Sex and Sketches
The 2009 direct-to-DVD sketch comedy film Extreme Movie is another in a long line of films seemingly determined to prove that sex is funny. But, unlike something like Kevin Smith's similarly dirty-minded Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Extreme Movie believes that only sex is funny.
That's not entirely true. There is one incredibly long fart joke. Otherwise, it's all sex, all the time.
The film is a "sketch" film in the tradition of Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women on the Moon, broken up into small vignettes with a few characters crossing over between sketches. There is one story that serves as a through line for the whole thing, about a teenager (Ryan Pinkston) desperate to ask out a girl in his sex education class.
Other sketches include:
- A teenager (Frankie Muniz, Malcolm in the Middle) and his girlfriend take their relationship to the "next level" with outrageous results.
- Michael Cera gets in over his head when he plans a meeting with his online chat partner, who has bizarre sex fantasies.
- After a drunken bender, a kid wakes up in bed next to a beautiful woman -- and an odd, long-haired Eurotrash guy played by Jamie Kennedy.
- Comedian Kevin Hart plays part of a pair of nerdy guys who decide to build the perfect woman on their home computer (a la Weird Science).
- Having been rejected by the girl he loves, Andy Milonokis starts a relationship with a rubber sex toy.
What makes Extreme Movie noteworthy beyond the appearances by comedians like Kennedy, Hart and Milonokis is that several of the segments were written by Saturday Night Live cast member/writer Will Forte and the Lonely Island trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. With that kind of talent involved, it's puzzling that Extreme Movie isn't better. The problem pretty much begins and ends with first-time directors Andrew Jay Epstein and Adam Jacobson, who set out to make a film that does nothing but push the envelope of raunchy humor. The result is tasteless, yes, but also profoundly stupid and seldom funny. It makes American Pie look like Some Like It Hot.
Setups Without Punchlines
Given the movie's brief running time (it clocks in at under 75 minutes before credits) and the sketch comedy structure, Extreme Movie does manage to sail by. A few of the sketches introduce some clever ideas: "Next Level," for example (written by the Lonely Island guys), is slightly amusing in the way it builds to a climax where a girl is dressing as Hitler as foreplay. But directors Epstein and Jacobson take too much time in putting it together; the jokes should come fast and furious but instead plod along in between stretches of dead space. The only sketch that really even contains a punchline -- and the best one in the film -- features a furry blue puppet named "Blue Bally" who advises a young man to put the moves on his girlfriend before it's too late. The rest of the material sets up a premise and plays it out in the crudest, most obvious way possible.
The DVD of Extreme Movie features a short making-of featurette and a commentary track with directors Epstein and Jacobson. The two talk about making the film on a minuscule budget, how the project came together (the directors assembled the writers after working together on an MTV awards show) and what their intentions were in making the movie. In one respect, they deliver on what they set out to accomplish: making a juvenile, sex-obsessed comedy that pushes the limits of sex and gross-out humor on film. Great job. Now if only that much effort had been put into making sure that the material was funny.
- Release Date: February 24, 2009
- Running Time: 75 minutes
- MPAA Rating: Unrated
- 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
- Spanish Language Subtitles
- English Captions
DVD Bonus Features
- Audio Commentary with Directors Andew Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
- Making-of Featurette
- Bonus Trailers