Movie 43 director Peter Farrelly tells reviewers to “lighten up” after critical attacks

Veteran comedy director defends his film and tells negative reviewers to "back off"

Peter Farrelly, the director of the star-studded gross-out comedy Movie 43, has publicly defended his new film after it was dubbed “the Citizen Kane of awful” by film critics.


With a cast including Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Stephen Merchant, Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Gerard Butler and Halle Berry, Movie 43 was expected to be a runaway hit. But instead Farrelly has found himself fending off an avalanche of criticism.

The director took to Twitter earlier this week to respond to the barrage of bad reviews by urging critics to “lighten up.” He wrote: “To the critics: Movie 43 is not the end of the world. It’s just a $6-million movie where we tried to do something different. Now back off.

“You always complain that Hollywood never gives you new stuff, and then when you get it, you flip out. Lighten up.”

Movie 43, which is billed with the tagline “you can’t unsee it”, is made up of 12 different segments each starring different actors, which are linked by the story of three teenagers searching the Internet for ‘Movie 43’, the “most banned film in the world.”

Skits in the film include a blind date featuring a character with testicles dangling from his neck, a fight between two characters and a foul-mouthed leprechaun and a scene in which a young woman begs her fiancé to do something unspeakably scatological to her.

Before the film’s release Farrelly had warned audiences that it “may be too outrageous for critics”, and it seems he was right. Movie 43 was dubbed “the worst film ever” by Peter Howell of the Toronto Star and “the Citizen Kane of awful” by Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times.

In this country, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Mark Kermode said: “I wasn’t appalled or outraged I just felt dirty,” and called the film “staggeringly unfunny, toe-curlingly embarrassing.”

Though our reviewer Dave Aldrige said: “if you can leave moral outrage at the cinema door, you’ll likely laugh like a drain.”

Before making Movie 43, Paul Farrelly was responsible for the likes of Dumb & Dumber, Shallow Hal and Me, Myself & Irene, all of which he made with his brother Bobby.


Get the measure of Movie 43 in this SFW trailer: