Now that summer’s over and we’re all busily kicking autumn leaves and soaking our conkers in vinegar, it’s often useful to reflect on what has passed. The summer that’s just left us will no doubt be remembered by some as a time of political uprisings, riots and revolutions.
It's not big and it's not clever, but it is sometimes quite funny. We present the 10 most envelope-pushing moments of 2011's R-rated comedies
For me though, some different images endure: the first, a monkey grappling with a Chinese gangster’s micro junk, the second, a bride excavating her bowels over a street gutter, and most recently, a puckering infant anus preparing to eject baby waste into its father’s mouth.
These are the snap shots I have stored in the “Summer 2011” photo album of my brain. I can’t un-see them, I can’t forget them, and save a course of self-administered shock therapy using my hair straighteners and a filled bathtub, I can’t erase them.
The summer of R-rated comedy has passed, in all its squelchy, nude, offensive glory. Take a moment with us to celebrate the ten most memorable obscenities from Summer 2011 at the movies:
1. Bridesmaids – Maya Rudolph squatting in the street
Bridesmaids is a film which sets its R-rated stall out early on, and atop that stall making its trestle legs wobble, are Kristen Wiig and John Hamm rutting like a pair of Bonobo monkeys. Bridesmaids opens on a close-up of Wiig’s bouncing face as the duo gurn their way through making a pretty beastly version of the beast with two backs.
It doesn’t stop there. Melissa McCarthy’s character propositions a fellow passenger on board a flight in no uncertain terms, after boasting about her capacity to conceal items in her Chatham pocket (Google it, though you’ll wish you hadn’t). A mother of teenage boys complains about having to wash sheets stiff with umm, the fruits of their labours, and there’s enough swearing to offend a navvy.
The moment the film will be remembered for however, up there with Cameron Diaz’s hair gel in There’s Something About Mary, is the bridal shop scene. It’s the infamous part of the movie where the wedding party learn the hard way that crisp white bridal gowns and tainted Brazilian street food don’t necessarily mix.
2. The Change-Up – Baby projectile pooing into Jason Bateman’s mouth
The Change-Up promised to put the body back into body swap comedies, and delivered. It’s just a shame it didn’t manage to stay away from syrupy sentiment and flabby editing while it did so.
The Change-Up’s own ‘hair gel’ moment comes early on with an eeeeww-inducing nappy change no doubt intended to gross audiences out of their seats. Nice it is not, but it also isn't the most R-rated moment in the film. That has to come on the set of a Lorno (light porno for those of you not in the know) in a scene where pumped up boobs, and a very private area belonging to a lady who’d looks as if she'd be lucky to see fifty again comes into, shall we say, close contact with Ryan Reynolds’ thumb. Not one to take your mother-in-law to see, then, unless all that sounds like her cup of tea.
Read our review of The Change-Up here
3. The Hangover II – Monkey fondling Ken Jeong’s miniature privates
The people behind The Hangover II wrung all the possible bad-taste gags they could out of the premise of three wasted guys in Bangkok, a monkey, and a foul-mouthed Chinese gangster.
There are plenty of moments that could be called upon here, some involving transgender sex workers, some involving ping pong balls, but there’s one which stands alone. The Hangover II moment seared onto my memory has to be the image of a Capuchin monkey getting intimately acquainted with Ken Jeong’s exposed privates. There, I said it. Let's just move on shall we?
4. Bad Teacher – Justin Timberlake dry-humping Cameron Diaz
Bad Teacher attempted to trade on the success of Bad Santa, by taking a usually respectable figure and making them downright nasty, but ended up as half the film that Bad Santa was, with half the shock and half the heart.
R-rated high points from this low point of a movie include a filthy-mouthed Cameron Diaz telling a matronly co-worker she wanted to sit on former mouseketeer Justin Timberlake’s face, the porn-shoot car wash, and a fairly constant string of references to Cameron Diaz’s mammaries, nearly all from Miss Diaz herself.
The culmination though, was a fully clothed sex scene which revealed Justin Timberlake’s terrifying sex face (no wonder Britney needed therapy), and a close-up of an incriminating wet spot on the front of his jeans. Classy stuff.
