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Overall Rating
3.02

Awesome: 24.19%
Worth A Look: 22.58%
Average: 17.74%
Pretty Bad: 1.61%
Total Crap33.87%

4 reviews, 38 user ratings


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Dirty Love
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by Chris Parry

"Jenny McCarthy proves she is the most daring physical comedienne on earth."
3 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2005 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: Yes, you heard right - Jenny McCarthy got a film into Sundance. More than that, she was the screenwriter of the thing. And even more shocking... it's not half bad! In fact, though Dirty Love has a bunch of problems that could conceivably give naysayers ample excuse to dismiss it as fluff, the truth of the matter is that this film provides all the proof you'd ever need to confirm Jenny McCarthy is actually a talented comedienne. And so too, brace yourself, is Carmen Electra. F'real.

Rebecca (McCarthy) is a woman in love. Her boyfriend is a muscled up himbo, a 'top supermodel' if you will, and this is all Rebecca needs to feel like her life is complete. That is, until she stumbles upon him shagging another woman. Enter madness, outrage, depression and fits of extreme yelling. In fact, enter Rebecca going into one of the most fierce bouts of comedic nervous breakdown you're ever likely to set eyes (and ears) upon. In a five-minute single take, she explodes across the screen and goes so far over the top that you can't help but giggle. Then you laugh. Then you lose it, simply because McCarthy doesn't just sell the joke, she signs you up for a time share deal with it.

That burst of slapstick occurs in the first 30 seconds of the film, and it opens proceedings exactly as they should be opened - with McCarthy giving her absolute, entire, complete, every-single-muscle-thrown-in-to-the-act, all. Love her or hate her (and I know there are plenty that fall into the latter category), McCarthy is at he very least daring, and if the first scene of Dirty Love has you thinking you've seen this actress at her bravest, you're in for a rude surprise.

Rebecca is so dumped. And, as we all do from time to time, she decides to engage in revenge as a means of breaking out of her foul mood. The catch here, however, is that Rebecca is a clumsy, luckless loser, and everything she touches turns to poop. A blind date with a magician designed to get her ex-boyfriend jealous, ends in an arrest for suspected terrorism, complete with strip-search. A date with a geeky film producer with the same jealousy-producing intention is ruined when the geek sprays Rebecca's cleavage with vomit. In fact, so bad is Rebecca's luck that when she storms out of the club and has a sidewalk temper explosion, with cameras flashing, her breast falls out of her dress. And then there's the one night stand with the fishing enthusiast... the less said about that by me, the funnier the punchline to the scene will be.

And, oh yes, the trip to the supermarket to buy a maxi-pad... let's just say there's more blood spilled than in any seven horror movies combined. Yes, when I said McCarthy was daring, I meant every darn word.

Behind Rebecca through all of this are her three friends, a sad sap love puppy (American Pie's Eddie Kaye Thomas), a brainless wannabe actress (Kam Heskin), and a wigga supreme wax-mistress (a surprisingly on-fire Carmen Electra). All of them are there for their recently-dumped buddy, but no matter how hard they try, Rebecca is destined to crash and burn in no uncertain terms.

At the heart of Dirty Love are two very fundamental, very much in vogue elements. First, there's the been-there-done-that storyline, which is as old as Liza Minelli - boy pines for girl as girl is treated like crap by every dog she meets, boy tries to prove his worth but girl doesn't get it. The second element is gross-out comedy, which can so easily be gratuitous and unfunny, but can also see you in tears of laughter when it's written, performed and edited the right way. Dirty Love gets it right much of the time, but certainly not all of the time, and part of the blame for that has to sit with director (and McCarthy's husband) John Asher.

Asher may well be a truly great guy, but let's tell it like it is - he's not much of a director. Diamonds anyone? The sad simple fact of the matter is that while McCarthy is throwing herself (literally) into her work, and while her screenplay is pushing things to their very limit comedically, Asher's direction is pedestrian, and quite often detrimental to the jokes on screen. Asher has been quoted as saying, "Making a film is all in post. You just shoot as much as you can and hope it all cuts together..." which pretty much explains the reason his film includes copious unnecessary close-ups, cutaways to nothing to cover for lack of coverage, and the kind of editing that gives new meaning to the term 'jump cut'. It's great that he gets to work with his wife and all, and I'm sure he was instrumental in getting the funds together to actually shoot the film after a five year struggle, but there comes a point where a woman has to say "I love you honey, but I'm calling Wes Anderson and begging him to slum it for a month."

