We polled, cajoled and otherwise extracted VH1.com’s most loathed movies of 2007 from our normally sunny staff. Here are the results.
This should have come with a disclaimer, it required such a suspension of disbelief. In short, stoner-schlub Ben knocks up blonde bombshell Allison during a one-night stand, and over the course of the next nine months cracks jokes, roasts bowls and perpetually disappoints his love interest. Had the film been recognized for its infantilism and sexism rather than its poignancy, it might have been less disturbing. Instead, Knocked Up perpetuated a creepy right-wing agenda, eschewing the issue of abortion altogether (what year is this?) and opting to bind two people (who don’t even seem to like each other very much) together in raising a child. That, coupled with the tangential plotline of Pete and Debbie, Allison’s unhappily married sister and brother-in-law (who make commitment look as pleasant and rewarding as a sexually transmitted disease), made this film work like a PSA for abstinence. (Lauren Harris)
Few comic book films have dared to be this bad — The Punisher with Dolph Lundgren comes to mind, as does Captain America, which starred no one you’ve ever heard of. Ghost Rider, on the other hand, boasts a fairly reputable troupe: Between Nicolas Cage, Sam Elliott, Peter Fonda and Wes Bentley, there’s acting talent to spare. So what went wrong? Was it the story, a jumble about a man who must become an emissary of Hell and whose motorcycle lights on fire whenever he’s in trouble? Not exactly. Was it that the script was so pandering it seemed as though it were written on cocktail napkins at the bar the night before (or perhaps the morning of) shooting? Well, maybe, but that’s not it either. Was it Eva Mendes? Hmm. The biggest problem with this film — among many, many others — was that tale of a ghostly hellion required absolutely no suspension of disbelief from either its actors or its audience. Sure, it’s difficult to suspend disbelief when you’re asked to play a man whose head lights on fire all the time, but hey, isn’t that the job? The original comic and the revived version both contained a sense of sadness, a depth created by Johnny Blaze’s hatred of what he’s become, and a sick fascination with the power it’s given him. Nicolas Cage, who wasn’t always a national embarrassment, might have had the depth to pull this off at an earlier point in his life, but no longer. And no matter, either: They’re already working on a sequel. (Jonathan Durbin)
Year of the Dog
In this film, Molly Shannon’s spinster character, Peggy, spends most of the first third exhibiting acute emotional instability by imposing her mourning over a dead dog on anyone who will listen. Fine. Then she falls for a dude who’s totally gay, except he’s not because he’s asexual. Sigh. Fine. Then she fills the loneliness of her life by taking up an animal-activist lifestyle, which includes condemning, preaching to and plying with propaganda all who disagree. NOT FINE. That she (spoiler alert!) never receives her comeuppance and is ultimately rewarded with a happy ending for being so damn obnoxious and irresponsible (her job as a secretary allows her to embezzle money from work to save, like, farm chickens or something) suggests that writer-director Mike White actually condones her behavior. He also supports the quirky-indie-comedy pitfall of being so focused on your own charm that you can’t even see how charmless of a condition that is. A complete, utter and offensive waste of time. (Rich Juzwiak)
Yes, Ratatouille was visually titillating, as all Pixar movies are, but the story itself was a weak mix of bad jokes and a bland plot that left us craving more. We’ll buy a rat named Remy that lives in France and sounds like he’s from Brooklyn, but we had nothing but hate for that gangly loser Linguini, who, as a main character, had less appeal than a limp noodle. There was nothing to like about him because there was nothing to him except a red ‘fro and some roller skates. And while it was fun to suspend disbelief and watch a rat cook, there was nothing fun about the inexplicable ability Remy had to control Linguini’s limbs while yanking his hair like reins. Couldn’t those Pixar geniuses come up with something better? Audiences loved Ratatouille because we’re trained to drool at Pixar’s magical animation moves. But take away their cartoonin’ skills and all that’s left is a dull story that lacked spice. Waiter, send this flick back to the kitchen. (Kate Spencer)
*Sex and the City
With a release date slated for late Spring, 2008 and nary a trailer released, I can honestly say I already hate this movie. Let’s dismiss for a moment the geographic particulars of the filming and how disruptive it’s been for New Yorkers, and concentrate solely on what we know: The insufferable television show responsible for screwed-up female values (“I spent my down payment on heels”) has been extended into a feature-length film with all your favorite, one-dimensional characters returning after very public squabbles over cash. So what can we expect? A movie that rests squarely on hair color to delineate the passage of time (“I was so naive and brown-haired!”), some irritating scene narration from SJP (with plenty of puns), and the likelihood that Samantha will gall Charlotte with her sexual escapades. In other words, re-run city. Thanks, HBO. (Lauren Harris)
*Bonus worst-movie-to-be review.