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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.07%
Worth A Look: 4.88%
Average: 4.88%
Pretty Bad: 9.76%
Total Crap63.41%

2 reviews, 29 user ratings

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Marci X
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by Collin Souter

"Nothing goes hand-and-hand like a Richard Benjamin movie in late August"
1 stars

Satirizing any aspect of the entertainment industry can be a hard thing to pull off in a Hollywood movie. The moguls of Tinseltown bear a close resemblance to those who rule the music industry with an iron fist, so when they try to poke fun at themselves, it often results in satire that comes up half baked. These green-lighters don’t mind having a little fun at their own expense, but once the satire actually amounts to substance the movies often pull back, dumb it down and do everything but hire a drug-addled cartoonist to up the wackiness quotient. Case in point: The Lisa Kudrow/Damon Wayans abomination “Marci X.”

With “Marci X,” the target of its supposed satire is rappers and New York socialites. According to Premier Magazine columnist Paul Rudnick (who also wrote the screenplay), all female New York socialites shop and have discriminatory views on black people and all rappers are in prison, on their way to prison or just like ’dem bitchez in da asssss! Wow, you sure blew the lid off that one, Rudnick. I’m all for satirizing the music industry. Lord knows Clear Channel, Bonneville, Ticketmaster and Interscope need to be taken down like a Mike Tyson opponent in a gimp outfit, but Rudnick goes for cheap shots without making any kind of a point.

It doesn’t help that he has Richard “I directed ‘Milk Money’” Benjamin behind the camera. Benjamin hasn’t made a good movie since 1982’s “My Favorite Year” and he clearly doesn’t know what to do with a movie about rap music and its components. I imagine him giving directions such as, “Just do that butt dance thing the kids like,” or “Do more of that ‘word to your mother’ type thing,” or “Cut! Was that good? You young kids would know more than I would since you’re into this giggy-giggy stuff. I’m too old for this. I’m resting now.”

The movie clocks in at about 80 minutes, but with a lot of that devoted to credits and inane wannabe-musical numbers, you’re looking at a 45-minute movie here. Clearly, Benjamin wanted to go home quickly at the end of the day and one can’t really blame him. The movie just doesn’t want to be here. The cast clearly doesn’t want to be here and the audience will want to leave it after 20 minutes when Kudrow performs a rap song in front of a large audience.

I know, I know, you think I just made an error. Let me explain. Kudrow plays Marci Feld, daughter of media mogul Ben Feld (an over-confident Richard Benjamin), who has just been taken ill after he hears the song list to the new album by rapper Dr. S (Damon Wayans). The song list is read on live TV by an outraged Senator Mary Ellen Spinkle (Christine Baranski), who blames the profanity on Ben Feld, who has never even heard of Dr. S. even though Feld bought his record company. With Mr. Feld in the hospital, it’s up to his socialite daughter, Marci, to take over the biz for a while and try to get Dr. S to play up a kinder, gentler public image instead of just singing about doing it “In Da Butt.”

Marci and her three giggly socialite best friends attend a Dr. S concert to try and talk him into doing a spot for MTV where he must introduce an overtly gay boy band (a parody done much better in “Josie and the Pussycats”). Dr. S invites Marci on stage to ridicule her and prove how white and “unreal” she is. He hands her the mic. The DJ plays a beat. She tries rapping, fails twice, then gets it right the third time. So right, in fact, that her three friends join her on stage for a full-fledged musical number in which everything goes completely right. Fine, except that it happens 20 minutes in and the movie hasn’t established itself as a musical. Worse yet, the whole sequence makes the viewer cringe with embarrassment for everyone involved.

A romantic relationship ensues between Dr. S and Marci, but of course it comes off forced. Kudrow plays her role predictably and without any kind of wit or interest. She seems as though she’s finally getting the hint that she keeps getting typecast. Wayans looks as though he showed up on the set every day and had no idea what to do with the role handed to him. Most of the time, he looks confused as to where to go with the character or annoyed at the prospect of having to play a stereotypical rapper.