5. Horrible Bosses – Jennifer Aniston sexually harassing unconscious patients
Horrible Bosses tried hard (huhuh ‘hard’) to push the envelope of taste with a truckload of swearing, some very questionable rape jokes (just, why?), scenes of drug taking, prostitution, and the inclusion of a character who goes by the name of Motherfucker Jones.
Its piece de resistance though, apart from a scene in which Jason Sudeikis rubs a series of bathroom items against his hairy naked behind, was in getting wholesome Rachel from Friends to play a sex predator of the illegal kind. Doing her bit to discredit dentists everywhere, a scene in which Jennifer Aniston sexually assaults a supposedly unconscious patient is nose-wrinkling in its desperation to shock. What would Ross say?
6. Cedar Rapids – Ed Helms being offered special services by a crack-smoking prostitute
John C. Reilly’s dialogue does a lot to rack up the R-rating on Miguel Arteta’s sweet fish-out-of-water comedy Cedar Rapids, but it’s the scene in which call girl Bree offers up various parts of her body to corn-fed Tim in unambiguous terms that leaves the deepest impression.
There’s also a death by auto-erotic asphyxiation early on, a fair amount of sex, and a very special naked hug between Ed Helms and an old man, all of which firmly tick the R-rated box. Somehow though, unlike Bad Teacher or The Hangover II, Cedar Rapids may have a frat boy sense of humour but also has a heart. Take heed copycat movies, it’s not enough just to shock.
7. Friends With Benefits – Mila Kunis screaming “Just keep going” on the receiving end of some special attention
The red-band trailer for sex comedy Friends With Benefits knew exactly which of its scenes scored it the R-rating, and teased them appropriately. The first sexual encounter between Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake was about as graphic and matter-of-fact as the film could afford to be, culminating in Kunis screaming her head off, if you’ll excuse the pun.
That said, seeing Kunis’ character’s mum [Patricia Clarkson] dressed for some S&M role play fun as the princess with a bad little pony also made quite the impression…
Read our review of Friends With Benefits here
8. 30 Minutes or Less – A man being flame thrower-ed alive
Ruben Fleischer’s follow-up to Zombieland has come under criticism for a lot of things. Not being very funny is one of them, having some very questionable sexual politics is another, and stooping to the gutter for the laughs it does garner is a third.
Gutter-stooping comedy is par for the course with films like these, as is a fascination with dodgy subject matter such as getting off with the female twin of your male best friend. What surely stuck 30 Minutes or Less firmly in the R-rated camp though, in addition to its profanity-rich script, is a moment of surprisingly graphic violence involving a man, a flame thrower, and the smell of burnt bacon.
Read our review of 30 Minutes or Less here
9. What’s Your Number? – Anna Faris saying vagina. Repeatedly.
Despite its R-rating and a poster quote calling it “edgy”, What’s Your Number? flaccidly ticks off some potentially offensive boxes (nudity, use of the word vagina, almost letting you see Chris Evans’ wang) then wanders off more or less edge-less.
Some rudeness of the underwear variety takes place, especially in one scene where a semi-nude basketball game is played, but overall this limp little film wastes the talents of its leads by spending more time trying to wedge in references to female genitalia than it did avoiding tired cliché. What’s our number? Nil points.
Read our review of What's Your Number? here
10. Our Idiot Brother – Okay, we haven’t seen this one yet, but probably something about peeing.
The red-band trailer for Paul Rudd’s upcoming R-rated comedy Our Idiot Brother has a naked Steve Coogan being caught in flagrante, a kid telling some women to go eff themselves and a guy pretending to pee. We don’t yet know what its bluest moment is likely to be, but having sat through twenty hours or so of shocking R-rated comedies prior to seeing it, we’d be surprised if it manages to make much of an impression.
That’s the issue with this escalating trend of one upmanship in offensive comedy, its logical conclusion is a film so at pains to offend that it’s entirely without characters, without plot, without even a script apart from a string of randomly generated expletives, and featuring just one unending, grotesquely offensive image. To paraphrase the late, great George Orwell: If you want a picture of the future of R-rated comedies, imagine a bum hole, pooing on a human face - forever.