It's a shame McCarthy didn't do that in this case because, I'll say it again because it cannot be said enough, the girl is a comedy genius. Maybe she pissed you off in MTV's Singl'd Out. Maybe she did herself no favors in BASEketball. Maybe she'll always be remembered for that advertisement featuring her sitting on a toilet - so be it. The girl can sell a joke, and she will stop at nothing to get a laugh out of the audience, and that should be respected at least enough to give the girl her props when she does something right. In a day and age where the physical female comic simply does not exist, McCarthy takes you back to the days of Lucille Ball, mixing in a healthy dose of Farelly Brothers and Playboy Playmate to boot, to create an unstoppable comedy force. This allows those around her to play off her well, and every single person with more than three lines in this film does exactly that.

Like Pauly Shore's indie of last year, You'll Never Wiez in This Town Again, Dirty Love is a surprisingly good effort that will fall short only because of poor direction, poor editing and the stigma of the lead having only previously been involved in crap. More's the pity - there's a really good film in here kicking and screaming (and bleeding) to get out.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11286&reviewer=1
originally posted: 01/24/05 21:05:30
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/03/10 art JENNY MCCARTHY must have written this flick,when she was on the JOHN! 2 stars
4/10/10 Lizbitch I REALLY want to know the song playing in the credits and during the menu!!! 4 stars
3/24/10 XGIRLX I freakin loved this movie.. I recommend it to people who DO HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/08/10 art THIS MOVIE was PATHETIC! 1 stars
12/14/09 art ONLY FOR HALF-WIT"S! 1 stars
8/17/09 G. Bell (iamgbell@hotmail.com) What is the name of the song that is played during the credits and during the dvds menu? 4 stars
8/02/09 Juniper Laughed out loud and rewound the boob part five times. Good watch. 4 stars
4/19/08 art ONLY FOR FAN"S OF JENNY MCCARTHY 3 stars
1/01/08 Jane I LOVED IT! 5 stars
10/16/07 js critics hate this film because mccarthy is a woman. men are praised for the same humor. 4 stars
6/20/07 Kristin So men can make crude movies and do fart jokes, but when a woman does it the movie is trash 5 stars
5/19/07 Jon I actually liked it. 4 stars
3/08/07 sean good movie...what is the song that plays on the menu? 1 stars
11/29/06 hydie love the movie, for those who dont like it, get a sence of humor bitchez 5 stars
11/14/06 faith The funniest movie i've ever see, i tell all my friends that it is a must see. 5 stars
11/02/06 janelle probably one of my favorite movies!! hysterical doesnt eve come close!! 5 stars
10/27/06 Melanie Bloody Awesome. Wher'es your sense of humour guys? 5 stars
9/14/06 DyrWolf That gorgeous woman wrote it too! It's Head & Shoulders above most of the movies out there 5 stars
9/11/06 Fran Miniser I thought it was histerical! 5 stars
8/20/06 skanky skank this movie is the best ever the only one I will show at my middle school sleepovers 5 stars
8/15/06 Stacie Any girl can relate to that feeling of being lost after a break up 4 stars
7/06/06 Constance Morgan hysterical! 4 stars
6/21/06 Dave fix your site, movie wasn't great, sum 41 is good 3 stars
4/29/06 Randy Wasn't that bad 3 stars
4/22/06 Jessica what is the name of the song on the menu before the movie? 5 stars
3/09/06 Anthony Who is the artist who sings the song on the dvd menu, and thats name of the song? 3 stars
3/06/06 Sean D Just won a razzie and rightly so. Crap 1 stars
12/17/05 Mike Worst movie I have ever seen. Painful to finish. 1 stars
12/16/05 Ian Graet "under construction" scene 4 stars
12/08/05 tatum McCarthy can be funnier than her own script 1 stars
11/29/05 hibbyX Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaappppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
9/27/05 Boombala Hey McCarthy rules. If Lucy were trying to make it today, she'd be doing what JMac is doing. 5 stars
9/21/05 Jeff Lindell Very funny 5 stars
3/26/05 Denise ok 3 stars
2/16/05 Juan pant wettingly funny 5 stars
1/27/05 joe i left halfway through! 1 stars
1/27/05 denny sucks! 1 stars
1/24/05 Nancy Jacobs Saw this last night at Sundance. It's hilarious! It's really out there, but it's funny. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-Sep-2005 (R)
  DVD: 06-Dec-2005

UK
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