By: Jenna Zine (Six Beers) –
Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) is a wired Hollywood literary agent who’s convinced he can sign any author – including spiritual guru Deepak Chopra. Err, scratch that – Dr. Sinja. Somehow, within this transaction, a magical tree appears in Jack’s backyard. The catch? A leaf falls with each word that he utters – and when the tree is bare, Jack will die. My, oh my – how will it end?!
Full disclosure: here at MovieBoozer we rate movies by the pint, though I am never as drunk as I usually claim to be. Tonight? I am. I’d like to condense A Thousand Words into two: It blows. It’s neither clever nor witty, but it’s the absolute truth. That’s what you get with “Drunk Jenna.” If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband. But I respect you too much to leave it at two words. “Drunk Jenna” might order a round of PBRs – and put it on your tab. “Respectable Jenna” does her job. She delivers a round of microbrews – and pays for it on her very own Southwest credit card. Here’s the good faith credit card effort so I can earn some miles…
The movie opens with what I can only assume is Eddie Murphy on cocaine… allegedly. Jack McCall wheels and deals like a stereotypical Tinsel Town agent – except instead of dealing in actors, he peddles authors. Ah, yes – the bastion of high-powered negotiation: the sale of the book. He cruises around town in a sports car – that is when he’s not lounging around his luxury home with his infinity pool and his model wife. Such is the life of a book agent.
While this has nothing to do with the movie, this picture kept popping up [excuse the pun] during a Google search of images for A Thousand Words. Either way, I think we can all agree this photo is more fun than the film. [Image Credit]
Yes, I am the same reviewer who said, “Damn, it’s nice to see Eddie Murphy again” after watching Tower Heist. And yes, I rated it far too high – much to my chagrin and eternal embarrassment. And while we’re on yeses: I also volunteered to review Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star (from which I’ve never fully recovered) and I also willingly signed up for A Thousand Words. Why? Both release dates coincided with convenience within my personal life. A word to the wise: be careful when you substitute “compromise” with “convenience.” The upswing? I’ll be deadline-free when I hit SXSW next week. Those slushy margaritas and ice-cold Lonestars (the PBR of Texas) will be all mine, guilt-free. So suck it, awful movie.
You know what’s really funny? The stereotype of a gardener who happens to be Mexican. Oh, wait. That’s not funny at all. Too bad no one thought to tell the screenwriter, director or star of this film. Good thing they made up for it with hilarious caricatures of Hollywood agents, spiritual seekers [Cliff Curtis as Dr. Sinja], trophy wives [Kerry Washington as Caroline McCall], underlings [Clark Duke as Aaron Wiseburger], mothers with Alzheimer’s, clueless Starbucks employees [a slumming Jack McBrayer], eager parking attendants who moonlight as writers and everything in between. Not.
This movie put me to sleep as well, but there was no one to kiss me on the forehead and make it better.
The scary thing is that I believe Eddie Murphy is sincere in his delivery as Jack. The spirituality/life lessons in this movie are boiled down for the masses – and Eddie is ready to be the preacher. Somewhere along the way he permanently embraced “the kiddy flick” and never bounced back to the adult comedy that is his strength. I’ve got proof to support my booze-fueled rant: A Thousand Words is directed by Brian Robbins (who helped usher Norbit into cinematic history) and Mike Meyers, Murphy’s Shrek costar, also pops up in the flick… as an Austin Powers toy. Boom! The point I’m not sure I’m trying to make has been made. Though I’m pretty sure I’m making a joke! Or, as those male models in Zoolander would say:[Meekus: Ex-squeeze me, but have you ever heard of styling gel?
Brint: I’m sure Hansel’s heard of styling gel. He’s a male model.
Meekus: Uh, Earth to Brint, I was making a joke.
Brint: Uh, Earth to Meekus. Duh, okay I knew that!
Meekus: Uh, Earth to Brint. I’m not so sure you did cuz you were all, “Well I’m sure he’s heard of styling gel,” like you didn’t know it was a joke!]
Zoolander, the nexus of all goodness. [Image Credit]
You know what’s great about Austin? Tacos, hipsters and the abundance of tequila. Also an amazing music scene, parties in the afternoon, delicious BBQ and something called an “urban bat colony.” In keeping with the stereotype theme, I will embrace a few of my own: There will be girls in miniskirts and cowboy boots. There will be cute, dirty boys in trucker caps. There will be shopping at vintage boutiques on South Congress. There will be the invite to the Grammy party. There will be celebrity sightings. The thought of all this keeps me from gouging my eyes out as ATW veers from “frothy comedy that is trying too hard” to “serious exploration of the meaning of life.”
Bitch, please. Did you just give me a slow-mo flashback? Before I pour myself another, let me acknowledge the astounding coincidences between Jim Carrey’s Liar, Liar and Eddie’s ATW. It’s clearly a similar premise, with even fewer laughs – if that’s possible. And it is possible, because I just sat through it.
Nothing like a trio of hot chicks to ease the pain of a bad flick. Thanks in advance, SXSW! [Photo Credit]
A Thousand Words was originally filmed in 2008, but experienced a delayed release. Needless to say, it should’ve stayed on the shelves.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: every time you think, “I could’ve gotten more spiritual support off a cocktail napkin.”
Take a drink: every time you think, “Man, Eddie and Clark are working their asses off to make sure this film is funny. Too bad they’re failing.”
Take a shot: for Kerry Washington and her rockin’ bod.
Take a shot: every time a leaf falls off a tree. What the hell? You’re going to need something to get through this depressing mess.
Not that you’d want to bother, but nope. Nothing. Except a painfully obvious song called “Out Loud” by Mary Mary.