Movie 43 director tells press to 'lighten up' after his film is savaged by the critics

Peter Farrelly took to Twitter to defend his gross-out comedy dubbed the 'Citizen Kane of awful'

With posters boasting it had the biggest collection of stars “ever assembled” in one film, Movie 43 was supposed to be a sure-fire hit. Instead the Hollywood filmmaker behind the gross-out comedy has found himself defending the project with all his energy after it was savaged by critics as the “Citizen Kane of awful”.

Peter Farrelly, who wrote and directed the hugely popular There’s Something About Mary and Dumb & Dumber with his brother Bobby, responded to a tidal wave of criticism that met his latest film by telling critics to “lighten up”.

“To the critics: Movie 43 is not the end of the world. It’s just a $6-million movie where we tried to do something different. Now back off,” he wrote on Twitter.

He added: “To the critics: You always complain that Hollywood never gives you new stuff, and then when you get it, you flip out. Lighten up.”

Movie 43, which was released on Friday, showcases an all-star cast including Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Gerard Butler and Halle Berry, as well as Kate Winslet and Richard Gere. But some have jokingly questioned if they were tricked into taking part.

“Was someone holding Kate Winslet’s children hostage? Threatening to release compromising pictures of Emma Stone? Did Richard Gere or Hugh Jackman have gambling Debts?” wrote David Edelstein, a movie critic for Vulture.

Movie 43 follows 12 stories, each of which had a different director. The scenes are brought together by the story of three teenagers searching the internet for “Movie 43,” the most banned film in the world.

The film’s own publicity admits that “you can’t unsee it” and the skits include a blind date where one character has testicles hanging from his neck, a young woman begging her fiancé to defecate on her as well as two characters who fight a foul-mouthed leprechaun.

Despite counting several Oscar winners and current nominees in its cast, the film was described as the “Citizen Kane of awful” by film critic Richard Roeper for the Chicago Sun Times, who did not “see a redeeming molecule” in the film.

Peter Howell of the Toronto Star called it the “worst film ever” adding it was the “biggest waste of talent in cinema history”.

Farrelly said it “may be too outrageous for critics”. That argument might have worked had it not also gone down so badly with American cinemagoers. Box Office Mojo said it had “tanked” after taking $5m in its opening weekend. Critics talked about it in the same vein as flops such as Gigli and Howard the Duck.

The British public have been somewhat more welcoming. According to distributor Momentum Pictures, it was the seventh most popular film of the week, taking £787,648 at the box office.

The critical reception was no better in the UK, however. Total Film named it the “first turkey of 2013,” while Radio Five film critic Mark Kermode said: “I wasn’t appalled or outraged I just felt dirty,” adding it was “staggeringly unfunny, toe-curlingly embarrassing”.

It did receive a positive review, of sorts, from Michael O’Sullivan in The Washington Post. The critic gave the film three and a half stars out of four saying the film opened a “new, unexplored dimension of awfulness where bad is good, and what some might call obscene and offensive is awesome”.

Other famous turkeys:

John Carter

Hopes had been high for Wall-E director Andrew Stanton’s live-action debut, but John Carter received a critical mauling and the box office performance was disappointing, barely recovering its $250m budget. Disney later blamed the film for sending its Studio Entertainment division into loss.

Gigli

The Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez movie received a lot of attention because of the romance between the stars. Sadly for anyone who had seen it, none of the attention was positive. It went on to take $4m on the opening weekend following a budget of $75m.

Howard the Duck

The movie, inevitably, became dubbed “Howard the Turkey” upon its release. It took $37.9m, $1m above the production budget and was given four Razzie awards for being so poor. There were rumours that the film had prompted fistfights between executives over who had approved the film.

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea