They say all publicity is good publicity. How, then, does one explain the performance of Lindsay Lohan’s new movie this weekend at the box office?
Oh, you didn’t realize she had a new movie coming out either?
That’s because amid the torrent of headlines devoted to Lohan’s most recent trip to court and ensuing sentence to a lockdown rehab facility that may or may not exist, the fact that the actress actually starred in a new film that was released this weekend somehow got lost. InAPPropriate Weekend stars Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez and Oscar-winner Adrien Brody. It was directed by Vince Offer, better known as the infomercial guru behind ShamWow and Slap Chop. And in its first weekend of release, it earned a disastrous $625 per-theater average.
Only in the world of LiLo does an actress top the list of trending topics and headline Entertainment Tonight the same week her new movie is coming out and have that new movie not mentioned a single time. So what exactly is this movie you’ve didn’t know existed?
InAPPropriate Comedy is billed by IMDb as comedy about what happens when “a computer tablet full of the world’s most hilariously offensive apps breaks through the borders of political correctness, stirring up cultural anarchy.” Perhaps a more accurate, if damning summary is provided by Frank Sheck at The Hollywood Reporter: “This painfully unfunny assemblage of would-be comedy sketches manages to make Movie 43 look good in retrospect.” Movie 43, if you don’t remember (and you shouldn’t), was the star-studded super flop in which Hugh Jackman donned prosthetic testicles on his neck, Halle Berry dipped her boob in guacamole, and Chris Pratt pooped on Anna Faris. Movie audiences ignored the fiasco to the tune of a dismal $5 million debut.
How painfully bad were the sketches in InAPPropriate Comedy to be branded inferior to all that? In fact, Movie 43 seems downright highbrow in comparison. Adrien Brody plays a character named Flirty Harry, a parody of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry. Dressed in pink Capri pants, he actually says, “Go ahead, make me gay.” A sketch called Blackass is an offensive parody of Jackass in which guys race dumpsters downhill into a vat of sewage. Lindsay Lohan recreates Marilyn Monroe’s iconic subway-grate scene. It is shot from the subway grate’s point of view. A character named The Amazing Racist is introduced. He is dressed like a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This all happens in the first 15 minutes.
Lohan appears in only two brief segments in the film. (As some sort of sad, bleak comment on the actress’s career, her Marilyn Monroe costume is accessorized by the ankle monitor she was forced by courts to wear while shooting.) But with headlines focused on her involvement in it, it’s unlikely that she’ll emerge the wreckage unscathed. And what kind of attacks were fired at the film? “Sometimes a movie is so awful that the word awful is not up to the task of conveying its awfulness,” writes Neil Genzlinger in his New York Times review. Lou Lumenick at The New York Post calls it “brutally unfunny.”
Should we really be surprised that the film was so poorly received? It was directed by Vince Offer, a man who calls himself a director and comedian but you probably no better as the hyperactive pitchman from those late-night ShamWow infomercials, or from that time he allegedly beat up a prostitute in a South Beach hotel room. As a testament to his seediness, Offer even makes a cameo in the film, as a man seen filming up Lohan’s skirt with his iPad. Offer’s only other directing credit is 1999’s The Underground Comedy Movie, a film that garnered illustrious praise like, “If you’re looking for the ultimate movie to clear your house of partygoers who don’t know when to leave, look no further than this.” Remarkably, the film’s trailer touts that the movie is from “the guy that brought you the Slap Chop.”
To say that the film performed poorly at the box office would be like saying that Lindsay Lohan’s troubles amount to a few bad hair days. Released in just 275 theaters this weekend, InAPPropriate Comedy made just $172,000. It’s the worst opening for a movie since The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure earned just $207 per theater in its debut last year.
This movie surfaces an endless array of other questions too. How did it get made? What happened to Adrien Brody? Will it be the worst film of the year?
But thankfully for Lohan, who could use a bit of silver lining in her life, the chief question surrounding InAPPropriate Comedy is, “What’s that?” For an actress with endless troubles, this one will likely be—and kind of already is—soon forgotten.