Theater is dead, or whatever. I mean, it still exists in community productions of Our Town, and it pretends to have cultural relevance in New York and Chicago, but for the most part it is very, very dead. And not without some understandable reasons! For one, it can’t really entertain us the way that movies and television and XBOX 360s and IMAX can, in terms of sheer spectacle. Moreover, in terms of the communication of art, its attempt to reach out and create connections between fellow human beings: a) no one really wants that anymore for the most part (see: Paul Blart Mall Cop), and b) theater is often too stilted, too elitist (perceived or real), and too contrived. There is a distance between the stage and the audience, both literally and figuratively, that simply makes it a poor tool in the era of instantaneous communication and “reality” to get much work done.

But for all of theater’s obstacles and flaws, it is still way more vibrant and relevant than plays adapted into movies. Yiiiiiiiikes. “They look like normal people, but they talk like over-educated automatons!” No thanks!

Closer is based on a play by the same name, written by Patrick Marber. In the movie version, we open on Natalie Portman walking towards Jude Law on a crowded street. Jude Law is staring at her because LOVE CONNECTION. Then Natalie Portman walks into the street and gets hit by a car. Whoopsies! I think that any movie in which one of your main characters reveals themselves to be too stupid to not just get hit by a car (even if the car is a cheap plot contrivance) is going to be a stupid movie. This is categorically true. Probably.

So, Jude Law takes Natalie Portman to the hospital, but she’s basically fine. I guess she just needed to get hit by that car so that Jude Law would talk to her. This movie should have just been called Life! They walk around London for awhile, and now they are in love because CUT TO a few years later, and Jude Law has written a book about their relationship and is getting his photograph taken by Julia Roberts. NOTE: this movie jumps through time without warning. Anyway, Jude Law flirts with Julia Roberts, so now he is in love with Julia Roberts.

Natalie Portman finds out (this is all within the same 10 minutes, btw), and she’s kind of bummed so Julia Roberts takes a picture of her crying. Art! Later, Jude Law goes into a hilarious sex chat room called, like, London Super Sex Chat Internet, and pretends to be a woman (why? I guess because he is a writer? You know how writers are! Always on-line sex chatting as women! Don’t worry about it!) and sex chats Clive Owen, who is a doctor sex chatting in a hospital. Yuck.

“Paging Doctor Clive Owen to the Emergency Room, a man is drowning in barf!”

Anyway, Jude Law pretending to be a woman tells Clive Owen to meet him the next day at the aquarium (which is also the name of Jude Law’s book, because symbolism is precious, and God, and the bible) but when Clive Owen goes to the aquarium he meets Julia Roberts instead. RIGHT. Is this movie a documentary about normal things that happen? CUT TO A BUNCH OF MONTHS LATER. Now Clive Owen and Julia Roberts are dating. Everyone goes to Julia Roberts’s photo gallery opening. CUT TO A YEAR LATER (WHOA, SLOW DOWN!). Jude Law has been cheating on Natalie Portman with Julia Roberts, who now is married to Clive Owen. Classic love rectangle. So, Natalie Portman leaves. And Clive Owen leaves. Then Clive Owen sees Natalie Portman in a strip club. She is a stripper now. She looks great!

Cut to: uhh….I don’t know. Basically, Clive Owen makes Julia Roberts fuck him in exchange for signing the divorce papers, and that somehow makes Julia Roberts leave Jude Law to go back to Clive Owen, and in the meantime Clive Owen also fucked Natalie Portman, I guess, but now Jude Law is back with Natlie Portman, and they are going to go on vacation, but he’s like “did you fuck Clive Owen?” and basically not only are they not going on vacation anymore, but Natalie Portman stops loving him immediately, and she leaves London but her name was never Alice anyway, it was secretly Jane, and Clive Owen and Julia Roberts read at night before they go to sleep, and Jude Law is a lonely dumb-dumb. And all the guys in New York are like HELLOOO NATALIE PORTMAN, OR WHATEVER YOUR NAME IS!

Fun Fact: when this thing was a play, it won an award for Best Comedy. LOL?

I suppose it should be said that for as bad as this movie is, and for as much as I did not enjoy it at all, it was directed by Mike Nichols, and Mike Nichols earned a lifetime pass back in 1967 when he directed The Graduate. Lucky for him, because he has needed to use that pass! But he has it. So congratulations, Mike Nichols, as far as you are concerned, we’re all done here.

Now, I don’t know why they turned a comedic play into an intensely serious movie. Interesting choice! Luckily (luckily?), they didn’t get rid of any of that classic insufferable theatrical dialogue. At one point, Clive Owen and Julia Roberts are verbally sparring, and he says “you forget that you’re dealing with a clinical observer of the human carnivore,” and she responds, “you seem more like the cat who got the cream, you can stop licking yourself,” and he says, “that is the cruelest thing you’ve ever said to me.” BURN? I bet that is a killer burn. I’m going to go back to college and figure out what the fuck the two of them are even talking about, and then I am going to laugh and laugh, I’m sure.

