Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Feel Dirty, Oh So Dirty

My friend and colleague Bill Treadway asserts that Dirty Love is the worst movie of all time. With all due respect, Bill, I disagree. I'm sorry, but I've seen much worse.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's terrible. Dreadful. Abominable. An assault on all senses. Vastly offensive to humanity. But, I've seen worse. Granted, that's not the most glowing endorsement, but it's a small consolation for Ms. McCarthy, right?

Dirty Love was written by Jenny McCarthy and directed by her then-husband John Mallory Asher. It's about a photographer named Rebecca (McCarthy) who gets dumped and then seeks revenge while at the same time trying to find her soul mate - her "white pony." Honestly, the plot details are fuzzy. I saw it about a month and a half ago, and it's not the most memorable story. Only the really horrific parts stick out: Rebecca having sex with a guy who wants to have a ménage-à-trois with a fish, the guy telling her to "Touch my bass!", and Rebecca waking up with fish-shaped welts all over her body; Rebecca getting her period (imagine the parting of the Red Sea, but if it turned into a flash food instead of parting - just the kind of gushing that would leave a person dead, really) in the middle of a store, only being able to find gigantic, diaper-sized pads, and then dripping all over the place while futilely trying to sop up the mess with the pads; and McCarthy's boob popping out of her dress at some big function and then as a coping mechanism, Rebecca pulls open the dress and waggles both fake boobs around. Sigh.

More groan-inducing aspects: Eddie Kaye Thomas, a usually decent actor (and not bad here), is Rebecca's best friend, John, the perpetually-in-the-shadows guy; Carmen Electra doing an incredibly racist, not-at-all funny impression of a ghetto-riffic white girl (you know, a white girl who acts black?), and Kam Heskin as Carrie, Rebecca's stereotypically dumb blonde chum.

For the first hour or so, I really was on par to crown Dirty Love the worst movie of all time. I just couldn't believe what I was watching, how crass and disgusting and unfunny and stupid it was. Then, in the last half hour, it calmed down. It was boring, but something resembling a heart emerged as it focused more on Rebecca's failure at love and her impending romance with her white pony (*SPOILER ALERT*: It's John. Gasp. Like you didn't see that coming...). There are some genuinely sweet and, dare I say it, profound moments that made me feel more sorry for McCarthy than anything. I could tell that she had somewhat good intentions, even if her methods were deplorable for the most part. I felt pity more than revulsion. It made me feel like she could do better, like maybe she has an iota of talent buried deep inside. I mean, check out this line: "The hardest love to learn is that which is dark, the kind that causes the most pain. It is up to the soul to look past that dirty love and regain the beauty that illuminated so bright before... pure love." That's a nice sentiment, and not badly written either. Come on, McCarthy can't be all bad, right? I feel a very minimal twinge of empathy that makes me want to give her the slightest benefit of the doubt. So help me. Plus, even if it WAS her awful script that she was acting out, she sure tried damn hard...really damn hard.

Still, even with the benefit of the doubt, I think Jenny McCarthy should abstain from writing...at least until she's learned her lesson and thought about what she's done.

Rating: 1/2* (out of 5)

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