dealing with shit and they all hated it.

    • I’m speculating, but I think the main problem people have with it is that, like most of Baumbach’s stuff, it walks a thin line between a character study of terrible people and expecting the audience to sympathize with them. I don’t blame the anti-Greenberg folks. That is a tricky line to walk!

      In the end, I found it fascinating. As most movies featuring a giant asshole lead to the full third act redemption, we’re led to expect that. But how many real-life giant assholes turn into legitimately sympathetic people in the span of a few weeks? Not that many. I would even argue that none do. The end gave a glimmer of hope behind the eyes of a completely self-absorbed, self-pitying misanthrope and I thought it was beautiful.

      The final line as Greta Gerwig is listening to her voicemails is perfect. She turns to Greenberg and says, “This is you.” Cut to black. It’s just perfect and left me with that kind of feeling when the ending of a film is better than the sum of its parts, a la No Country. TEAM GREENBERG.

      • I think Ben Stiller actually did a good job making you root for Greenberg to stop being a jerk. And, in the end, I got to thinking Greenberg may have been right a lot of the time. Starbucks does suck. Rhys Ivans’s character probably was a drunk who was a pain in the ass to be with.

      • Welcome back to the fight. This time I know our side will win.

        also, I’m cool that you slept with my wife I guess?

      • I too saw it more as a pretty good character study. I mean, sure Ben Stiller’s character was an asshole and a self-pitying man child, but I didn’t ever really see the movie as an attempt to portray him as sympathetic. I saw the whole movie as a comment on how some people are just monstrous, and yet we still choose to be around them.

  18. It’s okay that you left Sex and the City 2 off of the list. It knows what it did.

  19. I watched “No Strings Attached” yesterday. It was terrible! Even Mindy Kaling couldn’t save it!

    • I did too! All sorts of awful. I should have known to turn away from anything Ashton Kutcher-related. I still haven’t forgiven myself for watching The Butterfly Effect. Twice.

    • I also Netflixed this recently hoping for some cheese served with a side of “aw,” but it wasn’t even romantic-comedy-bad. It was just really really bad. Like all around bad.

      • I tend to believe every rom com is completely unrealistic, but this one probably wins for the most WTF NO WAY IN HELL THIS WOULD EVER HAPPEN rom com of them all.

  20. As someone who really loves: World War II movies, Steven Spielberg and Belushi (Not Jim) inspired hilarity, 1941 is one of the worst movies of all time.

  21. I am NOT prepared to defend the wonky meandering Synechdoche, New York (my mom: “Why the hell was that house on fire?”), but I will go out on a limb with a somewhat controversial opinion: Charlie Kaufman has written some pretty OK material.

    • Case in point: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That movie is more than pretty okay!

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • I’m posting suffering from a bout of gastroenteritis (don’t stand to close to the computer, guys.) to say that Eternal Sunshine was one of my favourite films, Synedoche, New York probably my least favourite. I lobbied hard for that to get in the WMOAT, and will be using this success in my presidential campaign materials in the upcoming 2012 election….

  22. Synechdoche, New York may just be one of my all-time favourite movies.

  23. I’m confused why “The Invention of Lying” has been suggested (and highly upvoted ,at that!) as a nominee for the past few iterations of the hunt and still has yet to be included. Did Gabe ever give a reason on a previous inaugural WMOAT post explaining why it is ineligible, or is it just on the backburner? Anyways, would love to see that movie get the treatment eventually, it definitely has something to it that makes me legitimately annoyed in a way only a good WMOAT nominee can.

  24. I still think Synecdoche’s nomination is a waste of space. We all know it’s a great movie, there’s no need to remind ourselves about that and further detract from that seemingly unreachable goal of WMOAT.

  25. Running with Scissors finally being in the Hunt AND a trailer for a new Muppet movie? I think I may click my heels with joy.

    Actually, while I kind of dug Synechdoche, I can see why all these movies made the Hunt.

    But do any of these other movies have a scene where Brian Cox forces his family to examine his poop?


    Advantage: Running with Scissors.

  26. Vote for Greenberg. One word: life. As Gabe has pointed out, and as all know too well, this little thing we like to call life, well, it can be quite difficult. And especially if you are white and above the poverty line.

    I mean, it’s hard to grow up and do adult stuff like start a family and get a job where you work to earn money. High school and college were so cool and carefree (the 70s you guys). They were the best of times. They were the best of times.

    And KIDS THESE DAYS! Well, they just do not get it. Play a teenager today some Stones or some The Who, and they will throw up on you and demand you mp3 them some Linkin Park or 50 Cent or something. Starbucks sucks! This movie gets it.

  27. What about Dead Girl? Did anyone nominate that yet? Worst fucking movie.

  28. I hate being “that guy” but Running With Scissors was such a fun read and the movie was just fucking awful.

    Also Syndechoche, NY was horrible and any of you who like it are wrong about your opinion. What a snooze fest.

  29. I will quote (Synedoche) Charlie Kaufman in my favorite movie ever (Adaptation) in regards to other nominee Greenberg:

    “Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There’s genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every fucking day, someone, somewhere takes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ’s sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can’t find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don’t know crap about life! And why the fuck are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don’t have any use for it! I don’t have any bloody use for it!”

    I get the quirky slice-of-life thing. I like poorly lit indies about stuff white people like. But seriously? Greenberg? Creating a bunch of shitty characters and throwing them in a script to be shitty together and completely foregoing any sort of plot, development, growth or even regression is not a movie! It is laziness! There is a difference between an anti-hero and someone who is just shitty and boring and not worth my two hours thinking about. I just want to know what the point of Greenberg is. He wasn’t even an enjoyable crappy person.

    Sorry monsters. I just HATED Greenberg so very much. But I guess we will wait and see what Gabe has to say!

    • I REALLY wanted to like Greenberg. I just couldn’t. I hated it. I hated it more and more with every scene. I hated the Greenberg character, which is probably the point, but also every other character in the movie who continued to put up with the Greenberg character. And in the end, I hated myself for sitting all the way through that bullshit hoping that it would redeem itself somehow. Guh. I only wish it wasn’t last on the list.

      However, I will fight to the death for Synechdoche.

  30. Please, for the love of pancakes, will you one day do the movie Face Off. I honestly believe this film is the reason I was improperly socialized as a child and will forever live alone muttering to myself “ARGH! FACE/OFF”

  31. Love and Other Drugs!


  32. my submission: he got game. it got given me a headache. plus, it has an a-list actor and is seeking to achieve some higher understanding through the recruiting process of a high school basketball named jesus. lord.

  33. I think that “How do you know?” should begin the fall nominations… It has everything

  34. I’ll be interested in the reviews for Running with Scissors and Synechdoche. I really liked both those movies, but can see how people might react negatively to them.

  35. Good. Some over-rated white people have it hard films!

  36. I’d like to make two suggestions. The first, AVP – Alien Vs. Predator. Now I don’t know if Sanaa Lathan counts as a B-list actress, but surely Lance Henriksen still counts?

    Second, The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak. Which according to IMDB was released on 500 screens in the US, and I’m pretty sure Tawny Kitaen was at least B-list in ’85? Although it was before my time…


  37. id like to nominate that woody allen movie with larry david. i couldn’t make it past the opening monologue and i love larry david.
    really looking forward to the synechdoche review though. i enjoyed that film and respected its ambition but it was quite the clustercuss.

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