Outside of the In-Crowd – When good stars make stupid choices

Courtney Enlow

Courtney Enlow

Celebrities make poor decisions. Sometimes they might cheat on a spouse with a butterfaced stripper. Other times they Botox themselves into a tautened mess disaster. But more often than not, their bad choices are of the professional kind.

Everyone makes mistakes. Particularly early in an actor’s career, one must put aside the craft of acting in favor of paying the electricity bill, and sometimes Cruel Intentions 2 happens. I’m not going to blame Amy Adams for that. Each one of us would have done the same thing. However, once youth and monetary need leave the picture, there is no excuse.

I am not here to merely discuss awful movies that some stars appear in, because that’s not fair. Sometimes movies turn out terrible, but you can look at the screen and see actual effort in the layers of shit. Otherwise this article would be titled “The Black Dahlia, or how I nearly shot myself in the neck during a showing of this AIDS baby of a movie.” No, this is about the true awfulness. Lazy, cheap awfulness, with all the effort and skill of a YouTube parody shot by three twelve-year-olds, and half the result. These are lackluster, careless, entirely direct-to-video-y, and everyone involved should have known better. Be warned …

Over Her Dead Body

Paul Rudd’s lucky he’s so lovable. He starred in this wreck, but lest we forget, he also starred in arguably the worst Halloween movie, which is really saying something, and the wackness that was the Zach Braff / Jason Bateman abortion, The Ex. But despite these questionable picks, which can all be explained by the need for cash and favors for friends, we love him unconditionally, for he is The Rudd and he is magic.

That said, what the fuck was this shit? Where to even start?

A theme that will arise a few times here is this: being selective about co-stars. No one likes a snob, sure, but if I’m Paul Rudd and someone tells me I’m going to be playing second fiddle to the chick from a show that hasn’t been relevant since midway through its first season, I would say no. But Real Rudd did not say no. He said yes and we got this mess, co-starring the broad from the housewives program and the human question mark that is Lake Bell. (What is she? Why is she?)

There’s so much wrong in addition to the cast, however. There’s the fact that C-level screenwriters insist on trying to make this “losing a loved one can be HILARIOUS!” thing happen. Then there’s the fact that the film’s only moment that actually seems like something that would almost make someone laugh, like maybe if they were eight or stupid, is a really long scene involving gas. Reader challenge: tell me one actually good and funny film fart joke. Because I genuinely believe no such thing exists.

Mama’s Boy

Also on the list of things that aren’t funny: dudes living at home into their thirties. It just … isn’t. Shirtless McConaughshirtless couldn’t make it work, and neither could Jon Heder, which is why no one’s ever heard of this movie.

But my wrath is not directed at Napoleon. He hasn’t been in a good movie since his first (oh don’t start with me; pre-backlash and oversaturation, we all liked that dumbass flick) so we don’t expect great things from him or anything. I’m talking to you, co-star Diane Keaton.

A bland Confederacy of Dunces / Failure to Launch ripoff, and Diane effing Keaton thought: “This will be goodly and enjoyable for the little people”? DK, honey, I think you need to clean your tinted glasses, because they’re apparently not working for you anymore.

Oh, and one last question: on what planet is that supposed to be Anna Faris in the poster? It looks like they threw a blond wig on Dave Foley and told him “look like you hate yourself.”

Mr. Woodcock

This is one of those movies that we all heard about for a year or so before it came out. There were tons of bus stop and train posters, and the ad campaign seemed to last forever, then just stopped. Apparently when the campaign stopped, the movie came out. I recall no such release. I remember a poster at the Clark and Lincoln bus stop, but I remember no movie. Apparently, it actually was a movie, and it was released to public eyes, and then went away under the cover of night.

Seann William Scott himself could only watch fifteen minutes of this movie because he thought it was so terrible, and that dude was in Southland Tales and Dukes of Hazzard. Billy Bob Thornton got really blazed and made this movie twice without even realizing it (seriously, it’s supposed to be a different movie from School for Scoundrels, right?). Susan Sarandon has personally killed every peasant who dare mention it, so let’s move on.

My Best Friend’s Girl

Much like people who insist on appearing in movies with wholly untalented TV actresses or Jon Heder, for some reason, people keep trying to star in movies with Dane Cook, confused and bewildered when no one sees them. So for any actors reading this who are currently eyeing a role in an upcoming Danesy flick, let me warn you: Dane Cook is basically cancer. His only fans are ‘roidy fratboys and girls who make out with other girls to get the attention of the aforementioned ‘roidy fratboys. So don’t star in movies with him, because he will grab you by the ankles, strap the anchor to his foot and jump in the water, and you won’t like it one bit. If you don’t believe me, ask Steve Carrel, Juliette Binoche and the slew of other great actors for whom he ruined a pretty decent movie when they made Dan in Real Life. Kate Hudson apparently did not ask them before signing on to this. And Baldwin? What the shit? I still hadn’t forgiven him for Elizabethtown, let alone this.

Related digression: I want to take a moment to talk to Jason Biggs. Biggsy, I love you. Much like The Rudd, there is something about you that is so genial and enjoyable that I can’t seem to dislike you when you’ve earned it. But The Rudd only earned it three times. You have made a career out of earning it. Please, fire your agent, fire your manager, fire your brain that keeps reading shitty scripts and saying, “Do it, Jay Train!” Those people don’t care about you. I do. When the best movie you’ve been in for ten years has been Jersey Girl, you need a change, friend.

I could easily go on to include the Lindsay Lohan “I owe my meth dealer so much money and no one will hire me besides this movie” vehicle, Labor Pains, or Eugene Levy’s obvious horrific blackmail situation with the American Pie: Everything Including and After the Wedding One series, but I don’t want to hurt your fragile eyes, my gentle reader. You get my point, and that is why we must come together and hold our beloved stars gently, reminding them that everything will be okay. Just don’t star in dumb things, don’t read scripts on acid and don’t let Dane Cook be filmed anywhere near you. Seriously, you’ll catch douche.

Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at courtney@hobotrashcan.com.

  1. Declan Dempsey November 9, 2009
  2. Casey (aka Courtsdadsfanclub) November 9, 2009
  3. Court's Dad November 10, 2009

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