But the thing that bothered me the most about this movie was actually the thing that bothers me about almost all movies about love triangles and infidelities, and that is the obnoxious self-absorption and the narcissistic pride in people who have cheated on others or been cheated on by others. There is something about these types of stories that is so satisfied with really getting into what “life” is all “about.” Except that that’s not what life is all about. I mean, it happens, a lot even, but life is about a lot of other things too. It is a justification to the people who cheat, as in “we are all human and therefore your miserable and disrespectful behavior can be chalked up to the silly quirks of our natures,” and it is also a justification to the people who want to wallow in the personal misery of what was done to them. Love triangle dramas are basically stoner comedies. There is something in your life that you think gives you a better understanding of the world, and that grants you access to an exciting club. Except that you don’t know anything more about life, you’re just as hurt and confused as everyone else, and your club is self-destructive, solipsistic, and stupid. You should get a better club!

“It’s funny because I know what it is like when people smoke drugs that make them stupid because I also smoke drugs that make me stupid.”

Whatever. It’s another case of miserable people being miserable in your face for two hours. Which I guess reflects something about the human condition or whatever. It’s just a really boring and annoying reflection. “Well, sometimes life is boring and annoying.” True enough! But it is also short. Enough of this thing.

Next Week: an announcement of the next round of nominees! Get them in while you can!

Comments (311)
  1. Dearest Gabe,
    HOPE FLOATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I love this movie! I think there is lots of good acting in it.

    Oh man I am starting quite the debate here! honk snore fart zzz

    The next round of TWMOAT should include Swingers.

  3. I am so happy someone else hated this movie as much as I did. I don’t know which Jude Law movie is worse though, this or Alfie. Both are the worst, ever.

  4. My main problem with this movie is that anyone would cheat on Natalie Portman with Julia Roberts. That would be like cheating on Natalie Portman with Seabiscuit.

  5. Please, please AMERICAN DREAMZ

  6. Very Bad Things (not originally nominated by me, but as far as I can tell the worst movie I’ve ever sen)

  7. I think my favorite (least favorite?) thing about Closer is that there is only one song used throughout the entire movie. Fuckin’ Damien Rice.

  8. And Monkeybone (also not originally nominated by me)

  9. I guess some people are really against this, but I still think eXistenZ should be a contender, if for nothing else but to just help us non-believers understand it better! Plus it’d give Gabe a chance to use that Jude Law .gif again, and who doesn’t want that?

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  11. I saw this movie a while ago and all i remember was feeling gross when i finished it. Natalie Portman was way too young for her part, Jude Law just basically sucks, and for the life of me i couldnt figure out what in the world drew these two men to Julia Roberts.

    • My professor was telling us about the time he helped publish Gary Marshall’s book and he said, “Gary Marshall directed that movie with that one actress…you know, the one who has a mouth like a mail slot.” That pretty much sums up Julia Roberts.

    • They were drawn to her because she had just won the Pimlico

  12. The General’s Daughter. The Devil’s Own. Eight Heads in a Dufflebag.

    But, mostly, Jingle all the way

  13. I love the stripper-Portman gif. “Oh, is this string in the way? Let me move that for you.”

  14. Ugh. I saw this in the theater after hearing from good friends who actually liked it. After reading this brilliantly written post, I am happy to feel vindicated. What an uncle-touch of a movie.

  15. Would anyone agree with me on nominating Blindness? I think it got opening slot at Cannes, but I found it to be frustrating and kind of offensive.

    • Seconded.
      Though Meirelles has a nice resume to pardon him for that mess.

    • Thirded, fourthed and millionthed.
      The badness of this movie actually made me angry. I wanted to reach through the screen and SLAP Julianne Moore.

      • Julianne Moore is the most irrelevant actress in Hollywood. She was already featured in the Hunt for the atrocity that is “The Forgotten”, which barely qualifies as a movie.

    • I agree. Blindness was horrible, and it made me angry as well.

    • Yes, Yes and YES. Blindness was one of THE worst I’ve ever seen. A group of us stayed in the theater to finish the whole movie when EVERYONE else walked out because it was so bad. At the point in which they get back to the house and all of the women are giggly and naked in the shower scene my friend supplied the best dialogue of the entire movie: “Hey guys, remember when we all got raped?” It was really THAT bad that such a joke was highly appreciated.

    • I don’t want to sound all Twi-Hard here, but maybe you have to have read the book? Then again, if a movie requires you to have enjoyed the book, maybe it is not a very good movie. I loved the book, and when I heard they were making a movie, I was concerned. I remember walking out of the theater pleased that they hadn’t butchered the story as much as I’d feared they would… which is kind of a tallest midget scenario… Honestly, I feel like I’m talking myself out of defending it. Nevermind. I’m done here.

  16. I think maybe you watched the movie wrong? Upside down? Inside out? Backwards? Anyway, it’s very funny and true and good. Lying will destroy your life, unless you are Natalie Portman and very good at lying.

  17. One more movie in the hunt and Jude Law is getting a ticket to awful actor prom.

  18. i saw closer in a movie theater in a small southern town. everybody else in the theater was over 60 years old.

    i don’t remember much about the movie aside from it makes natalie portman stripping somehow boring. but what sticks with me most is that i got to hear dignified, old southern people gasp at the word “cum.”

    movie ticket, $6.50 (seriously, SMALL southern town).
    popcorn $0, gross.
    your grandma’s face when clive owen is e-cumming all over jude law, priceless.

  19. Calendar Girls.

  20. Oh crap. I can’t read this review yet! Five years ago I dated a girl who kept telling me this movie “described her former life exactly.” So, at one low point, I bought the DVD (used), hoping it would help me figure her out (she was nuts). Instead, I never watched it, and we broke up. And ever since, I have wondered what mysteries this DVD contains. Did I miss out on a special woman? Did I dodge the biggest bullet EVER? What has become of me?? I will watch it this week, finally, and THEN read your review, Gabe!

    • Not having seen the movie OR met the girl I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that you dodged the biggest bullet ever.

    • So! Hooray! BULLET. And here’s a gem: She had a habit, when she saw me thinking over a big life decision (about jobs, or money, or moving), of leaning right into my face and saying solemnly, “Jump.” I always thought that was zero help, and now I know it ALSO is exactly what one of the horrible people in this movie does to convince one of the other horribles to make a big life decision (to cheat).
      I guess someone felt they’d learned something valuable.
      Yikes. Gabe, I continue to lobby for Nell, Nothing But Trouble, and Drop Dead Fred.

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  22. The 6th Day, you guys

    come on, the 6th Day is the worst in such an amazing way!

  23. “perineum, etc.” LOL. Just say “taint,” Dr. Pervert.

  24. I remember being extremely disappointed by this movie halfway through watching the trailer for it the first time. I went from “this looks good” to “this looks bad” in much less than 60 seconds.

    And just to remind you Gabe, Coyote Ugly is a must-review WMOAT nominee.

    • man, EVERYTIME i walk by coyote ugly’s i peer inside and watch, entranced, as the incredibly sad looking girls enthusiastically dance for the at most five guys in that bar at any given time. it’s a very sobering pause.

    • Why has the Coyote Ugly trailer been watched more than a million times? Seriously people, click that link, its an absolutely ridiculous insight into the mind of youtube (my conclusion being that some dudes were like “remember that movie about hot chicks runnin’ a bar” “Lets youtube that trailer dawg”).

  25. Personally, I like this movie. Yes, the plot moves a bit too quickly and even when the dialogue gets heavy, all theatersy on you, it’s got some brilliant lines in it. You must be paying attention to it.
    It’s been awhile since the last time I watched this so I can’t fully explain or provide more grounds for its defense. By no means perfect, but certainly not the worst movie.

  26. even the interweb sexxx chat is theater-talk. “perineum.” ugh. thank god for nichols’s directorial restraint with the “etc.”

  27. whereas i will continue my so far unanswered plea for city of angels, i would also like to throw in babel, due to the unwavering pretentious bullshit of it, or black snake moan, due to the sort of racist crazy wtf-y-ness of it.

    • By “racist crazy wtf-y-ness of it” I’m assuming you’re referring to the casting of Justin Timberlake.
      I’ll defend Black Snake Moan as not being racist so much as being bluesy and full of Christina Ricci’s tits.
      Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

      • by “racist” i was referring to the fucked up social tropes and stereotypes, both black and white, and by “crazy wtf-y-ness” i was referring to the whole general mess that was the movie. plenty of movies have tits. but tits chained to a radiator to keep her from her unholy sexual appetites? that is crazy wtf-y-ness.

        • Well my point was that just because a film has racist crazy wtf-y-ness as a quality doesn’t necessarily make it the worst movie. Sometimes it makes it the best movie?

    • Yes yes YES City of Angels, I have nominated it before too. Nic Cage as a hairy yet invisible angel who stalks Meg Ryan until she falls in love with him – how is this obviously terrible movie not on the list yet? Angels were basically the vampires of the 90s, I think.

      • City of Angels also has the added insult of rape=raping my enjoyment of the actually quite good origianl movie by Wim Wenders. I think Nic Cage may be in that realm where he cancels a movie’s elligibility for WMOAT cuz really. If he’s in it, you know it’s a piece of shit. But with Wicker Man (especially the director’s cut) it is effin hilarious.

        I have to reiterate my theory that Cage may be pulling a long con Andy Kaufman joke on the world and intentionally fucking up every movie he’s in. (“may:” I doubt true but it’s funnier for me to believe it’s true) The commentary for Wicker Man you find out that all the truely retarded shit he does was stuff he thought up while shooting. Bike theft? his idea, unmotivated violence to ladies? yep BEEEEEESS AAAAAAAHGHGHGHGHGHHGHGHGH You know it.

        • Not sure why bastards be minusin’ you, pcbowen, but this comment should only go up. I like your Nic Cage theory. Sadly, I think it’s simpler. He’s terrible with money.

        • Whereas my username refers the master thespian himself, I’ve referred to Nic Cage as “Kaufmanesque” with no irony since I saw the exact film you mention, the director’s cut of “Wicker Man.” Everyone should see the new “Bad Lieutenant” because HOLY SHIT is Cage out of his mind in the best possible way.

  28. Smokin’ Aces and Domino, basically same movie and there both terrible.

  29. i recommend another film for the hunt: BASIC. A 2003 thriller starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. Currtently holds a 6.3 at ImdB/21% fresh at RT and the writers focused on THOUSAND PLOT-TWISTS instead of a good story. I’m really looking forward to Gabe trying to explain the story to us.

  30. So, Closer. I don’t get this. It makes me wonder whether all of the other nominees are actually great movies. Like, would it be that I’d find August Rush incredibly fascinating and moving?

    I don’t know if there’s metaphorical room here for an alternate view, but I’ll try to be as short as I can:

    Structurally, this movie is fascinating. It’s a giant mirror image of scenes, where four people all start four relationships, then halfway in the story turns, and each of those relationships breaks down. 1-2-3-4 relationships, 4-3-2-1 relationships. I hope other, even better, writers pick up this idea and make more stories with it. Next, this movie contains one of the most arresting performances I’ve ever seen, from Clive Owen. I found him simultaneously endlessly believable and consistently surprising. I didn’t know anything about Mr. Owen before this, and haven’t really cared about him in other movies, but this is a Gene-Wilder-as-Willy-Wonka-level perfect match of actor and role. Lastly, like a lot of great theater (I have no problem with watching my theater on screen since I don’t live in New York), it’s a heightened, abstract version of something, which in this case is how people tell the truth or lie in relationships. Here, the truths and lies and consequences are all exaggerated, but that’s to focus on them. If you’re willing, it’ll give you a chance to think about how you treat honesty in your relationships. A heavy statement for a blog comment I know, but I’m bummed this movie’s being treated like some kind of nonsensical parade of cruelty. I love Videogum, I love Gabe’s writing, I love the WMOAT series (why I found and started reading Videogum), but I just don’t get hating this movie like this.

    • I was going to write my personal theory of how WMOAT works… but instead I’ll just refer others with the same question to the rules.

      #10. Gabe is the boss

      • This comment reply sounded like an asshole wrote it. Not True! There are times when I disagree with Gabe’s appraisal too! I was honestly trying to think of a way to help breakdown why some, otherwise decent, movies get nominated and subsequently slammed, but there isn’t a real answer. Gabe’s just the boss.

      • I think the amazing thing about WMOAT is how it shits on a movie for things you would generally let it get away with (hyper clever dialogue, multiple chance encounters) but still makes you feel like part of the elite who coulda seen this trainwreck from a mile away. I think there should be a special WMOAT where we nominate something we all agree is good and have Gabe rip it apart.

    • Basically, you shouldn’t rely entirely on Gabe’s skewed-to-make-you-laugh comedy blog opinion, and develop your own. Life lessons.
      August Rush is terrible, though.

  31. the other night i was watching The Green Mile on Bravo, and i thought, “Gabe, this is the worst movie of all time!”. But really, Gabe, this is the worst movie of all time. Or at least a contender.

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    • We’re gonna need a bigger WMOAT

    • I would very much like to see Gabe talk about Irreversible!

    • Irreversible? Really? Well, as long as we’re nominating fantastic, ridiculously innovative movies with a unique, fully realized vision just because they make us feel icky inside:
      Requiem for a Dream
      There Will Be Blood
      Mulholland Drive
      Citizen Kane
      Children of Men
      Taxi Driver
      Apocalypse Now

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

      • Seventh Seal! … I kid, incidentally I was watching Last Action Hero the other day, postmodern masterpiece. I hadn’t seen it in ages and totally forgotten about the part at the end where The Seventh Seal is playing in the cinema, except it’s not the real The Seventh Seal but one with Ian McKellen in playing Death and he walks out of the movie into the ‘real world’. It was a genuinely surprising wtf moment, which I had totally forgotten about. Anyway McKellen steals the show as usual, which left me racking up even more praise for this work of genius.

    • I would like to de-nominate Dog Soldiers. I thought it was pretty good!

  33. Gabe, On behalf of theatre professionals and theatre-goers everywhere, I think you’re going to the wrong plays. A lot of stuff is really great and culturally relevant! Sincerely, An Asshole with a Performing Arts Degree

    • Agreed and agreed, by an asshole PURSUING his performing arts degree. But I can totally understand why Gabe feels that way. So much theatre today is absolute bullshit. Its universality is often ruined in its attempts to be “daring”, and “shocking”, and “meaningful.”

      “Closer” is a perfect example of contemporary theatre that is solely written for its audience–rich, educated white people with marital problems and sexual hang-ups. But whoops!! That’s your audience!!

  34. I like how Dr. Clive Owen use the proper medical terminology for taint in the sex chat room. Sticking to the character, yo!

    Also “The Negotiator” is big fucking piece of shit. I nominate it.

  35. Broken Arrow please!! At one point, Christian Slater (!) tells John Travolta that he’s crazy and John Travolta replies, “Yeah, ain’t it cool!” That’s gold, Jerry!

  36. I humbly submit Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” for consideration as The Worst Movie of All Time. It’s gotta be top (bottom?) 10 at least (most? [I'm confused!])

    • I’d hate to disagree with Mr treehorn (something might get put in my white russian) but do you reckon its bad in relation to the source material, or just bad in its own right.

      I thought it was a pretty decent Spielberg sci fi.

      • It felt like Spielberg really phoned it in on this one, and it resulted in a sloppy mess. He very blatantly ripped HIMSELF off in a few scenes. (aliens in basement vs. raptors in kitchen comes to mind) He tried to do the “follow one family during the invasion” thing, but he picked the one family that seems to survive EVERYTHING (i.e. Tom Cruise was the only one to think of taking a grenade up into the collector thing. And then he still GOT BACK OUT! HUH!?!) so I lost all empathy with them. Then the kid showed up in Boston when he very clearly must have died in that HUGE EXPLOSION!
        I haven’t seen it since it came out, so my memory is a little foggy, and maybe I need to give it another shot. But I won’t. Fuck this movie.

