The buzz surrounding “Movie 43” is reaching a fever pitch these last few days, though many moviegoers had not heard of the ensemble comedy before this week. Relativity Media is touting the film as “one of the most original comedies ever made” while The Insider calls it “Kentucky Fried Movie” for the next generation.
Here are five things to know about the mysterious “Movie 43.”
An All-Star, A-List Cast – With Many Playing Against Type
The film stars a slew of serious actors such as Halle Berry, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet.
The cast also includes a number of comedic actors like Elizabeth Banks, Anna Faris, Emma Stone, and Jason Sudeikis.
Other notable cast members include, Kristen Bell, Leslie Bibb, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Bobby Cannavale, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, John Hodgman, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Chris Pratt, Liev Schreiber, Sean William Scott, and Uma Thurman.
“Movie 43” is comprised of 25 comedy vignettes woven together. Based on the red band trailer, which debuted exclusively on Comedy Central, the film is anything but PC. One story shows Terrence Howard as a basketball coach who tells his team that they’ll win because they’re black. Another vignette shows Halle Berry accepting a dare to blow out a blind boy’s birthday candles before he has a chance to.
In an interview with Indie Wire in January, Kristen Bell detailed her storyline, which sounds like a brilliant “Saturday Night Live” sketch that never was.
“It’s all the characters from Gotham City,” said Bell. “I play Supergirl and it’s about Batman and Robin and Lois Lane and it’s Gotham City speed dating. Uma Thurman plays Lois Lane and Justin Long plays Robin and Sudeikis plays Batman.”
Two Real Life Couples Star
Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber (who previously starred in the 2006 drama “The Painted Veil”) appear in “Movie 43” as a couple who humiliates and bullies their homeschooled son in order to grant him the "full high school experience.”
According to The Sun, the pair began dating in 2005 after meeting at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art’s costume ball. The two welcomed son Alexander in 2006 and son Samuel in 2008.
Funny woman Anna Faris and “Parks and Recreation” star Chris Pratt met in 2007 while filming the dud “Take Me Home Tonight.” Hopefully, they’ll fare better in “Movie 43” in which they play a couple that may or may not partake in a taboo act.
According to People, in real life the pair wasmarried in August 2009 and welcomed son Jack in August.
A Dozen Directors
“Movie 43,” which was filmed over a four year period, has 12 different directors. They includes Peter Farrelly (of The Farrelly Brothers) who’s responsible for such classic comedies as “There’s Something About Mary” (1998) and “Dumb and Dumber” (1994).
According to Entertainment Weekly, Farrelly directed the segments of the film featuring Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts and was thrilled that the acclaimed actresses were willing to take on such risky roles.
“I spoke at Harvard last year with my brother Bobby (Farrelly). People always ask if we’re going to do a dramatic movie, so we said we just did, with Kate Winslet, and told them, ‘Let’s show a little clip,’” he told EW. “People were so stunned. I don’t think an audience at Harvard has ever laughed that hard. There’s the fact that Kate Winslet had the balls to just go for it.”
Brett Ratner, James Gunn, Elizabeth Banks and “Breaking Bad’s” Bob Odenkirk also directed portions of the film.
Early Positive Buzz
Based on the online comments about the film’s trailer, it’s clear that “Movie 48” already has a fanbase.
“So its SNL meets Chapelle's Show: The Movie. Alright, here's my money,” wrote one fan on Collider.
ComingSoon.net readers also showed enthusiasm for the film.
“I'm definitely seeing this on opening day,” commented one user.
Another wrote, “I think I just died!!!! That looks awesome!!!!! Very funny!!!”
According to one fan on FirstShowing.net, “There is a time and place for raunchy, low-brow humor...and this movie seems like a perfectly good time and place for it to me.”
The film debuts towards the end of awards season and may be a welcome reprieve from the Oscar-baiting dramas and political films set to hit theaters over the next few months.