This week's new films, Scary Movie and The Kid, each reflected a prominent trend in Hollywood. The horror spoof Scary Movie joined the wave of raunchy comedies like American Pie and There's Something About Mary—and likely extended the trend for several years by posting the biggest R-rated opening ever. Meanwhile, The Kid's promotion of friendship and family over wealth and power reflects an industry-wide transition that Premiere magazine says has "top producers punch[ing] the clock only three days a week in order to have more time at home with their children."
Just weeks after the failure of Me, Myself & Irene made it seem audiences were no longer interested in gross-out humor, Scary Movie proved otherwise, collecting a massive $42.3 million. But the Dove Foundation's Phil Boatwright agrees you'll get your money's worth only if you "enjoy mean-spirited, crude humor," calling the film "perhaps the grossest I have ever seen. In my opinion, this film is nothing more than verbal and visual sludge." Its skills in lampooning the horror genre also fell under attack. "As a spoof, [it] fails miserably," writes Michael Elliott of Crosswalk.com. It makes only the "obvious references to the Scream series, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Sixth Sense, and The Matrix, [without] offering an intelligent satire." The U.S. Catholic Conference likewise calls it "a poor pastiche of several horror films," and Childcare Action says the scattershot approach of its film references left it with "no plot, no theme, and no sense." A couple reviewers admit to laughing; John Adair of Preview disapproves of the film but found it often "funny and clever" as it "piles joke upon joke for 90 minutes straight." HollywoodJesus' David ...1
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