    • I think War of the Worlds is awesome through 95% of it. I compared it to a metal coil being wound tighter and tighter? Eventually he twists it one more time and the coil just sort of explodes out of itself in a jumbled of unfocused energy.

  37. Bride Wars: Poisonous, depressing, unfunny woman-hating trash.

  38. sometimes i upvote things that have been downvoted for no reason other than i don’t disagree with the poster. i don’t necessarily agree with them, but i decide they didn’t deserve that down vote.

    also: please watch Fire on the Amazon. if not for WMOAT, then for life.

  39. Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj, starred Kal Penn and was the worst two hours of my life, no joke. There was nothing about the movie that was not painful to see, other than a hot blonde. And she was dumb-celebrity-movie average. She just seemed like the best compared to the rest of the movie.

  40. The Family Man! My roommate made me watch this last week and I was LOLing, ROFLing, LMAOing, perineum, etc. the entire way through–and I’m pretty sure it’s not a comedy. It does have Nicholas Cage in it, which I guess could make it a comedy and/or intentionally bad by default. But I think it deserves the “honor” of being included in the Hunt.

    • I guess it’s safe to assume “perineum, etc.” will now be a new Videogum meme.

    • Oh gosh, this was on last night and I saw the end of it and it was completely preposterous (a Nic Cage movie preposterous, you say? I KNOW) But seriously….ps spoiler alert….running down your ex lover from like, 10 years ago in the airport to tell her about the fever dream you had about your life together and screaming at her not to move after all would equal restraining order in 10 out of 10 cases.

  41. I’m aware of the Hunt’s rules, but we really need to make a special exception: The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000). I was 9 when I saw it in theaters, and even then I knew that De Nero really liked getting big paychecks for terrible, terrible things.

  42. Running With Scissors.

  43. I’ll say it again: Original Sin! It’s terrible, and so many people I know loved it for some incomprehensible reason. Dramatic Peacock Stepping?! I do not know!

    • That’s that Kevin Costner piece of shit isn’t it? Totally worthy of WMOAT. My buddy was all like, “It’s about revenge, it’ll be cool.” I was like, “Nope, this looks like a dumb movie for dumb-dumbs.”

      • Woops!! I guess it’s not. I don’t know what movie I’m thinking of. Oh it was Revenge. I can’t believe how stupid my friend was now. Actually it’s worth being nominated as well. Man, that movie sucked.

  44. YES! This came out when I was about 18 and all these people were fawning about it and how much it perfectly described relationships. I kept thinking, “No assholes, getting cheated on by your 17 year old girlfriend who works at Hollywood video does not make you understand this film better than me. It sucks.”
    Also, I nominate “Someone like you” with Ashley Judd. I’ve seen a lot of bad movies, but remember this being the first that made me visibly angry with it’s badness.


  46. Rollerball remake, man. Rollerball remake.

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  48. Maybe this too recent (we all need some time to put our hate in perspective etc.) but my god was “(500) Days of Summer” annoying. (Why are there brackets around the ’500′, WHY?)

  49. Sahara?

    • I agree 100%. I watched in the movies, because Steve Zahn is one of the (very)few actors that actually make go to the movies, but YIKES. Seriously, YIKES. D:

  50. Tick tock, doc.

    Gotta be “88 Minutes.” It has Al Pacino and SO MANY PEOPLE FROM CBS MURDER MYSTERY SHOWS. Don’t forget all the people that are revealed to be lesbians at random plot points to never have their lesbianism revisited in any way, shape or form. Leelee Sobieski. What else? WHO DID IT?

    Tick tock doc.

  51. I agree with whoever nominated Hope Floats and City of Angels. I would also like to add MARLEY & ME, and AUSTRALIA. Please.

  52. Keeping with the Clive Owen theme- I wish to nominate Derailed. Oh man, that’s a bad movie. AND it features none other than Jen (I call her “Jen”) Aniston, fresh out of the Friends and into the proverbial fire.

    • I actually thought it was “alright.” With the exception of a few ridiculous lines from Vincent Cassel, it was watchable.

  53. Oh yea right, Harold would never cheat on Kumar.

  54. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. That entire movie, I had one thought running through my head: “This needs to be a Worst Movie of All Time nominee. Gabe would destroy it.”

    Well, not the entire movie. I couldn’t watch past the first half. Couldn’t do it.

  55. You forgot about the part where Jude Law writes obituaries for a living. IT MEANS THINGS.

  56. “Like yours, but sweeter.”

    • That’s right – I forgot the part where this line from Closer inspired a Fall Out Boy song! Thanks (?) for reminding me.

      • I think it really says something about a movie when all of Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco song titles come from it. It says: “This movie is for teenagers who think they are very deep”

  57. I would also like to nominate Black Snake Moan.

  58. Life Or Something Like It
    News reporter Angelina Jolie stumbles around in a terrible platinum blonde wig while getting schooled/courted by camerman Ed Burns. And Tony Shaloub guest-stars as the Magical Ethnic Homeless Person!
    Seeing this on a plane was akin to a hijacking/terrorist attack.