The movie completely loses interest in itself towards the end when Dr. S sends Senator Spinkle a CD in which he switches gears on her and raps about how everyone should vote for her. This CD causes her to loosen up and dance around the house. Of course, we later learn her 14-year old son videotaped the whole thing so that she would see the error of her ways and let Dr. S rap about whatever he wants (the whole Freedom of Speech angle, you know?). Dr. S plans to use the video of the Mayor as blackmail. “How could you?” she asks her young son (the punchline will be here in a minute).

One of the things I find so frightening is that we have had two comedies so far this year in which blacks and whites get boiled down to two separate types. In “Bringing Down The House,” street-talking hustlers represented all the blacks and uptight, idiotic suburbanites represented all the whites. With “Marci X,” the situation repeats itself and we have nobody to which the audience can relate. These two movies (and many more before them) prove once again that dumbing down the movie in order to please the lowest common denominator cannot go hand and hand with scathing satire.

The movie wants to be a satire, but it has nothing to say except, “people should be able to say whatever they want!” Gee, how timely and important. Yawn. Rappers and New York socialites have been satirized and parodied too many times anyway. It’s time for the likes of Train, Creed and Limp Bizkit to get their literal and figurative kick in the teeth. While we’re at it, let’s add Benjamin, who shows up in the movie’s final dance number, and writer Rudnick into the pop culture gulag. After all, nobody should be allowed to get away with having a 14-year old kid saying to his mother, “I love you mom…in the butt!”

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originally posted: 08/23/03 12:47:02
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User Comments

3/14/14 Dilip It's Goofy, you cringe, you laugh, big big names 2 stars
11/29/09 art A MOVIE FOR A CAPTIVE AUDIEANCE! 1 stars
9/22/09 art EVERYONE IN IT IS A HAM! 1 stars
7/16/09 Megan One of the funneiest movies I've EVER seen... Its funny bcause its so awkward! Haha 5 stars
11/25/07 art it's out of sight 5 stars
10/14/07 William Goss Quite literally has one laugh and not a clue about its targets. 1 stars
5/02/07 johnny grogan it was great 5 stars
9/29/06 tina I like the the butt 5 stars
8/09/05 dan despite the detractors this movie was hilarious. very underrated and paula is hot hot hot 5 stars
2/26/05 Cheryl Mayfield Pretty Crappy, but hearing Lisa Kudrow say she was a big fat turd was worth it. 2 stars
9/14/04 SF time passer 3 stars
6/23/04 Secret3 Very Funny....:-D 4 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt A guilty pleasure blast! A sure-to-be cult classic! Great, catchy songs. Underrated flick! 5 stars
2/14/04 Pimp Daddy i like the songs :P 4 stars
1/31/04 G Shoot me now please 1 stars
1/11/04 Roy Earle An enjoyable guilty pleasure 5 stars
12/20/03 Pigdaddy Truckdriver Marci XXXX was a hell of lot more fun. 3 stars
10/05/03 Timmy SHIT 1 stars
10/02/03 buttjuice remember "analyze this"? watching diarrhea seperate slowly is more entertaining and i know! 1 stars
10/02/03 Cheryl Mayfield Pretty Crappy, but hearing Lisa Kudrow say she was a big fat turd was worth it. 2 stars
9/10/03 Gary WOAH DID THIS MOVIE SUCK??? 1 stars
9/05/03 Chris Ech, ech, ech. 1 stars
9/03/03 Dawn The cast of Friends (besides Matt Perry) must to be put down to stop trash like this movie. 1 stars
8/28/03 Kassy M With this being the last season of 'Friends,' Lisa shouln't start out on her own like this 1 stars
8/25/03 Eugene Lisa Kudrow is always worth watching, but she was totally wasted as Marci X. 2 stars
8/24/03 Tyler B. Cohen Absolute Garbage 1 stars
8/24/03 Collin Redundant and stupid are the two words that best describe this movie 1 stars
8/23/03 Bob Dope a work of crap 1 stars
8/23/03 Chris Worst movie ever. 1 stars
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  22-Aug-2003 (R)
  DVD: 20-Jan-2004



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