Scott's World -- UPI Arts & Entertainment

By VERNON SCOTT, United Press International   |   Feb. 11, 2002 at 7:04 PM
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HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Selection of the worst movie of 2001 is a matter of personal taste, or lack of it, and not necessarily a reflection of the public at large. To begin with, a genuinely awful film isn't seen by enough people to garner an overwhelming number of votes.

Word gets out and extremely unacceptable pictures frequently die on the vine without returning their print costs. However, the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation is not beholden to logical standards such as production costs, box-office receipts, critical reviews and official regulations.

Thus, one is entitled to cast a vote for "Shrek" as the worst picture produced in 2001, but that voter is likely to find himself a dreadful minority of one, considering it earned a zillion dollars.

This compensatory factor flies in the face of reality because so many millions saw this hackneyed animated cartoon of a romance between an ugly green ogre and a beautiful princess. The film was further embellished by the presence of a Disney-like jackass, toilet jokes and frequent flatulence.

"Shrek" was a study in poor taste, made specifically for young people dedicated to the premise that bodily noises and functions are hysterically funny.

The slow-moving story is made acceptable by the premise that even if a person is rude, crude and ugly, a good heart conquers all, ergo, appearances can be deceiving.

The sugar-coated moral is that Grace Kelly might have fallen in love with, say, Mike Tyson, if only they had met under circumstances that allowed Grace to see beyond Mike's menacing countenance and ugly attitudes.

Be that as it may, "Shrek" was an unmitigated financial success, ergo: a good and worthy work of art that enlightened and entertained the masses. Unfortunately, "Shrek" was not nominated for a Razzie award this year, although it is emblematic of a truly bad, disgusting, outrageously repulsive motion picture.

It did have the questionable virtue of making young people laugh, much as they might titter and giggle over a toon train wreck or a Wiley Coyote plunge headlong into the Grand Canyon.

Instead, this year's Razzie nominations committee for worst picture of the year selected five pictures superior to "Drek," er, ah, "Shrek."

Leading all nominees for worst film was "Freddy Got Fingered" with eight nominations: worst picture, actor, supporting actor, two worst supporting actresses, screen couple, director and screenplay.

A negative equivalent of, say, the eight nominations many years ago for "Gone With The Wind."

For the uninitiated, "Freddy Got Fingered" starred Tom Green with Julie Haggerty and Drew Barrymore (ex-Mrs. Tom Green) as supporting actresses; Green as director and who is half of the worst screen couple with any animal he abuses; Rip Torn worst supporting actor; worst screenplay -- written by Green and Derek Harvie.

"Freddy Got Fingered" was rated R for sexual and bizarre humor and for strong language.

Also nominated for worst picture Razzie: "Driven," "Glitter," "Pearl Harbor" and "3000 Miles to Graceland." Other multiple nominated films: "Driven" with seven, "Glitter" six, "Pearl Harbor" six, and "3000 Miles to Graceland" five.

A trio of movies were each dishonored with three nominations each: "Planet of the Apes," "Sweet November" and "Town & Country. Both "Planet of the Apes" and "Sweet November" were nominated for worst remake or sequel of the year, along with "Crocodile Dundee in L.A.," "Jurassic Park III" and "Pearl Harbor."

Joining Green for worst actor: Ben Affleck ("Pearl Harbor"), Kevin Costner ("3000 Miles to Graceland"), Keanu Reeves ("Hardball" and "Sweet November") and John Travolta ("Domestic Disturbance" and "Swordfish").

Worst actress nominees: Mariah Carey ("Glitter"), Penelope Cruz ("Blow," "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" and "Vanilla Sky") Angelina Jolie ("Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and "Original Sin"), Jennifer Lopez ("Angel Eyes" and "The Wedding Planner"). Charlize Theron was nominated for "Sweet November").

Most bizarre of the nine Razzie categories is Worst Screen Couple.

This year those nominees are: Affleck and either Kate Beckinsale of Josh Hartnett ("Pearl Harbor"), Mariah Carey's Cleavage ("Glitter"), Tom Green and Any Animal He Abuses ("Freddy Got Fingered"), Burt Reynolds & Sylvester Stallone ("Driven"), and Kurt Russell & either Kevin Costner or Courtney Cox ("3000 Miles to Graceland").

Amazingly, "Shrek" was not among Razzie nominees because it made more money

than anything that will be nominated for best picture by the motion picture academy at Oscar time.

Razzie nominees were voted by some 500 Golden Raspberry members in 39 states and 10 foreign countries.

Good news for Razzie aficionados: negotiations are underway with Nash Entertainment for possible broadcast of next year's 23rd annual Razzies; no matter that nominees and winners will not knowingly appear on such a show to accept their dubious honors.

It will a pleasant departure from long, dull thank you speeches from the winners, some of whom might even consider themselves losers.

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