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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.46%
Worth A Look: 20.25%
Average: 15.19%
Pretty Bad: 21.52%
Total Crap26.58%

7 reviews, 37 user ratings

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Ladies Man, The
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by Erik Childress

"A Thank You or an 'F' You?"
1 stars

Whether Lorne Michaels meant this new film as a thank you or an “F” You to Tim Meadows for 11 years of service of SNL remains a mystery. The bigger mystery is how anyone at any level, from pre-production to the impending theatrical release can find anything in or about this movie funny. The seven-minute sketches on the TV show were marginally funny at best and had nothing more to offer than the same three jokes each time resulting in a one-joke rotation equivalent to feeding someone beans at a farting contest. The movie is like the smell at that very contest.

Those who have missed the last few years of Saturday Night Live have missed Leon Phelps, the sole headlining character that Tim Meadows was able to secure in 11 years. A self-proclaimed ladies man, Leon hosted a call-in TV show that consisted of three things. (1) He called older people wanting to have sex “disgusting.” (2) He made lewd remarks about the act of sex and women’s bodies. (3) He made fun of callers not up to the size of his, um, manhood. That was basically it. Doesn’t sound like the kind of sketch that could be stretched into a 85-minute feature film, right? But I believe you could turn just about anything into a movie as long as you find the right approach and in this case, the right points to satire. But The Ladies Man isn’t about satire, but a laborious exercise to keep the audience from laughing as much as possible.

It can’t even help assembling parts of previous SNL features to ruthlessly remind us that SNL films used to be funny and can be again. Leon’s show has been switched from television to radio where he keeps getting fired, a la Stuart Smalley in Stuart Saves His Family. Instead of cops and Nazis in The Blues Brothers, we’ve got an angry group of distraught husbands, all Victims of the Smiling Ass. You’ll have to see the movie, but don’t. The movie is so shockingly unfunny, that the one moment which should have been a sure-fire comedy sequence, a “West Side Story” parody with the bunch of angry husbands reacting like “real men”, falls dead flat.

The Ladies Man is not only unfunny, it’s insulting for both men and women. All the men are portrayed as hapless wimps, with Will Ferrell more interested in oiling up for countless sessions of Greco-Roman wrestling than touch his beautiful wife. And all the women (except for Leon’s producer) are shown as drunks or beautiful sluts who are trapped in (Boo Hoo) boring marriages. All we’re missing are some bridges and a photographer. Leon Phelps isn’t just unfunny, but also unsympathetic. He’s not the man all women are dying to be with. He doesn’t romance or treat them right, he just does them right. He’s nothing more than a deadbeat with a giant dink and I’d rather take advice from Patrick Bateman than Leon Phelps. Maybe satiric material is there to be found on women who mythologize the male organ above all else and the men who have nothing more to offer. Hell, they could have skewered Sex and the City for all intents and purposes. But if Leon is just that good, then why doesn’t he pimp himself out like Rob Schneider in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, a film that actually looks “insanely funny” compared to this mess.

This is the third SNL character film to come out of the new batch of performers, even if Meadows has been through more casts than Heather Locklear. A Night at the Roxbury and Superstar were not good films by any stretch, but there at least seemed to be an effort being made. And aren’t there better characters to base a movie on still waiting in the wings. Mike Myers’ Sprockets went down the tubes, but how about Dana Carvey resurrecting the Church Lady for a satire of today’s scrutiny of the entertainment business? Bill Murray could use his lounge singer act to parody samplers who use other people’s music and make up their own lyrics. The Ladies Man (with the tamest “R” rating I’ve ever seen) doesn’t even know what satire is, instead using ridiculously lame and obvious jokes. Oh isn’t it funny how they’re eating the vile stereotypical “street” food to teach the jackass yuppie a lesson. Oh, my sides hurt from the nun talking about her “missionary position.” My God, I’m on the floor when I see that reflected light coming from Leon’s open zipper.