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    • Really? Who likes this movie?

      • I do. Not enough to figure out a way to downvote you a dozen times, because I can see why that movie’s not for everyone, but I will stand up for Adventureland. It’s a decent coming-of-age movie that threads the needle between ponderous Garden State-ism and farcical Superbaddery. Plus, I’ve been to that amusement park in Pennsylvania.

        • Yeah, I reckon that’s a good summation.

          Plus the soundtrack is eighties college rock goodness.

        • Ugh, I just… The whole movie is centered around the unbelievable plot point that a boy, who is supposedly very intelligent, suddenly falls in love with a dumb, boring liar. And can’t stop falling in love with her, forever and ever. And then when things get complicated and weird, everyone just makes bad conversation decisions. I feel like the whole conflict could’ve been solved in every scene, if the characters didn’t run away from each other after every third line. Just stand there in the street and work it out! Why are you leaving? Stop mumbling so much! I can’t hear you over all this tambourine music!

          • But Martin Starr is in it. Martin Starr can single-handedly save any movie from being a disaster to being, at the very least, eminently watcheable.

          • Aughgh! Someone who understands! All the insufferable hipsters I live amongst thought it was the second coming of movie Jesus, and I couldn’t find one person who agreed with me. Thank you Funtastik for validating my opinion.

          • It seems like your dislike for the movie hinges on whether you think a) Kristen Stewart’s character is worth falling for and/or b) Kristen Stewart is worth falling for. I can’t speak to b, but she’s attractive enough if she hasn’t become overexposed for you. As for a, Eisenberg’s (and all of our) heart wants what it wants (especially what’s right in front of us regularly). What I liked about the movie was exactly the fact that her character was a dumb liar. What she wasn’t? Was the Portman/Deschanel-manic pixie girl that has all the answers. Instead, she was fucked up in kind of interesting ways.

            The mistakes the characters make and problems that result from being unable to express themselves? LIFE. Maybe you’re better at articulating how you feel to the people you care about or can avoid the festering of misunderstandings among those who won’t confront you with their interpretation of events. I’m not and I know lots of other people who aren’t. This movie was real (in that respect!) to me. I suspect I’m not going to change your mind, but I do wonder if your frustration with the movie has more to do with how you feel about Kristen Stewart than it does with the movie’s handling of narrative or reflection of reality.

          • Well, Kristen Stewart most definitely has something to do with it. Point A, as you describe, is a real problem I had with the movie. It also happens to be the entire focus of the movie, and so I found it hard to care about the movie as a whole.

            The writing is my second huge problem with the movie. There is a difference between being unable to express yourself and constantly ending conversations prematurely by dramatically running away without prompt. No human being gets into a fight in the street after catching his girlfriend at another guy’s house, only to exchange half a dozen sentences before leaving. Things were getting worked out, both of them seemed relatively calm, and the conflict could have been resolved. Then she goes to New York? And he does, too, even if he has no money? And they meet in the rain and awkwardly fuck? I only have so much barf that I can barf!

            There is also the notion of mumblecore. This movie was very mumbly. Teenagers be awkward and teenagers be speaking quietly, but teenagers also be hysterical. Add to that a lot of horrible tambourine music and manufactured charm and everything just becomes a giant ball of yuck. Everything was so perfectly imperfect. A long, cliché film about everyone’s dramatically-exagerated pedestrian problems.

          • OK, I’ll give you the ending as far too neat, but the scene in the street worked for me. His character is pretty well-established as being nonconfrontational, especially in dramatic situations. To just not be able to deal and to feel like he needed to run off fit with his character, even if it’s frustrating to watch.

            I have no memory of the tambourine music. But when I watch it again, you’ve ensured that I’ll hear it now. (Like the xylophone in True Romance.) Thanks for responding, btw. Who knew I’d argue with a box of popcorn this week?

          • Awesome defense of Adventureland. It’s one of the few coming-of-age flicks that I’ve truly dug of all the reasons you stated. I can’t abide people frothing at the mouth for that movie’s blood when their are genuinely aggravating offenders in this genre out there like Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Garden State, Igby Goes Down, Mad Love or even friggin’ St Elmo’s Fire!

          • Zach Braff is a great writer and Garden State was amazing.

    • late-comer BUT SECONDED…these hypocrites NOW agree with the K-Stew bashing but look in the past and you can see the hypocrisy.

  60. Benjamin Button needs to be dealt with NOW. right fucking NOW.

    • i agree with this one million percent!!! especially the shitty hurricane katrina bullshit they tacked on at the end. it was only five seconds long but it made me want to punch everyone involved in greenlighting that completely WRONG timeline of events on there just to add to the scholockyness and over emotional pukefest that was that movie in general.

      • Oh lord, don’t even (DON’T EVEN) get me started on the Hurricane Katrina thing in that movie. Everyone involved in that piece of trash should have to live in a FEMA shack for the rest of eternity. Definitely one of the worst films of the last 10 years.

    • Justing thinking about the Curious Case of Benjamin Button makes me angry – the diary that Benjamin Button conveniently kept of his whole life, Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt’s blank expression throughout, the greeting card dialogue. I don’t know if it’s the worst movie of all time, but it’s surely the most disappointing movie of all time. David Fincher, what were you thinking?

  61. Also, in about 10 months, PLEASE do The Box. It was so bad that my editor made my review’s headline “The Box: Two Hours Too Long” and I didn’t even care, even though that would mean the movie would be -14 minutes long.

  62. Based on what I overheard/oversaw from my fiancee watching it a month or so ago, I’d say The Ugly Truth. The worst part was seeing how the ultimate genius otherwise known as John Michael Higgins lowered himself to accepting a part in it. Ugh. Food on the family, I guess.

  63. Natalie Portman as a stripper is probably one of the most disappointing things I’ve ever seen. She looks the girl from Lazytown.

  64. Can we please start The Hunt For The Best Movie of all Time? i feel like that hate is already wearing thin with THFTWMOAT. i mean, Funny Games? Gran Torino? Look, I know Robin Williams movies don’t grow on trees, but these next nominees better be good (bad), or else it may be time to hunt for the best
    obviously if we did the Hunt for the Best it wouldn’t just be Godfather and Ghostbusters, but rather films that exude Best-ness and may not be widely recognized as the best. here are my nominees for The Hunt For The Best Movie Of All Time:
    They Live
    Total Recall
    Young Frankenstein
    The Big Lebowski
    Training Day
    The Goonies
    Old Boy

  65. ENVY ENVY ENVY! Please. IT MUST BE DONE! I can guarantee you that it is the worst “comedy” ever made with such a high caliber group of people (Ben Stiller! Rachel Weisz! Christopher Walken! Amy Poehler! And Jack Black, I guess!), and quite possibly the worst “comedy” EVER. I’ve noticed that lately there have been a lot of actually-not-so-bad movies in the Hunt, and this is distressing because it means TRUE CINEMATIC CRAP like Envy is not being covered. Please please please, do Envy!

    • I am seconding this. I’ve been lobbying for Envy for months and Gabe’s given me the ol’ cold shoulder every time. This film is awful. It is only by the grace of God that it wasn’t hyped to the point that it actually entered the cultural zeitgeist or in 10 years there would be Michael Ian Black wearily recalling the “WHERE DOES THE SHIT GO WE WANT TO KNOW” fad of the early 21st Century.

  66. The Love Guru is a hands down winner.

    • oh man, whole-heartedly agree. that movie was so depressing. i have a slowly hardening soft spot for mike meyers (so i married an axe murderer! wayne’s world! the first austin powers!) and, though he’s rumored to be a big douche in real life, i went in hopeful and left so sad and mad and grossed out. ben kingsley ought to be ashamed of himself.

  67. Maybe there should be a no Jude Law rule in the near future. Even so, I’m nominating Music From Another Room.
    It is a very ridiculous movie… starring Jude Law.

  68. For Your Consideration:
    I am still carrying my Antitrust flag. It’s just awful. I will offer the subtle reminder of the terribleness of the casting of Giant Robbins and Primordial Dwarf Philippe, remind folks that sesame seeds constitute a major plot point, and also link to the trailer:

    You made my perineum, etc tingle.
    Total Recall is the most fun you will ever have watching a movie Gabe.
    Regardless of how many times you may have already seen it.

    • Total Recall is amazing! LOVE. THAT. MOVIE. So much that somehow it’s on my DVR twice.
      It’s all wrong for The Hunt, though. It doesn’t suck.
      But Gabe could probably make it sound like it sucks….
      This is my officially unnominating Total Recall, but still recommending you all watch it if you haven’t already.

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  71. Down to You. PLEASE, Down to You.

    “It’s not the meaning of life, Alfred, it’s the feeling of life!”

  72. Yes, and if Twilight was demeaning to Julia Roberts, we’d upvote it forever.

    • Ugh. That was a reply to douglasdodgson waaaaaaaaaay up in the thread. My face totally turned red when I realized what I did, and that hasn’t happened since a very unfortunate incident in which I pantomimed a bj (with wrist action!) to make a point, without checking to see who was behind me first.

  73. I nominate The Emperor’s Club. Please. The conflict centers around a prep school competition called “Mr. Julius Caesar.” Enough said?

  74. I nominate What Women Want, in which Mel Gibson gets electrocuted while wearing pantyhose and lipstick, so then he is able to read women’s minds, because that’s just how electricity works (you should take a science class sometime). Hilarity ensues! Mel Gibson fucks a 20-year-old using mind-reading sex techniques! He also sticks his crotch out at Helen Hunt a lot!
    But then suddenly it is about suicide? YIKES.

  75. Knowing
    laughably bad, and the ending CG-planet makes me think it might be a prequel to Avatar. So if you’re planning on watching that, this is required viewing!

    • I sent Gabe an email about “Knowing” and mentioned it a few reviews back. This movie simply HAS to be done and i will second, third, fourth, whatever-eth it until my fingers bleed.

      It is the. worst. movie. ever. (period)

  76. I’m still adamant that I win (or is that lose?) with my pick of Running With Scissors.

    It’s what made Al-Quaeda mad at us… fo’ realz.

  77. I really like Closer when it first came out. I saw in theaters and swore it spoke about how messed up love was. Then I became an adult watched it again and realized it was awful.

