Two and a half years since its release, Movie 43 remains a complete enigma to me. A poor attempt to recreate an anthology parody like the Zuckers’ 1977 Kentucky Fried Movie, Movie 43 was misguided from the very beginning. The idea of creating outrageous vignettes may have been intriguing enough to attract the Zuckers to the project, but it seemingly fell apart so quickly that both the Zuckers and South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker pulled out of the project before shooting began.
The actors involved — many of them A-listers — weren’t so fortunate. Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Richard Gere, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Bob Oedenkirk, Halle Berry, James Gunn, the Farrelly Brothers, and literally dozens and dozens of other stars and directors you know and love were involved in this film, and it remains to this day hard to understand why. No one did promotion for it. No one really ever talks about it on press tours. No one will even admit that they were blackmailed into making this film, despite how obvious it is. Why else would Hugh Jackman appear in a film as a character with hairy testicles hanging from his chin?
Yet, despite all the star power and only a $6 million budget, Relativity couldn’t get any other studios to help back the project. When could you ever say that a film starring Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, and Emma Stone couldn’t get help with $6 million in financing?
Movie 43 opened in January 2013 with a $4 million opening weekend, and disappeared. It has rarely been spoken of since.
I can’t let it go, however, because sometimes in my darkest moments, when I see Chris Pratt — maybe the biggest star on the planet now, and the lead in two of the biggest franchises, Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy — I can’t help but think of a sketch he was in just a year before his huge break-out.
The vignette, “The Proposition,” was directed by Steve Carr (Paul Blart: Mall Cop) and starred Pratt, along with his wife Anna Faris. The sketch is only 7 minutes long, but the trauma of it will last a lifetime.
It begins on a warm, summer day, where Pratt and Faris are enjoying a picnic. Pratt’s character has decided to propose to Faris’s character, and when Faris joins him on the blanket, he says “I have something to ask you.” She says she also has something to ask him, and before Pratt can get his proposal out, Faris blurts:
When a confused Pratt does not immediately accept her invitation, Faris asks him why not. “Are you not attracted to me?”
Cut to the day of the deed, and Pratt is talking to a character played by J.B. Smoove at a barbecue, showing reluctance to “shit” on his girlfriend. Smoove insists that you “shit on whores,” but you save your “poop” for that special someone in your life.
Pratt proceeds to ask him for advice on how he should go about executing the deed. Pratt thinks he should eat something that might provide a floral poop — like tuna and red wine — but Smoove insists otherwise.
Smoove then offers Pratt some poop Viagra (i.e., a laxative).
Later that night, before he performs the poop sex, a reluctant Pratt sits on the toilet seat in his bathroom, gorging on a burrito and farting. Before he steps into the bedroom, he gulps down the laxative.
When Pratt finally gets to the bedroom, he’s anxious to get it over with because he’s about to explode with all the laxative and burrito inside of him. Faris, however, wants to “savor” the moment, although they do agree that eventually Pratt should poop on her neck.
A minute later, in his haste to empty his bowels, Pratt accidentally says “shit” instead of “poop.”
An upset Faris runs out out of the house, with Pratt trailing behind her.
Pratt runs out of the street, and that’s when it happens: A car runs into him, and Pratt flies up onto the hood of the car and the impact causes him to explode and shit all over the windshield.
Here, however, is the “comedic” twist. Faris is so blown away by the fact that Pratt clearly saved up so much poop for her that she says yes to his marriage proposal.
Romantic music plays, and the camera zooms out, revealing the glorious mess of shit splatters left behind.