The Flick Chicks

Jacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline Monahan's Ten Worst Films of 2009

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Jacqueline Monahan’s Ten Worst Films of 2009

Here they are, in alphabetical order.  I don’t consider any of them any worse than any other.  They all made me wade through 90 minutes to two hours of inane or boring or insultingly dimwitted plot contrivances.  See the final paragraph for a suggestion to put them to good use.


This one’s just dull and boring.  Yes, it takes place in an amusement park, which makes the lack of amusement that much more glaring.  A slow pace and an uninspired love story (involving Kristin Stewart from the Twilight franchise) make it difficult to stick around until the end of the exposition-filled “ride.”  There’s more adventure in a trip to the concession stand.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Unimaginative fish-out-of-water melodramedy incorporating groaners that pass for jokes and wasting the talents of Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen.  According to formula, New York Power couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant get transplanted to cattle country (they’re vegetarians) to escape a killer.  You’d be better off never hearing about these guys if it’s cleverness and originality you’re after.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Matthew McConaughey as a womanizer?  Say it ain’t so!  I’m afraid it is, for the umpteenth time, but he just needs a good woman, right?  Jennifer Garner should turn him around, but even she can’t transcend the lobotomized script.  Michael Douglas is a kind of Ghost of Libido Past, offering advice while still “gettin’ some” in the spirit world.

The Goods:  Live Hard, Sell Hard
Jeremy Piven & Co., headquartered in a strip club and well-known for their guerilla sales tactics, move a load of used cars in record time, employing every cheap trick and bad joke they can find.  Strategies include hating the Japanese and putting a D.J. on the roof.  The crew manages to fool everyone but the viewer, and the only hard thing here is being made to watch it all unfold.

Imagine That
Marketed to kids, this Eddie Murphy misadventure is anything but whimsical.  It’s big, boring business as the stock market is controlled by child-channeled oracles; it’s also an excuse to get Murphy to act as if he’s possessed in public, and all for the pursuit of the Dead Benjamins.  There is a lovely little girl included to try to dilute the capitalism with cuteness. Imagine that.

Jennifer’s Body
The horror component, with all of its bloody gore and predatory proclivities somewhat softens the bad acting (Amanda Seyfried tries mightily but is overshadowed by pouty, profligate Megan Fox).  Even the bloodbath can’t make up for the silliness of a sexpot murdering her pals because it makes her skin clear up.

Land of the Lost
Will Ferrell.  ‘Nuff said, but just in case you’re wondering, paleontologist Ferrell invents a portable (accordion-sized) time travel machine, zapping himself, an attractive student and a cretinous store owner back to an era of both dinosaurs and space aliens.  One of the highlights has our intrepid explorer sliding through the digestive tract of a T. Rex.; another has him dousing himself with dino-urine.  Sense a pattern here?  You don’t need toilets for toilet humor.

New in Town
Yet another fish out of water tale; this one’s about a Florida-based female executive (Renee Zellwegger) sent to downsize a Minnesota factory.  What she needs is a wakeup call and a good man to show her the way (and sensible heels).  The formula also demands that she look foolish, selfish and petty until said man sets her straight with some good lovin’.  Have we really come a long way, baby?

Old Dogs
Painful exercise by John Travolta and Robin Williams has them mugging, clowning, and feeling their advancing age as a couple of seven-year-olds are entrusted to their care.  Emphasizes the speed at which A-listers can plummet after only a few years.  No new tricks here.

Play the Game
An 80-something Andy Griffith is forced to speak rap and become a player in order to score with the ladies.  His grandson follows a separate but just as idiotic plot contrivance with his conquests until he finds The One.  The playing takes you right up to the finish line and then reverses itself and its message.  Life shouldn’t be played like a game.  Yes, it should.  Maybe Wii will come up with a version that will allow for both options.

I didn’t have a chance to screen every film, so Sorority Row, Miss March, The Ugly Truth, and Love Happens, etc. get a pass here.  Those listed above just happen to be what I did catch (before IQ points escaped).  They may be more fun in DVD form, where you can fashion drinking games from their respective weaknesses.  If you use bad dialogue, predictable events and improbable circumstances as a means to throw back a shot, you should be plowed in no time.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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