Thursday, September 13, 2012

TIFF 2012: Jayne Mansfield's Car and The Paperboy Are Southern-Fried Crap

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Two movies, each portraying Southerners as dullards, took four hours of my life that I wish I had back.

But after having watched dozens of other fine films at this year's Toronto Internationa Film Festival, I was probably due for some wild turkey. Suffice to say: Avoid Jayne Mansfield's Car and The Paperboy at all costs.

John Hurt and Robert Duvall star in Jayne Mansfields Car.
  • John Hurt and Robert Duvall star in Jayne Mansfield's Car.

Jayne Mansfield's Car is one of those silly dramedies where a dozen quirky characters are thrown together for no good reason. The plot tells us that they're reunited for a funeral. We should be so lucky as the corpse. The survivors—Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, John Hurt—are fools. It was pathetic.

Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman star in The Paperboy.
  • Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman star in The Paperboy.

For a few minutes, I thought that The Paperboy was so bad that it could become a campy classic. But no, it was bad. Realy bad.

Based on the 1995 novel Deadwood, The Paperboy is a ridiculous murder mystery featuring John Cusack and Matthew McConaughey in a contest where the winner is determined by who can huff up the most affected drawl.

The Paperboy also features Zac Efron prancing around in his tighty-whities while drooling over Nicole Kidman, who continues her ever-growing string of bad career choices.

I knew something was wrong when an audience member sitting behind me (a film industry representative who refused to give me his name) told his moviegoing companion the following:

"I've heard about this movie," he said. "I'm just waiting for the scene when Nicole Kidman pees on Zac Efron. Then I'm going to leave."

Sure enugh, one hour into The Paperboy, there it was: a scene so ludicrous that the audience let out a collective, "Ewwwwww." (For the record, Kidman's character pees on Efron's character when he is stung by jellyfish.)

I was disgusted. And worse, I was bored.

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