  78. I really like Closer when it first came out. I saw in theaters and swore it spoke about how messed up love was. Then I became an adult watched it again and realized it was awful.

  79. I know the graduate is one of those movies everyone is suppose to love but ugh. I just saw it and while I get it (how could you not?) I did not enjoy it. So Nichols does not get a pass from me.

  80. Okay why did this go in twice. I really did only hit submit once. Also besides Adventureland I would like to continue my campaign for Home Fries and add Alpha Dog.

  81. DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE is seriously worth considering (sorry for being a first-time commenter, by the way. I promise to never again be a first-time commenter)

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

    • I will throw myself on a downvote sword with you for this one. I love goofy, twee movies with actors doing edgy things that attempt to make some sort of statement about life or the world. And I love Lily Tomlin! Most people I know who feel the same way seemed to adore I heart Huckabees. I hate Huckabees. “How am I not myself?” I don’t care, Jude Law

  83. FREEDOMLAND. Please.

  84. I nominate WILD CHILD (2008), written by Roald Dahl’s daughter Lucy. This is all you need to know: “A rebellious Malibu princess is shipped off to a strict English boarding school by her father.” You’ll learn a lot about life! I’m sure that Roald Dahl spinning in his grave will cause the Earth to one day spin out of orbit, destroying us all.

  85. please do the devil’s advocate.

  86. Shakespeare in Love. Ugh. That movie makes me so mad, and it’s so bad, and it has my least favorite actors ever, it’s not even… I don’t even. I mean, seriously, they put Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes and Ben Affleck in the same movie? It’s like they WANT US TO SUFFER.
    (sorry for the bad english, I’m brazillian)

    • Ugh, yeah, agreed. I’m usually one to fall all over period love stories, but even I couldn’t stomach this, turned it off halfway. I don’t mind Joseph Fiennes actually, but seriously, Gwyneth? Which person in Hollywood ever thought it was a good idea to cast her in anything?

  87. Aeon Flux with Charlize Theron
    Smoking Aces

  88. Gabe, You say theater is contrived and stilted because of the medium (?There is a distance between the stage and the audience, both literally and figuratively, that simply makes it a poor tool in the era of instantaneous communication and “reality” to get much work done?). But how are movie’s not equally contrived and stilted? The amount of processing that movies go through (editing, cinematography, scoring, focus groups…) similarly make them pretty contrived. The fact that they’re much more immediate than a play doesn’t make them any more real. It’s just a different, more modern, way of telling a story.

    • You make a really good point about stage plays.

      However, films are processed but I’d argue that they are closer to the way we experience life. There is a very cool episode of Radiolab (SO go and find that podcast it is so great) in which Walter Murch (big time movie editor) came across the idea that we blink not to moisten our eyeballs but to “edit” and break up the stimuli coming into us from said eyeballs (perineum etc). Anyway there’s a lot of science to back it up blah blah blah. Cool stuff.

  89. Chasing Amy! BLECH

  90. Sideways! I have no idea why people like this movie so much.

  91. I really liked this movie.

  92. I sent in an email tip that has gone unnoticed for too long. Simply Irresistible with Sarah Michelle Gellar. As for recent movies:
    - Jumper, starring probably the worst actor of our generation, Hayden Christensen.
    - The Happening, starring another worst actor nominee Marky Mark Mark Whalberg, from the wrecked mind of trying-too-hard writer/director M. Night Shyamalan

    Having said that, now I can’t possibly read the comments about the actual movie of the week because everyone is shouting tips. Maybe there should had been a post requesting tips
    (The topic was already wrecked when I touched base tonight)

  93. Troy
    The Island of Dr. Moreau
    Van Helsing

  94. I’d love to see a WMOAT/Best Movie of All Time mashup with the Kingdom of Heaven theatrical cut vs. the director’s cut. Donnie Darko could be a follow up.

  95. Bruce. Almighty.

  96. School of Life, starring Ryan Reynolds and the kid from Dreamcatcher who almost ate poo. I had to go on IMDB to make sure it was released in theaters (it was!) and strangely enough people were calling it “amazing.” One of the subjects on the featured message boards was, “Is this a parody?” which is pretty much how I felt about it. It’s hilariously jump into life.

  97. The House Bunny.

    Now you might say, hey kushiro (it’s no use, I can’t hear you), how could a movie with Anna Faris, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings and Colin Hanks be all that bad? My answer: when it also has Katharine McPhee and Rumer WIllis. And Hugh Hefner and his playmates, including Kendra. (oh, and Anna Faris. Chick makes bad movies. Which reminds me: Observe and Report).

    How bad was this movie? I downloaded it for free and still felt ripped off. I want my (Cdn) $0.00 back, internet!

  98. I signed up just to nominate Death Race. If I don’t defend Ian McShane’s honour, no one will… and clearly he can’t be bothered to defend himself. JUST SAY NO, IAN MCSHANE!

  99. oh please, oh please, OH PLEASE…


    • i think i’ve shared this story before, but i went to go see that at the dollar theater. pretty sure i was stoned (this was like sophomore year in college for me, so that’s practically a given). definitely burst out laughing at the poignant mandy moore in the hospital scene. definitely got yelled at by the people sharing the theater with me.

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