Sense of humor is almost as indefinable a trait as someone’s opinion. What makes people laugh is all in the eye of the beholder. But anyone who can honestly recommend this dreck to friends and the unsuspecting public is very easily amused and would most likely be just as entertained by shaking a rattle. I picture the critics/reviewers who will be quoting praise for this movie as the equivalent of the one guy laughing in the comedy club scene in Albert Brooks’ Defending Your Life. Either that or they’re just a mere quote whore that studios are looking for to fill up their newspaper and television ads to make you believe that The Ladies Man is as deserving attention as a film like Almost Famous. Any critic whose name gets printed next to a positive quote for The Ladies Man should be stripped of all credentials immediately, stamped on a banned list and be prodded under public scrutiny Joseph McCarthy/Lieberman-style.

What seems funny and racy on television doesn’t quite measure up in a year (or any year) where we’ve already seen chicken enemas and a penis used as a murder weapon. And while I can appreciate the ass(et) of seeing Tiffani (no more Amber) Thiessen in lingerie and whose bust line seems to gain another letter which each passing role, in a comedy like this, you better be able to make me laugh hard and often, because I sure as hell ain’t paying attention to character and plot. In the spirit of Leon Phelps, in the absence of Amber, there’s still a lot of tree bark to go around. Or better yet, The Ladies Man is taking you for nothing but a sap if you spend your money on it.

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originally posted: 10/13/00 06:37:49
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User Comments

8/15/06 Ashley Hinz Should have stayed a skit. 4 stars
4/21/05 TJ It's alright. You have to know and like the character from SNL. 3 stars
2/24/05 Rock-Steady hey sweet thang, can I buy you a fish sandwich? 5 stars
12/20/04 Kim Soooo funny!!! Classic 5 stars
12/07/04 Jason Kaul The only funny scene is when he is interviewing the nun about the missionary position. 2 stars
9/06/04 Leon Phelps My movie was great. The critic is jealous of the wang. 5 stars
7/20/04 Jack Daniels tiny little pecker?!?! you aint talkin bout the ladies man! 5 stars
6/04/04 Omer Wow that movie was funny. For all the Lady's men out there! 5 stars
1/02/04 MH Leon is the best 5 stars
8/23/03 Robert Ricketts KIKZ ASS BEST MOVIE EVER 5 stars
4/10/03 Jack Bourbon I character ate human turds in this movie. 2 stars
3/09/03 Jack Sommersby 10 mijnutes of viable material unwisely expanded to feature length. 1 stars
10/11/02 SiliconHero This is the best that you could give to Tim Meadows? "F" you, Lorne! 1 stars
7/17/02 Joe Black Funny and entertaining 4 stars
6/12/02 Helen Souter it wasn't really funny but I laughed myself sick & I don't usually do that very often 5 stars
5/14/02 zafron sucked all ass 1 stars
5/01/02 jonathan berry "...put it in the butt!" 5 stars
10/22/01 Allison IT WAS AMAZING 5 stars
10/19/01 Andrew Carden So-So Comedy Has Laughs That Range From Hilarious to Hideous. 3 stars
10/19/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) The "missionary position" bit is pretty funny, but most of it's kinda shabby. 3 stars
9/02/01 Butterbean Tim Meadows can't carry a film at all. This could have been a great flick. 1 stars
7/30/01 Bob jones Tired of SNL avg characters getting their own movies. What's next, the cheerleaders? 2 stars
7/23/01 D.R. Doggy Style? Up da butt? The jokes were very not funny 1 stars
6/26/01 Fish Eye Not great, but one of the better SNL movies of late. Surprisingly funny. 3 stars
6/07/01 Paul Couture I thought that it was really funny. Tim Meadows definitely made the part. 5 stars
1/30/01 Marcin Calus I Love You u are remarkable 3 stars
1/07/01 snlalex Yeah, well thats disgustin' 5 stars
10/20/00 Stuntman stupid movie, worse than Superstar 1 stars
10/19/00 Scralomander Only good parts: Will Ferrell pointing the gun at the end + Tiffani Thiessen's boobies 2 stars
10/19/00 liquid I'm tired of all this shit, this movie SUCKS! read a book instead. 1 stars
10/17/00 furtively WE laughed quite a bit, take friends and drink first tho... 3 stars
10/17/00 Ground Zero pratically unfunny and lame 2 stars
10/15/00 bob buttons if you like the skit on snl, you'll love the movie. get ferrel out of there 4 stars
10/15/00 frankko one star for the one time i laughed during the 85 minute movie. 1 stars
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  13-Oct-2000 (R)



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